Last Word Cocktail

By Robert Hess

In this episode, join Robert Hess as he shares with you his secret on how to build up a properly stocked liquor cabinet. He then helps you get started in your journey by showing you how to make the "Last Word" cocktail.

Recipe

Ingredients

1 oz gin

1 oz maraschino liqueur

1 oz Chartreuse

1 oz fresh lime juice

Instructions

Shake with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Comments
Rachel 16 Aug 2007
10:55 pm

This clip is great.  I recently turned 21, and I’ve been thinking about how to start stocking my bar.  The suggestion to buy the ingredients for one cocktail at a time is very smart, especially for a budget-conscious college student like me.

Char 6 Sep 2007
1:12 pm

Excellent site - The last Word is close to another old cocktail that I enjoy - the Aviation - all the same ingredients except the Chartreuse…but I have Chartreuse - so I’ll try The Last Word!!

Brian 6 Sep 2007
4:33 pm

Hi Char-

Thanks for the positive feedback!  Did you get a chance to check out one of the videos on Jamie Boudreau’s spin on the Aviation?

Perry 15 Sep 2007
6:16 pm

Tremendous cocktail! Splurged and added Chartreuse ($40) and maraschino liqueur to my home bar. So many delightful flavors in perfect balance. I usually want to tweak the amounts, but this one is dead on. Used Beefeater gin which is my “house” gin, but am going to try it with Boodles. Thank you for sharing this cocktail recipe.

Robert Hess 16 Sep 2007
5:43 pm

Glad you like it! It’s always great when an old and forgotten cocktail can return to the scene and perhaps even introduce folks to some new ingredients and flavors.

arnold de asis 4 Oct 2007
6:25 pm

you know im very glad that you share your idea. The cocktail that you show is good il try already in my small bar at home it nice good conbination i like it.

Thomas Ufer 27 Oct 2007
12:23 pm

I’ve been reviewing all of your webisodes. I’ve noticed that for every other shaken cocktail you use a Boston Shaker instead of the cocktail shaker featured here. Do you have a preference and if so, why?

Robert Hess 29 Oct 2007
2:26 pm

Thomas, I love the “Parisian” style cocktail shaker you see me using in this episode. It has a graceful elegance to. You’ll see me using in in several other episodes, but yes, you will normally see me using a Boston Shaker. Part of the reason for this is that the Boston Shaker is the more common “workhorse” behind the bar. And since the mixing glass is clear, it provides a better on-screen visual of what is going into the drink.

walter bauer 29 Jan 2008
5:51 pm

Since we import Inca Gold Pisco as incaspirits.com we were delighted with the recognition of pisco sour as an international favorite by Robert Hess. Perhaps he will follow with pisco punch, an American classic of the late 1800’s in San Francisco. Recently a book titled “The Wings of Cherubs” has been written detailing the history of pisco punch.  Walt Bauer

NIels 1 Feb 2008
3:05 pm

Wonderful cocktail, many thnx for highlighting it!
I found the recipe for ‘the last word’ in a Danish cocktail recipe book from 1968, simply called ‘Cocktails and Drinks’ and featuring many original winner cocktails from european and international competitions. Just in case you didn’t know already, the book mentions that ‘last word’ was invented in Detroit Athletic Club.

Roy Wagner 20 Mar 2008
7:01 am

I just recently ordered the ingredients (Green Chartreuse and Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur) just to make this “intriguing” drink. They arrived today and then I discovered I didn’t have any limes. (Off to the store!)

The limes were small so I squeezed one and let it be the deciding measure for the equal portions of ingredients. The drink was truly a masterpiece of mixology; such a complex aroma and diverse contrasting of flavors. And I so much appreciate the even proportions of ingredients making it so easy to make as small or big a drink as meets to occasion and also easy to “tweak” the portions to one’s desire.

A perfect cocktail of significant interest.  Enjoy!

Robert Hess 20 Mar 2008
7:21 am

Roy,
Glad you took the time to order the ingredients for this drink, and even happier that you liked it after going through all that trouble! :->

-Robert

Stevi Deter 24 Mar 2008
9:19 pm

Thanks for a great site; I’ve made several recipes that I’ve really enjoyed.

And the Last Word is one of those cocktails that lives up to the hype!

I hadn’t watched this video before splurging on a half bottle of chartreuse today (seems like all the Eastside stores carry halves), but I admit I was happy to see my decision to try a bottle of Plymouth this time reaffirmed in your selection. Do you think it makes the best gin for the Last Word?

Robert Hess 25 Mar 2008
7:05 am

Plymouth is a great gin for virtually any gin-based drink. I would never go so far as to say it is the “best”, because that really depends on your on personal tastes.

I always try not to overly specify individual spirit brands when they aren’t the “only” product I recommend. I remember myself early on not really knowing if I had to use “the” brand of whiskey which was listed in a recipe.

I think the only time that I specifically try to promote ‘a’ brand in a broader category is in the case of Cointreau, which is a triple sec. In most cases when a recipe calls for triple sec, it will be SO much better with Cointreau that it is worth the added expense.

But for gins, play around, try different brands. As your Plymouth starts to run low, buy something besides Plymouth as a replacement, and do a taste comparison between the two. In this way you’ll figure out which brands work best at this time for your tastes.

-Robert

Stevi Deter 29 Mar 2008
9:07 pm

Thanks for the feedback. A recent gin I was experimenting with was Van Gogh. On first taste, I thought I’d made a bad decision to buy it, but soon grew to love it, and is my current favorite for a Martinez, especially when paired with Vya’s sweet vermouth. Definitely going into high rotation. I finished that first bottle, and I suspect its particular spiciness would clash with the Chartreuse in this drink. Of course, I will test to verify next time I pick up a bottle!

With regard to Cointreau, have you tried Harlequin yet? I’m really quite enjoying it. A couple people I’ve had taste it think they like it even better than Cointreau. Given the price differential, at least here in Washington, it’s great to have a choice that’s high quality *and* more affordable. At the moment, it’s my new go-to orange liqueur, at least until the results of the orange liqueur taste-offs happening on various blogs are in and persuade me to try something different!

Robert Hess 30 Mar 2008
10:19 am

Haven’t tried the Van Gough gin yet, I’ll give it a try.

I have tried Harlequin however, and it is quite good, but I still think I prefer Cointreau :->

dshenaut 26 Aug 2008
12:20 am

The Last Word is my favorite of all classic era gin drinks. From the rich color to the slightly sweet herbacious finish there is nothing like it .

Rob McMahon 4 Jan 2009
8:38 am

I had a question about stocking the bar. Anytime i make ice cubes at the hose they always come out dense and opaque. Since i come from an area that has hard water, is there a special way to make clear ice cubes at home? I have looked at several different theories and none of them have panned out, short of spending a lot of money on an ice maker any suggestions?

Robert Hess 5 Jan 2009
8:50 am

Home ice is cloudy primarily due to air trapped in the water as it freezes, since it freezes from the outside in. Clear ice is typically made by essentially building up the ice cube layer by layer, and thus not trapping air on the inside.

I personally don’t worry about trying to make clear ice at home, if I am in a situation where I need it, it is far easier to simply buy a bag of clear ice at the supermarket.

I’ve heard that to attempt to get clear ice at home, you should buy distilled water (thus free from any contaminates or minerals), then bring it to a boil, allow to cool, bring to boil a second time, allow to cool, then pour into icecube trays.

-Robert

Rob McMahon 5 Jan 2009
9:53 am

thanks for the tip.  I had tried that method with out the distilled water, and it did work somewhat but it is very intensive and laborious process and having the time to make it and not forget about it. My question stemmed from with impurities in the ice that might affect the flavoring in the drink that you are making.  I guess though that is really a preference or presentation thing.  At bars i would imagine they have ice makers where they don’t worry about those things.

Garretto 1 Apr 2009
2:16 pm

Robert,
Great episode and your advise on building up the bar drink by drink is right on.
I started this hobby/endeavor about a year ago and also found another way to get more miles out of an ingredient, like say, Luxardo maraschino, is to search recipes on websites, such as yours, drinkboy.com and cocktailsDB. I bought the bottle for the Aviation Cocktail, then searched by “maraschino liquor” and found many others.
Finally, I’ve got around to buying the expensive green Chartreuse and I plan on making The Last Word this weekend. Sometimes the little 2oz bottles are a good way to test a drink before committing to a full and expensive bottle. I did this with St Germaines. And that’s the next biggy on my list. Great show.

Oscar Malek 13 May 2009
4:36 pm

Good stuff as usual Robert!

Lawrence Spies 20 Aug 2009
11:56 am

Great video Robert! Love the idea of stocking your bar one drink at a time, perfect the drink first, then move on to next drink, etc…

Plymouth Gin is my favorite…

Georges Remi 20 Aug 2009
10:01 pm

Great drink, complex flavors.  I like the concept of building a bar a cocktail at a time but even that becomes a bit difficult without some guidance.  You could spend a fortune, for example, trying out a variety of different gins alone.  At least in your clips you show what you’re using so someone can say to themselves “I think I’ll buy a bottle of Plymouth for my next gin”.  Personally, I like Plymouth for cocktails like this where the other liquors overpower the gin in their complexity, while I prefer Tanquery Ten or Junipero for cocktails where the gin is the centerpiece (but that took years and a lot of money to help me decide on that).  Therefore, I always appreciate when a “cocktail pro” discusses a specific brand so that I have a little more info on whether I want to lay down the money or not on a particular item.

One minor criticism I would have to make is that I think this is a horrible cocktail for someone getting into cocktails to start with and use to stock a bar.  I adore maraschino and Chartreuse but they are very specialized in their use, require a bit of a complex palate that many “beginners” don’t have and are certainly on the more expensive end of the spectrum.

Ian Picco 15 Jan 2011
11:28 am

Funny that now, 3 years after this video, this old “unknown cocktail” is now on the menu at not 1 but 2 bars in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’m glad people are finally catching on here.

Robert Hess 17 Jan 2011
6:38 am

That’s great news Ian! Hopefully those two bars also strive at making other well crafted drinks too!

Elyn 25 May 2011
6:45 pm

Thanks for the video. If I were to search out one of those juicers, is there a specific name or description? I’m not loving the handled juicer we have at home and that reservoir looks like it would be neater.

Ben Golden 21 Jun 2012
4:56 pm

Robert, have you ever tried the aged version, green chartreuse VEP?  I have not, but I wonder how it would work in cocktails like this?

Robert Hess 22 Jun 2012
9:56 am

Ben, it’s been a while since I’ve tried VEP in a cocktail, and it does work very well. It would almost certainly require a little bit of adjustment to the recipe to dial it in properly. Chartreuse is already not a “cheap” product, and VEP even more so. If a bar wanted to use VEP in a cocktail it would be important to keep this in mind so they don’t blow their drinks-costs out of the water, as well as make sure that the VEP cocktail really illustrates the special character of the product. I would consider it inapproriate to have a VEP cocktail that wasn’t that much different from the normal Chartreuse one, only cost more.

Neil Donnelly 23 Jun 2012
12:23 am

Hey Mr. Hess, I love those jiggers you use. Who are they made by and where do you get them? Thanks.

Robert Hess 25 Jun 2012
11:03 am

Neil,
The jiggers I am using here are by OXO, and are called “Mini Angled Jigger”. Most kitchen stores seem to carry them these days, and should cost about $3.99.

-Robert

cbreets 14 Dec 2012
3:34 pm

Hello,
Do you have any recommendations on finding a quality parisian style shaker? I’ve been eyeing a few but there doesn’t seem to be much information out there as far as feedback and reviews. I noticed in a different forum your mentioned that WMF makes a nice one. Any thoughts are much appreciated.
Thanks!

Robert Hess 14 Dec 2012
10:47 pm

Of the Parisian shakers I have, the WMF one is perhaps my favorite. There are some others available which are less expensive, but I always have problems with them sticking a bit. You can get a WMF shaker here: http://www.cocktailkingdom.com/product-p/sha_wmfparisix_0000_stl.htm

-Robert

cbreets 15 Dec 2012
12:05 pm

Thanks for the info. You rule!

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