A gin cocktail with Chartreuse.
The Last Word, a Prohibition-era gin cocktail, was created at the Detroit Athletic Club during the 1920s. Frank Fogarty, “the Dublin Minstrel,” a famous vaudeville comedian, discovered the drink there and brought the recipe with him to New York. It was first written down in Ted Saucier’s famous cocktail recipe book, Bottoms Up, in 1951.
The use of Chartreuse, an herbal French liqueur, is important to this drink. If you haven’t had Chartreuse, you are in for a treat. Chartreuse is a very old liqueur that dates back to 1605. The story goes that King Henry IV’s artillery marshal presented a recipe for an ancient elixir that claimed to give the imbiber long life to the Carthusian monks. The recipe was super complex, blending 130 different herbs and botanicals in an alcohol base, and it took the monks until 1737 to decipher and perfect the recipe at their headquarters at the Grande Chartreuse monastery in southeastern France.
Originally intended for medicinal purposes, today the liqueur is drunk straight and very cold or in cocktails, like this one. The Chartreuse monks still use the same ancient recipe to create the spirit in their distillery in France and, to protect the recipe, it's said that only two or three monks know how to prepare the different parts of the herbal mixture at any given time.
THE LAST WORD
1 ½ oz. gin
½ oz. lime
½ oz. maraschino liqueur
¾ oz. Chartuese
Shake ingredients together with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Photo by Jesse Fox