First Word Cocktail Recipe

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First Word Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The First Word cocktail is a modern twist on the classic Last Word cocktail. It's a creation that emerged from the craft cocktail movement, where bartenders explore new flavor profiles.

  • Origins: Inspired by the Prohibition-era Last Word.
  • Popularity: Gained traction among patrons who enjoy herbaceous and citrus flavors.
  • Ideal for: Those who appreciate the balance of gin's botanicals with the unique taste of Green Chartreuse.

How First Word Tastes?

The First Word cocktail offers a harmonious blend of botanical, herbal, and citrus notes. It's a complex yet refreshing drink with a sweet undertone from the beer simple syrup, balanced by the tartness of lime juice.

Interesting facts about First Word

  • The First Word is a riff on the Last Word, which traditionally uses equal parts gin, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice.
  • Green Chartreuse is the only liqueur in the world with a completely natural green color.
  • The addition of beer simple syrup is a nod to the craft beer movement, integrating it into the cocktail scene.


A few good options for First Word are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Gin is the backbone of this cocktail, providing a crisp and aromatic base. A 0.75 oz pour keeps the botanicals in check so they don't overshadow the other ingredients. Going overboard might turn your sip into a pine forest escapade, while skimping on it could leave the drink feeling flat. If gin isn't your thing, try vodka for a more neutral taste.

Alex Green

Green Chartreuse

The Green Chartreuse gives the First Word a mystical herbal punch. This French liqueur is potent, so the 0.75 oz pour balances the ensemble without making you feel like you're sipping a monastic garden. If you forgone it, you'd miss the soul of the drink. A possible twist could be using Yellow Chartreuse for a milder and sweeter touch.

Emma Rose

Lime Juice

Lime juice adds that necessary zing and acidity, brightening the cocktail. 0.75 oz harmonizes with the other players without turning the drink into a sour face competition. Less juice, and the drink becomes too subtle; more, and it might pucker up too tight. A swing towards lemon juice could offer a different kind of citrus bite.

Mary Mitkina

Beer Simple Syrup

The in-house special! This 0.50 oz of beer-infused sweetness mellows the tanginess and adds a unique malty undertone. Err on the side of caution — too much and it could become cloying, too little and you might miss the depth. Agave syrup could be a substitute, though it'll steer the flavor towards a tequila sunrise horizon.

Alex Green

Cherry Garnish

Who doesn't like a cherry on top? It's the final touch that adds a tease of sweetness and a pop of color. No cherry, and the cocktail still sings, but it'd be like skipping the encore at a concert. If you're out of cherries, a twist of citrus peel could still do the trick to charm the eye.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make First Word Drink

  1. Chill a coupe glass by placing it in the freezer or filling it with ice water.
  2. Combine 0.75 oz of gin, 0.75 oz of Green Chartreuse, 0.75 oz of lime juice, and 0.50 oz of beer simple syrup in a shaker.
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  4. Fine strain the mixture into the chilled coupe.
  5. Garnish with a cherry on a cocktail pick.

Pro Tips

  • Ice: Use large, cold ice cubes to shake the cocktail for optimal dilution and chill.
  • Shake Time: Shake for a full 10-15 seconds to ensure the ingredients are well mixed and the drink is sufficiently chilled.
  • Garnish: Make sure the cherry is fresh and of high quality, as it adds to the visual appeal and can be eaten after the drink is finished.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese platters: Specifically with goat cheese or blue cheese to complement the herbaceous notes of the Green Chartreuse.
  • Savory pastries: Think tarts or quiches, which can balance the tartness from the lime juice.

Main Courses

  • Grilled fish or chicken: The citrus aspect of the cocktail will enhance lighter protein dishes.
  • Asian cuisine: The herbal complexity can stand up to the bold flavors found in Thai or Vietnamese dishes.


  • Lemon tart: The acidity of the cocktail will echo the dessert's citrus notes.
  • Dark chocolate: A piece of dark chocolate can provide a nice contrast to the sweet and herby flavors of the cocktail.

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What you could change in First Word

  • Gin: A London Dry Gin can be substituted for an American style gin for a less juniper-forward profile.
  • Green Chartreuse: While unique, Yellow Chartreuse can be used for a milder herbal flavor.
  • Beer Simple Syrup: A honey or agave syrup can be used for a non-alcoholic sweetener, though it will change the flavor profile.

Explore all drinks starting with F here

And of course - twists🍹

Honeyed Word

Swap out the beer simple syrup for honey syrup for a smoother, sweeter twist. The drink will feel more velvety and you'll find a meadow in your glass instead of a brewery.

  • Ingredients: Gin, Green Chartreuse, Lime Juice, Honey Syrup, Cherry
  • Recipe: Same as the First Word, just replacing the syrup.

Bitter Word

Introduce a dash of bitters, such as Angostura, to add complexity and a slight edge. This will bring some darkness into the libation, like a shadow in the grove.

  • Ingredients: Gin, Green Chartreuse, Lime Juice, Beer Simple Syrup, Cherry, Angostura Bitters
  • Recipe: Follow the First Word recipe, adding a dash of Angostura bitters before shaking.

Sparkling Word

Top off the cocktail with a splash of sparkling wine or champagne. This will lift the spirits – literally – giving the concoction a bubbly personality and a festive flair.

  • Ingredients: Gin, Green Chartreuse, Lime Juice, Beer Simple Syrup, Cherry, Sparkling Wine
  • Recipe: Mix the ingredients as per First Word, then gently pour some sparkling wine on top after fine straining into the coupe.

In case you forgot basics how to make First Word

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on First Word

What type of glass is best suited for the First Word cocktail?

The First Word cocktail is typically served in a coupe glass, which is ideal for this type of shaken, strained cocktail.

Is the First Word cocktail suitable for vegans?

Yes, the ingredients in the First Word cocktail are plant-based, making it suitable for vegans as long as the beer used in the beer simple syrup is also vegan-friendly.

Can I use a different garnish instead of a cherry?

Yes, while a cherry is the classic garnish, you could also use a twist of lime or a sprig of fresh herbs such as mint or rosemary to complement the botanical flavors.

Is the First Word a seasonal cocktail?

The First Word can be enjoyed year-round, but its refreshing and citrusy profile makes it particularly suitable for the spring and summer months.

How can I make a non-alcoholic version of the First Word?

For a non-alcoholic version, you can use non-alcoholic gin and Green Chartreuse substitutes, alongside the beer simple syrup substitution mentioned in the recipe.

What is the significance of the name 'First Word' for this cocktail?

The name 'First Word' is a playful nod to the classic 'Last Word' cocktail, suggesting a new beginning or variation on the traditional recipe.

How long does it take to mix and serve a First Word cocktail?

Preparation of the First Word cocktail is quite quick and takes roughly 2-3 minutes, including chilling the glass, mixing the ingredients, shaking, and garnishing.

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