Last Word Cocktail Recipe

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Last 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 7, 2024


The Last Word cocktail is a classic Prohibition-era cocktail that was first created at the Detroit Athletic Club in the early 20th century. It experienced a resurgence in popularity in the early 2000s and has since become a staple at craft cocktail bars around the world. The cocktail is known for its unique combination of flavors and its beautiful green hue.

  • Prohibition-era origin
  • Created at the Detroit Athletic Club
  • Resurgence in popularity in the early 2000s

How Last Word Tastes?

The Last Word is a well-balanced cocktail with a complex flavor profile. It is simultaneously sweet, sour, herbal, and slightly bitter. The gin provides a strong, juniper-forward base, while the Chartreuse adds a rich, herbal complexity. The maraschino liqueur brings a touch of sweetness, and the lime juice adds a refreshing, tart finish.

Interesting facts about Last Word

  • The Last Word is one of the few classic cocktails that uses equal parts of all its ingredients
  • Green Chartreuse, one of the key ingredients, is a French liqueur made by Carthusian monks using a secret recipe of 130 herbs, plants, and flowers
  • The cocktail's resurgence in popularity is often credited to bartender Murray Stenson, who rediscovered the recipe in a vintage cocktail book and began serving it at the Zig Zag Café in Seattle


A few good options for Last Word are:

  • Tanqueray Gin
  • No. 3 London Dry Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


The botanicals in gin are the backbone of the Last Word. The 0.75 oz is just enough to assert its presence without dominating the other flavors. Skipping gin or using less would make you miss the juniper and herbaceous notes, while more could overpower the balance.

Mary Mitkina

Green Chartreuse

This French liqueur is the soul of the cocktail, its herbal complexity unfolds with each sip. 0.75 oz is the sweet spot that allows it to shine alongside the gin. Without it, you'd lose the mystical touch—no Green Chartreuse, no Last Word.

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino Liqueur

Brings a sweet and subtle almond cherry flavor that works as a connector between the sharp gin and herbaceous Chartreuse. The proportion maintains harmony. More would make it cloyingly sweet, and less would render the drink unbalanced.

Alex Green

Lime Juice

Fresh lime juice adds zesty brightness that cuts through the sweetness, bringing balance with its acidity. Use too much, and you'll pucker up more than intended; too little, and the drink lacks the necessary tart edge.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Last Word Drink

  1. Chill a coupe glass by filling it with ice and setting it aside
  2. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker: 0.75 oz gin, 0.75 oz Green Chartreuse, 0.75 oz maraschino liqueur, and 0.75 oz fresh lime juice
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds
  4. Discard the ice from the chilled coupe glass
  5. Double strain the cocktail into the coupe glass
  6. Garnish with a brandied cherry or a lime twist (optional)

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lime juice for the best flavor
  • Shake vigorously to ensure all ingredients are well combined
  • Double strain the cocktail to remove any small ice shards or pulp

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese plate: A variety of cheeses, particularly those with a strong or creamy profile, like blue cheese or goat cheese, can complement the herbal qualities of the Green Chartreuse.
  • Seafood: Light seafood dishes, such as shrimp cocktail or scallop ceviche, can create a pleasant contrast with the Last Word's robust flavor.
  • Nuts: Salted almonds or pistachios can balance the sweetness of the maraschino liqueur.

Main Courses

  • Chicken with Herbs: The gin's botanicals pair well with herb-roasted chicken.
  • Pasta with Pesto: The basil and pine nuts in pesto mirror the herbal tones of the cocktail.


  • Lime tart: Echoes the citrus notes in the cocktail.
  • Dark Chocolate: The bitterness can be a nice counterpoint to the sweet and sour profile of the drink.

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What you could change in Last Word

  • Gin: Can be substituted with vodka for a less juniper-forward flavor
  • Green Chartreuse: Yellow Chartreuse can be used for a milder, sweeter flavor
  • Maraschino Liqueur: Can be replaced with a cherry liqueur or cherry brandy
  • Lime Juice: Fresh lemon juice can be used for a different citrus note

Explore all drinks starting with L here

And of course - twists🍹

The Final Saying

  • Replace gin with mezcal for a smoky counterpart.
  • Use 0.5 oz of each ingredient to mellow the impact.
  • Add a splash of grapefruit juice for added complexity. This twist brings a smokier, more mysterious Last Word, with a nod to Mexican spirits.

Whispered Word

  • Swap the gin for Irish whiskey.
  • Reduce maraschino to 0.5 oz and compensate with 0.25 oz of honey syrup.
  • Garnish with an orange twist. This variant is warmer and softer, with the whiskey and honey offering a comforting whisper compared to the sharp utterance of gin.

The Verbose Verse

  • Use a barrel-aged gin for added woody notes.
  • Add a dash of Angostura Bitters for depth.
  • Garnish with a sprig of thyme. The barrel-aged gin and bitters introduce a complex narrative to the classic recipe, perfect for those who like a story in their sip.

In case you forgot basics how to make Last Word

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 Last Word

What is the ABV (Alcohol By Volume) of the various spirits used in The Last Word cocktail?

Generally, gin has an ABV around 37.5-50%, Green Chartreuse has an ABV of 55%, and Maraschino Liqueur has an ABV around 32%.

How can I store my unused Green Chartreuse and Maraschino Liqueur?

Both can be kept at room temperature, but should be stored in a cool, dark place. Once opened, they should be consumed within 1-2 years for best taste.

Is The Last Word suitable for vegans/vegetarians?

Yes, this cocktail doesn't contain any animal products.

When is the best time to enjoy The Last Word?

Being a fairly strong and complex cocktail, The Last Word is often enjoyed as an aperitif, before meals.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of The Last Word?

Non-alcoholic substitutes for spirits are available, but the unique blend of flavors in The Last Word might be hard to replicate exactly. You might try experimenting with herbal and citrus infusions and non-alcoholic liqueurs.

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