Ultima Palabra Cocktail Recipe

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Ultima Palabra 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 Ultima Palabra is a riff on the classic 'Last Word' cocktail, which dates back to Prohibition-era Detroit. It was originally made with gin, but the smoky allure of mezcal gives this version a modern twist. It's a favorite among those who appreciate a balance of herbal, sweet, and tart flavors, and it's especially popular with adventurous palates that enjoy the complexity of mezcal.

  • The original 'Last Word' was first served at the Detroit Athletic Club.
  • The mezcal version likely gained popularity during the craft cocktail renaissance.
  • It's a hit with bartenders for its equal-parts recipe, which is easy to remember.

How Ultima Palabra Tastes?

The Ultima Palabra is a complex and intriguing cocktail. It's smoky from the mezcal, herbal from the yellow Chartreuse, sweet from the Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, and tart from the fresh lime juice. The flavors are bold and well-balanced, making for a sip that's both refreshing and deeply satisfying.

Interesting facts about Ultima Palabra

  • The 'Last Word' cocktail, which the Ultima Palabra is based on, was nearly forgotten until it was revived by Seattle bartender Murray Stenson in 2004.
  • Mezcal, the key ingredient in Ultima Palabra, is made from agave, like tequila, but it's smoked, giving it a distinctive flavor.
  • Yellow Chartreuse is a French herbal liqueur that has been made by Carthusian Monks since 1737 and contains a secret blend of 130 herbs.



Mezcal brings a smoky depth to the Ultima Palabra, grounding the brighter notes of the other ingredients. If omitted, you'd lose the cocktail's distinctive smoky profile. Think of it as the bass in our flavor symphony – without it, the melody might sound a bit flat.

Emma Rose

Yellow Chartreuse

Yellow Chartreuse's herbal sweetness adds complexity and an almost mystical essence to the drink. Less herbal than its green sibling, it's irreplaceable here. Without it, the magical spell is broken, and the concoction becomes simply mundane.

Mary Mitkina

Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

This sweet cherry liqueur offers a unique, almond-like flavor that complements the herbal Chartreuse beautifully. Skimping on it or excluding it entirely would be like watching a movie without the soundtrack – still good, but you’re missing out on a full experience.

Alex Green

Lime Juice

Fresh lime juice is the zesty counterpart to the mezcal's smokiness, balancing the cocktail with a tart freshness. If your lime juice isn't fresh, the cocktail might end up like a joke without a punchline – not quite complete.

Emma Rose

Lime Wheel

A simple yet effective garnish, the lime wheel isn’t just a pretty face. It provides a hint of aroma every time you go for a sip, completing the sensory experience.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Ultima Palabra Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Pour in 1 ounce of mezcal, 1 ounce of yellow Chartreuse, 1 ounce of Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, and 1 ounce of fresh lime juice.
  3. Shake vigorously for 16 seconds.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish with a lime wheel on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the coupe glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it extra cold.
  • Use freshly squeezed lime juice for the best flavor.
  • If you want to enhance the smokiness, try rimming half the glass with a smoked salt.

Perfect Pairings


Tapas are a perfect sidekick for the Ultima Palabra cocktail. Their variety and bold flavors complement the smokiness of mezcal and the herbal notes of Chartreuse.


Specifically, ceviche or grilled shrimp can resonate with the citrusy brightness of the cocktail, making for a deliciously harmonious match.

Spicy Dishes

Meals with a kick, such as Thai or Indian curries, can stand up to the assertive flavors in the Ultima Palabra, with each sip acting as a refreshing palate cleanser.

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What you could change in Ultima Palabra

  • Mezcal: Can be substituted with a smoky Scotch for a different smoky twist.
  • Yellow Chartreuse: Green Chartreuse can be used for a stronger herbal punch.
  • Luxardo Maraschino liqueur: Other maraschino liqueurs like Maraska can be used, but Luxardo is preferred for its rich flavor.

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And of course - twists🍹

Smokey Ultima

  • Swap mezcal for a smokier variety or add a dash of peated scotch.
  • The increased smokiness provides a bold contrast to the cocktail's herbal sweet notes, catering to those who fancy a walk through a mystical smoke-filled forest.*

Green Enchantment

  • Use Green Chartreuse instead of Yellow.
  • This substitution brings forth a more intense herbal, almost earthy touch to the cocktail. It's for those who like whispering incantations under the moonlight, or simply enjoy a bolder taste.*

Cherry Blossom Ultima

  • Replace Luxardo Maraschino with a Japanese cherry blossom liqueur.
  • The floral cherry notes softly dance with the mezcal's smokiness. Imagine the cocktail wearing a silk kimono, gracefully bowing as it offers a delicate but memorable sip.*

In case you forgot basics how to make Ultima Palabra

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 Ultima Palabra

What type of glass is best for serving the Ultima Palabra cocktail?

A chilled coupe glass is traditionally used for serving the Ultima Palabra to enhance its elegance and to maintain the temperature of the cocktail.

Can the Ultima Palabra be made in a batch for parties?

Yes, the Ultima Palabra can be scaled up and combined in a pitcher or large container for parties. Ensure all ingredients are mixed in equal parts and adjust the amount of ice accordingly.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Ultima Palabra?

A non-alcoholic version can be created by substituting the alcoholic ingredients with non-alcoholic herbal and smoky syrups and a lime-based mocktail mixer.

How can I make my Ultima Palabra cocktail less sweet?

To make the cocktail less sweet, you can reduce the amount of Luxardo Maraschino liqueur slightly or increase the lime juice for added tartness.

What's the difference between mezcal and tequila, and can I use tequila in this cocktail?

Mezcal and tequila are both agave-based spirits from Mexico, but mezcal has a smokier flavor due to the production process. Tequila can be used for a different taste profile; opt for a reposado for some smokiness.

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