How to Make the Last Word Cocktail Recipe

The Last Word cocktail is a real stand out. This exquisite cocktail is not only visually stunning but also boasts an extraordinary blend of flavors that make it special.

Last Word cocktail in coupe glass with cherry

The whole world of cocktails is fascinating, with each drink having its own unique story, flavor, and history. But among all the classic cocktails that have stood the test of time, few are as intriguing and alluring as the Last Word cocktail. 

The story behind the Last Word cocktail recipe

The Last Word cocktail is a classic drink that originated from the Detroit Athletic Club in the early 1920s. It was a popular drink in underground cocktail bars during the Prohibition era, but then fell into obscurity. 

The recipe for this cocktail was lost for many years until it was discovered by Ted Saucier, who featured it in his book “Bottoms Up” in 1951. Still, the drink was forgotten again until 2005 when it was resurrected by a bartender named Murray Stenson in Seattle.

 The Last Word cocktail became incredibly popular once again, and now stands as one of the most beloved cocktails of all time. This cocktail is a perfect example of timeless classics, and its history makes it even more enticing to try.

With just four simple ingredients and an interesting backstory, the Last Word cocktail has earned its place as an iconic American drink that has stood the test of time.

Ingredients for the Last Word cocktail

The Last Word cocktail is a unique blend of four distinct ingredients that, when combined, create a taste sensation. The first ingredient is gin. You do want to pick a gin that’s high quality with a smooth, clean flavor.

The second ingredient is lime juice, which adds a bright citrus note to the drink. Freshly squeezed lime juice is best in order to get the full depth of flavor.

The third ingredient is Green Chartreuse, an herbal liqueur made from more than 130 different plants. Finally, maraschino liqueur rounds out the flavor profile with notes of cherry and almond.

These four ingredients are carefully balanced in equal parts to create a complex and satisfying cocktail that has stood the test of time. While it may seem simple at first glance, each ingredient brings its own unique properties to the drink and must be used in just the right proportions to achieve perfection.

Choosing the Best Spirit for your Gin Drinks

The best gin to use for a Last Word cocktail is a dry gin that is juniper-forward and bright, such as Tanqueray or Plymouth gin. A gin with too many botanicals may overpower the other ingredients in the drink.

Can You Substitute Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur with any Cherry Liqueur?

You can use a different brand of maraschino liqueur, but other cherry liqueurs would be much sweeter and change the profile. As long as the bottle says maraschino liqueur, it should preserve the classic flavor of this gin cocktail.

Food Pairing Suggestions 

This classic cocktail recipe can be enjoyed all year round. Its unique blend of ingredients makes it a versatile drink that can be paired with many different foods and occasions. Here are some serving suggestions to try:

1. Appetizers: The herbal notes in the Last Word cocktail complement savory appetizers such as deviled eggs, bruschetta, and olives. The drink’s bright color also makes it an eye-catching addition to any appetizer spread.

2. Main Courses: The Last Word cocktail pairs well with a variety of main courses such as grilled meats, seafood, and pasta dishes. Try serving it alongside steamed mussels or linguine with clam sauce for a delicious combination.

3. Desserts: The tartness of the lime juice in the Last Word cocktail makes it a great dessert accompaniment. Serve it alongside key lime pie or lemon bars for a refreshing end to your meal.

No matter how you choose to serve it, the Last Word cocktail is sure to impress your guests with its complex flavors and stylish presentation.

The best occasions to enjoy a Last Word cocktail

The Last Word cocktail is a perfect drink for any occasion. Its unique combination of sweet, sour, and herbal flavors makes it an excellent choice for both casual and formal gatherings. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying a night out with friends, the Last Word cocktail is sure to impress.

It’s great for happy hour. Another great time to serve the Last Word cocktail is during a dinner party or holiday gathering.

The drink’s balanced flavors pair well with a variety of foods, from spicy appetizers to rich desserts. Plus, its unique flavor profile will intrigue your guests and make for great conversation starters.

Frequently asked questions about the Last Word cocktail

As a complex and unique cocktail, the Last Word often raises some questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this popular drink:

Q: What glass should I use to serve a Last Word cocktail?

A: The traditional glass for serving a Last Word is a coupe glass. However, you can also use a martini glass.

Q: Is it necessary to use green Chartreuse in the recipe?

A: Yes, green Chartreuse is an essential ingredient in making a classic Last Word cocktail. Its herbal and slightly sweet flavor adds complexity to this already complex drink.

Q: Can I make a batch of Last Word cocktails ahead of time?

A: Definitely. You can absolutely make and chill a pitcher of this cocktail ahead of time and let guests serve themselves.


The Last Word cocktail is a truly unique and delicious drink that every cocktail enthusiast should try at least once. With its complex flavor profile and intriguing history, it has earned its place as a classic in the world of mixology.

Whether you enjoy it on a special occasion or as a regular treat, the Last Word cocktail is sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

Yield: 1 drink

Last Word Cocktail Recipe

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes


  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz green chartreuse
  • 1 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • Luxardo cherry for garnish


  1. Begin by chilling your cocktail glass in the freezer for at least ten minutes. You can also fill it with ice to chill while you prepare your ingredients.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  3. Pour in all your ingredients.
  4. Shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds.
  5. Strain the mixture into your chilled glass.
  6. Garnish with a twist of lime peel or a Luxardo cherry if desired.

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