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The Last Word: A Timeless Classic That Still Speaks Volumes

In the pantheon of classic cocktails, few have a history as rich and flavors as complex as The Last Word. First crafted during the prohibition era at the Detroit Athletic Club, this enchanting elixir has experienced a remarkable renaissance in the past few decades.

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As you savor its bright, herbal taste, it’s hard to imagine that this cocktail was nearly forgotten, only to be rediscovered in the early 2000s. Its revival can be largely credited to Murray Stenson, a renowned bartender from Seattle who found the recipe in Ted Saucier’s “Bottoms Up,” a cocktail book published in 1951.

The Last Word is an enchanting symphony of flavors – herbal, sweet, tart, and potent. Its vibrant green hue, thanks to the inclusion of Green Chartreuse, is visually arresting. However, as many cocktail enthusiasts have recently found, there’s been a Green Chartreuse shortage. A worthy substitute is Génépy Des Alpes, a similar herbal liqueur, which delivers a comparable taste profile and the signature green tint.

The Last Word is all about balance. Its components – strong, sweet, sour, and bitter – combine to form a harmonious whole that’s much greater than the sum of its parts.

In an homage to its revival, there is an eponymous speakeasy in Ann Arbor, Michigan, aptly named The Last Word. Known for its vast and fabulous cocktail selection, it’s a fitting tribute to this timeless concoction.

The Last Word is more than just a cocktail. It’s a testament to the enduring allure of classic mixology, a reminder that trends may come and go, but quality and balance remain timeless. When you take a sip of The Last Word, you’re not just tasting a cocktail – you’re savoring a piece of history.

The Last Word

Discover the classic cocktail, The Last Word. Learn about its rich history, unique flavors, and how to make it at home with our detailed recipe guide.
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 Drink
Calories 191 kcal


  • ¾ oz Gin
  • ¾ oz Green Chartreuse or Génépy Des Alpes
  • ¾ oz Maraschino liqueur
  • ¾ oz Lime Juice


  • Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice.
  • Shake vigorously until chilled.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a single brandied cherry.
Keyword gin drinks, prohibition era drinks, shaken drinks

2 thoughts on “The Last Word: A Timeless Classic That Still Speaks Volumes”

  1. 5 stars
    I had no idea of the deep history of this cocktail. All the more reason you and I will need to find a time to go to the establishment named in its honor.

    1. Seems right. I do try to get their namesake when I go, but their menu is so great it’s hard to do it every time.

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