The Last Word Cocktail History

The Last Word cocktail is a classic pre-prohibition drink with a heavy blend of sweet, sour and herbaceous notes. The drink was created by famous monologist, Frank Fogarty at the Detroit Athletic Club in 1915. 

Frank was practically a stand-up comedian of that era. The recipe name is a nod to his performances. Ted saucier published The Last Word recipe in his 1951 cocktail book “Bottoms Up.” However, shortly after the cocktail had fallen out of fashion and was almost forgotten until decades later. 

It wasn’t until the early aughts at the start of the cocktail renaissance that it saw its revival. Murray Stenson gave The Last Word life once again after finding it in Saucier’s book. 

Working at Seattle’s Zig Zag Café, He shook the drink for many before it became a staple across the country.

Before long The Last Word cocktail has spread across the US. Loved for its balance of sweet, sour and herbaceous flavours. The drink calls for equal parts of gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and fresh lime. Making the drink a lovely pale green colour. 

However, we like to up the gin slightly to cut through some of the sweetness.


The Last Word Cocktail Ingredients

Gin: We like to opt for something like Rutte dry gin. An elegant Dutch dry that is flavoured with classic botanicals including Fennel. You want to choose a gin that stands up to the powerful taste of Chartreuse so this or a London dry gin will work.

Green Chartreuse: The French herbal liqueur Chartreuse exists in two variations, green and yellow, each with a slightly different taste and alcohol content.

According to a manuscript provided by François Annibal d’Estrées in 1605, the Carthusian monks have been making the liqueur since 1737. Located in the Chartreuse Mountains of France’s Grenoble region, it was named after the monks’ Grande Chartreuse monastery.

Aiguenoire is home to the distillery that produces the liqueur. The liqueur is made from distilled alcohol aged with 130 herbs, plants, and flowers. This is probably the greatest success story of when science and the church work together!

Luxardo maraschino Liqueur: A liqueur distilled from Marasca cherries. A very unique taste and not everyone’s favourite! The marasca cherry is used for making maraschino liqueur. The peculiar flavour of this liqueur is derived from the small fruit of the wild Tapiwa cherry tree found along Croatia’s Dalmatian coast.

During the harvest of Luxardo marasca cherries at the beginning of every summer, they are infused with alcohol and other plants as part of a three-year infusion in larch vats. In traditional copper pot stills, the liquid and solid parts of the mixture are distilled together, with the heart separated from the heads and tails. Ash-wood vats are then used only to mature the distillate’s heart.

In the final step of the process, liqueur is made by adding water and sugar to the distillate, lowering the ABV to 32%.

Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed for the best flavour.

How to make The Last Word Cocktail Recipe

  1. Prep your ingredients: Add your gin, Chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur and lime juice to a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake vigorously.
  2. Shakey Shakey: Close your shaker and shaker hard for a good 10 – 12 seconds.
  3. Straining time: Using your tea strainer to catch all the ice shards and double strain into a chilled coupette glass. 
  4. Garnish: Squeeze a lime twist over the top for the essential oils before discarding then add a Maraschino cherry or some rosemary and serve!

Last Word

A prohibition era cocktail brought back to life in the turn of the 21st century. The last word cosists of gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino and lime juice.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: classic cocktails, Last word
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 185kcal
Cost: $6



  • 30 ml Gin Rutte Dry
  • 20 ml Green Chartreuse Liqueur
  • 20 ml Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 20 ml Fresh Lime Juice
  • 10 ml Chilled Water


  • Add your gin, Chartreuse, Maraschino, chiled water and ice to a cocktail shaker.
  • Close your shaker and shake hard for a good 10 - 12 seconds.
  • Using your tea strainer to catch ice shards, double strain into a chilled coup glass 
  • Squeeze a lime twist over the top for the essential oils before discarding then add a maraschino cherry and serve!


Calories: 185kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Last Word Cocktail Variation

Cocktails can’t get much better than The Last Word. Yet as with many classics, creative bartenders, whether professional or at-home, have learned to add their own spin to the cocktail.

Sam Ross, a NYC barkeep, invented the Paper Plane in 2008 as a bourbon-based version of the original. Californian bar operator Rick Dobbs adapted The Last Word by substituting smoky mezcal for gin. He named the drink Last of The Oaxacans. A good brand to choose is Del Maguey Vida, emphasising the earthy, savoury taste of mezcal.

We like to use a slightly stronger gin something like Plymouth Navy Strength to cut through the sweetness of the Chartreuse. 

Swapping out the base spirit and leaving the rest of the ingredients as they are is they way to go. You could also look at infusing your gin with apple mint for a fresh addition.

Receive the latest news!
Subscribe To Our Monthly Newsletter

Get notified about all our bite-sized food and drink content.

More To Explore
Kad Kokoa chocolate
Thai Cacao and the Bean-to-Bar Revolution

Thailand’s newfound and consistently growing craze for local cacao takes Gastronomer Lifestyle to farms in Prachuap Khiri Khan, from which artisanal chocolate makers like Kad Kokoa source their beans.

Receive the latest news
Subscribe To Our Monthly Newsletter

Get notified about all our bite-sized food and drink content.