3/4 oz Gin <Boodles>
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur <Luxardo>
3/4 oz Lime Juice
Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
It’s almost April, which can only mean one thing…Masters Week! I have the privilege of attending Wednesday’s practice round this year, and could not be more excited. As such, I’ll be taking next week off*, but I knew whatever drink I wrote about today would be required to have Green Chartreuse in it, natch**. What better cocktail to choose than the one that introduced me to this herbaceous, floral liqueur…the Last Word.
I’ve already written other classics like the Manhattan, Aviation, and Martinez. This equal parts cocktail is at home in such company. Resurrected from the pre-prohibition era during the early stages of the craft cocktail movement, this drink brought a new and exciting flavor profile to many a bar patron. Like I said above, it also introduced Green Chartreuse to a whole new generation of drinkers (myself included), and we’re all better for it. Most liqueurs have some other bottles that are somewhat similar, but Green Chartreuse is as close to a one of a kind as one can get. First made by Carthusian Monks and said to contain 130 herbs, plants, and flowers, this is truly a unique tipple. Picture chewing on some herbs followed by a nice swig from a perfume bottle, but in the best possible way. And it’s probably the only liqueur that has an actual color named after it.
In the Last Word, the combination of gin, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lime juice is nothing short of amazing. The nose is very heavy on the botanicals, like the gin and Chartreuse are competing for the attention of your nostrils. On the sip, you get some of the trademark sweet earthiness from the maraschino liqueur. It almost provides the bed for all the floral flavors to dance around on your tongue. Everything finishes tart and dry as the lime and gin wrap it all up.
This drink never disappoints, and is a good way to get a quick read on what type of bar you’re in. My friend used it as her gauge on how crazy she could get with subsequent orders. If they delivered a well made one without barely batting an eye, she knew they had some cocktail chops. The other great thing is this is truly a plug-and-play cocktail. Keep the chartreuse and maraschino, and then swap out the base spirit and citrus to your heart’s content. Take it South of the border with a Mezcal Last Word (swap out the gin for Mezcal). Rye whiskey and lemon juice will yield the Final Ward. I made my own variation, the Closing Argument, by using white whiskey and keeping the lime juice. It’s a great way to experiment in a friendly environment. As a bonus, getting into Green Chartreuse game will automatically bump up your cocktail cred.
* Fear not, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a post next week. The wonderful Mrs. Muddle will be taking the reigns for her first guest post. Can’t wait to see what she has in store!
** For those not into the whole golf thing, the Masters is the first major tournament of the golf season, and the winner gets a green jacket. See what I did there.