Perfection in Four Parts



3/4 oz Pineapple Rum [Plantation Stiggins Fancy]
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz lime juice

Shake ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with lemon twist.

The Last Word.  You can almost consider it the poster child for resurrected classic cocktails.  Manhattans and Martinis never really went away, they just got the care and respect they deserve with the cocktail renaissance.  The Last Word?  Well, nobody even heard of it before it was revived in 2004, and it soon became the darling of the pre-prohibition era drinks.Created in the early 19-teens at the Detroit Athletic Club, the combination of gin, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino Liqueur, and lime juice is both citrusy and spirit forward.   It also has some more unique flavors thanks to the Chartreuse and Maraschino liqueyr. It’s not all that surprising then that it fell out of favor after prohibition, only to be resurrected by Murray Stenson at the Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle in 2004.  It caught on pretty quickly in the burgeoning cocktail revival, and spurred new interest in  (at that point) more esoteric bottles like Chartreuse and Maraschino.  It became a pretty good signifier of a bar’s cocktail cred – if it was on the menu (and well made) you knew you were in the right place.

Even better, the template of equal parts base spirit, herbal liqueur, fruit/sweet liqueur, citrus has endless possibilities.  That’s why my instagram pal Mike @mmydrinks created the #wehavethelastword campaign last year, where he encouraged the drinkstagram community to showcase their own variations on the rediscovered classic.  Needless to say, people were enthusiastic in their participation.  So much so he’s decided to run it back for another week, and here we are.


I started with the middle bits of the template, using Yellow Chartreuse for the herbal liqueur and Benedictine for the sweet.  These two bottles go wonderfully together, now I just had to find the right base spirit.  As I scanned my bar, my eyes fell on the bottle of Stiggins Fancy Pineapple Rum from Plantation.  That’s the one.  There is no way this drink won’t work.

After mixing it up (with lime juice to round it all out), my hunch was proved correct.  Lots of warm spices and molasses on the nose, accentuated by pineapple and herbs.  The sip is strong, yet drinkable.  Pineapple moves to the front and you get more herbaceousness from the chartreuse.  The Benedictine keeps everything very smooth, while the citrus gives a zesty counterpoint of a high note.  The finish is more molasses and pineapple, with the chartreuse and lime lingering at the end.

It’s always fun to play in the Last Word playground.  Sometimes all you need is a good set of constraints to get the creative juices flowing.

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