Finding an old drink recipe to mix up is part of the attraction to all this cocktail lore. Sipping a drink mixed years ago gives you a chance to connect with folks a generation or two past. One drink that fits that bill is the Last Word. It’s been written about across the web, which is how I suppose I stumbled across it. The ingredient list is tempting. I had some Chartreuse and some maraschino picked up to make various forms of daiquiris. Rum comes second to gin for me. After making my share of daiquiris though, I still had a good portion of each liquor left over. The Last Word was a drink that could consume some of each.

The Last Word is made from one part each of gin, Chartreuse, maraschino and lime juice. I like gin, I like lime and I like the symmetry of a drink composed of equal parts. Very easy to remember after you’ve had a couple and need to mix more for your guest. I made one a few nights back. Not bad. The lime was too dominant. The maraschino also sticks it’s head up too much. Last night I played around with it a bit more.

Last week there was a Chartreuse ad from the 70s for sale on eBay. It gave a recipe for a drink called “Swamp Water,” six parts pineapple juice, one part Chartreuse. It struck me as a not-good-way to waste Chartreuse. That said, maybe mixing pineapple and Chartreuse together was worth a try. I made a drink substituting fresh pineapple juice for the lime. Not good, insipid from lack of acidity. Next try: 3/4 ounce of each liquor and the pineapple plus a 1/2 ounce lime juice. This was better but the Maraschino remained way too dominate. One last try gave this:

Last Word from the Swamp
3/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce Chartreuse
1/2 ounce Maraschino
3/4 ounce Pineapple Juice
1/2 ounce lime juice

Shake and strain. Good drink for the person who likes maraschino. The pineapple was not too prominent which is why I suppose someone thought to put six parts of it to one part Chartreuse.

I had an “ah ha” moment at work today. I have a bottle of Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur, this from a run at making Ginger Daiquiris (see a theme?). I like that drink and think it is the best thing I’ve come up with to date. It was a short leap from that to this (second best drink to date):

Next Word
3/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce Chartreuse
3/4 ounce Ginger Liqueur
1/2 ounce lime juice
dash of Maraschino

Shake and strain, garnish with one maraschino soaked cherry.

I used some of the liquor the cherries had been soaking in for my maraschino dash. It is a little red and did muddy the drink color a bit. Use straght from the bottle maraschino if you want to keep the faint lime color. The amount of lime juice to use could vary with the acidity of your limes.

There is plenty of maraschino aroma off the drink, but the Chartreuse takes center stage. The ginger is subtle and I think a perfect compliment to the botanicals of the gin and Chartreuse. I think I need one more to confirm that observation. cheers

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