The Last Word Cocktail

The Last Word Cocktail
Image of the Last Word Cocktail found on Reddit

As I continue to be confined to my house and not sliding up to cocktail bars around the world, I’m starting to look beyond the traditional martini to other classic gin cocktails.

Last Words continue to be one of my markers of excellence at a bar. It’s somewhat of a bartender’s handshake—any bartender worth his salt should know it, love it, and be happy to whip one up on- or off-menu. 

Which isn’t a big ask considering the equal-parts cocktail, no-garnish doesn’t require a lot of thinking. That’s how it became my staple cocktail as a working sommelier. When a customer was looking for something more creative than a martini, Last Word is what I would immediately recommend (Keep in mind we’re a wine spot, so our bar options were limited). 

But I quickly noticed that dropping words like Green Chartreuse and maraschino was off-putting to the standard drinker—unfamiliar ingredients that don’t offer a lot of name appeal. So I started offering them “a fun little herby, citrusy, gin-based number.” 

We started selling dozens a night. Grandmas were drinking Last Words. Chardonnay-loving wine moms were drinking Last Words and, miniature Last Words became the shot of choice.

The prohibition-era drink (dating back to the Detroit Athletic Club in 1915) is light, bright, clean, and crisp—herbaceous and playful; it’s low-key, a crowd-pleasing cocktail. 

The Last Word

The Last Word by Yancy
The Last Word found on Instagram @yancyvioli



  • Shake with ice
  • Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass
  • No garnish

To see lasts weeks martiniThe Breakfast Martini.

Kate Dingwall
Kate Dingwall
Kate Dingwall is a writer and editor, primarily covering the spirits and travel world. Her work has appeared in, Wine Enthusiast,, MAXIM Magazine, DuJour Magazine, Eater, VinePair, Culture Trip, Canada's 100 Best Restaurants, and a number of other publications, online and print. Outside of writing, she is a sommelier and an avid martini drinker.

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