Remix is all about digging up forgotten classic cocktails and giving them their moment in the limelight – and then, of course, messing with them. But I usually hope readers try the originals as well as my variations, both for comparison's sake and because a lot of these lesser-known drinks are hidden gems. (Then again, there are drinks like the Blood and Sand, which ... nope.)
The Last Word certainly falls into the forgotten classic category. I'm willing to wager that it's not often ordered at local bars (Orlando bartenders? Weigh in), but it should be; it's a weird combination of seemingly disparate spirits that unexpectedly mesh perfectly in the glass.
Like so many of our classics, it's Prohibition-vintage, hence the gin base – but the Luxardo and Chartreuse are unusually modern additions, not to mention the lime. The herbal notes of gin and Chartreuse play well together, the Luxardo Maraschino sweetens the deal, and the lime gives the whole thing a pretty pale-green tint.
While my Remix update is, I think, at least as tasty as the original, I'm afraid it isn't the same pleasing hue, but you can't have everything. To give it seasonal appeal, I subbed spicy rye for the gin (and lemon for the lime; I rarely like lime with whiskey). That brought out some of the maraschino's bitterness, which was hidden in the gin-Chartreuse interplay of the original, while not downplaying that herbal aroma at all.
This Last Word is Thanksgiving-appropriate in more than one way – it's an even-ratio recipe (1:1:1:1), so it's easy to scale up to make a batch for a crowd. (Just remember, if you're stirring in a pitcher instead of shaking with ice, to add some cold water.) And during these holiday gatherings, thanks should always be the last word.
Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a coupe glass. remixed
Pour all the ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake well and strain into a coupe or other stemmed glass; garnish with fresh rosemary twig.