A few words on The Last Word

I love the holidays. From Thanksgiving to January 2, it’s a nonstop whirlwind–a celebration of friends and family mixed with evergreen smells and sparkly things and snuggly cashmere sweaters. And of course, the fact that it’s prime season for cocktail parties doesn’t hurt.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my favorite cocktails and small bites for at-home entertaining. First up is a cocktail that’s near and dear to my heart: The Last Word. This cocktail, a Prohibition-era classic, combines equal parts gin, fresh lime juice, maraschino liqueur, and green Chartreuse to create a drink that is complex, balanced, slightly tart, and just a tad herbal. It’s shaken and served up.

But here’s the best part about the Last Word. It’s delicious, yes–but it’s also incredibly flexible. By swapping out any one of the four components, you can create an entirely different drink. As long as you keep your substitutions within the same category and taste the drink for balance and sweetness before you serve it, it’s pretty difficult to go wrong. And that means as long as you have a base spirit, fresh citrus of some kind, a sweet liqueur, and an herbal liqueur in your bar, you can impress guests by throwing together a solid cocktail in just a few seconds.

Some of my favorite variations:

You’ll see that I’ve adjusted some of the quantities to reflect a certain component’s strength or bitterness, but the basic ratio of four even parts is always a good starting point when you’re building a new cocktail.

Definitely let me know if you come up with a great variation. Happy drinking!

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