In this space, I will rate drinks by several measures with the idea being to both figure out which drinks I like the best and to compare iterations of the same drink. This recipe is courtesy of a Jason Wilson Washington Post column.
- 3/4 ounce gin (Plymouth)
- 3/4 ounce lime juice
- 3/4 ounce green Chartreuse
- 3/4 ounce maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
Directions:Shake ingredients with ice and strain, preferably into a martini glass.
Taste (flavor, balance, and clarity): 9
This delicious cocktail deftly balanced the very strong notes of maraschino and chartreuse. Previously, I’ve found lowering maraschino content in drinks because it overpowers the aftertaste – and not in a good way. The Last Word, one of my first forays into green Chartreuse, twists between the Chartreuse and the maraschino from fist touch on the tongue to the aftertaste, with the lime as a backdrop and the gin providing weight. As strong as the flavors are, the drink was pretty refreshing, probably from the lime juice. Not quite my favorite drink but pretty close, the Last Word possesses a pleasing and unique taste.
Versatility (when and for who the drinks works): 8
My wife typically doesn’t like really strong drinks but she liked it quite a bit, though she thought the aftertaste was a bit funny. I haven’t had the chance to let any friends sample the drink, but I think my buddies will enjoy it. The Last Word works in a number of venues and isn’t seasonal. I think that this drink is one that you want to sip and enjoy and perhaps break out on special occasions. If it were music, it would be something that you played to listen to and not to serve as background.
Hassle (cost and time): 6
The Last Word is pretty expensive. In addition to the limes, the expensive Chartreuse and Luxardo maraschino liquor can’t be substituted for. I also used pricey Plymouth gin, which save for what I think of as more delicate drinks, using Beefeater or Bombay Sapphire for certain others. On the plus side, despite juicing limes, it didn’t take too long to make.
Final Score: 8
I don’t think that the Last Word will be on my regular rotation or I’ll be serving when hosting too many parties because it uses top shelf stuff and takes a bit of time to make. It’s somewhat wasted as a social lubricant. However, when I’m feeling a thoughtful and in the mood for something a bit different from the typical Manhattan or Negroni or want to introduce a new drink to someone, I’ll break this out.
No major changes come to mind. Next time, I might slightly lower the maraschino to bring out more of the Chartreuse. Doing so would also require slightly decreasing the lime for balance.