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'The Last Word" Cocktail with Green Chartreuse

A little known cocktail with a long history.


I had never heard of this cocktail until reading about the pre-prohibition days and knew little about green chartreuse.


This cocktail is said to have been created in the early 1900's by then popular vaudeville performer, Frank Fogarty. Named after Fogarty because he always had 'the last word' in every conversation. It was first on the Detroit Athletic menu in 1916 and was known for its tartness as were many cocktails in pre-prohibition days.


This cocktail has once again become popular across America.


The key ingredient to this cocktail is green chartreuse. A 400 year old herbal elixir, i


troduced to the public in 1737 as a medicinal. Yes, the color chartreuse comes from the elixir. The original recipe is thought to be created by a 16th century alchemist and gifted to the monks by Francois-Annibal d'Estrees, an officer for King Henry IV. It took the order 132 years to unravel the complex recipe known as "Elixir of Long Life."


Throughout history, the ingredients in this elixir are known only to two Carthusian monks of La Grande Chartreuse, making it one of the spirit worlds' most guarded secrets. The monks take a vow of silence and live in simplicity and solitude.


We do know that it is made with wine alcohol aged in 130 very specific plants and flowers and is 110 proof. The rich history of the liqueur rivals the flavor, here is a brief version.

In 1903 the monks of La Grande Chartreuse were exiled to Spain by the French government and the distillery was nationalized. The French attempted to recreate the green liqueur lasted for 26 years to no real success and then folded. All this time the monks were making their elixir in Tarragona, Spain. After the closure, a group of local business men purchased the distillery and gifted back to the monks.


The flavor of green Chartreuse is very sweet but also spicy and pungent, often characterized as intensely floral and herbaceous. Today a Yellow Chartreuse is made by the same monks. It is lighter in flavor and alcohol.




The Last Word

3/4 oz gin

3/4 oz maraschino liqueur "Luxardo"

3/4 oz. green Chartreuse

3/4 oz. lime juice

Lime twist as garnish


Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 15 seconds. Double strain and garnish.



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