Signs of a long-awaited spring are abundant. Couples sipping rosé at sidewalk-clogging restaurant tables. Just-sprouted blooms enlivening Prospect Park runs. Ladies eagerly showing off short new floral dresses -- lily-white legs be damned.
If there is a cocktail that best captures this beloved season of rebirth it's the Last Word, the early 20th-century drink that traces its roots to the Detroit Athletic Club. Marrying gin with green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and a hint of lime juice, this avocado-hued tipple is, as bartender Andrew Halden of Whitehall says, "bittersweet, with a cherry and almond edge. It has perfect balance."
In his version of the classic, Halden uses No. 3 London dry gin, with delightfully bright notes of juniper. "The spice and citrus blend well and complement the herbaceous Chartreuse and citric lime," he notes.
Each tart sip of the Last Word may conjure images of sunshine-streaked grass, but serving this drink has a more profound meaning for Halden: "I want customers to taste and learn a bit of America's cocktail history--the way I am every day."
The Last Word
3/4 oz. No. 3 London Dry Gin
3/4 oz. Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
Squeeze of lime juice
Shake ingredients together and strain into a coupe/cocktail glass.