Look carefully, you may have mis-read the name of this cocktail. It’s not actually the Last Word – it’s The Final Ward, a somewhat famous variation on the famous cocktail.
Phil Ward created this cocktail during his tenure at Death & Co, and later went on to open another New York staple cocktail bar – Mayahuel. I consider this cocktail to be one part of a larger cocktail scene. Hard to believe 2005 is ten years ago now – but looking back, the influence of Ward and his Death & Co compatriots Brian Miller, Joaquin Simo and Alex Day is easy to see in the East Village today.
Ward replaced the traditional spirit of Gin with Rye whiskey – which then required swapping the lime for lemon juice. This simple swap results in an entirely different cocktail that’s just as great as the original.
Better yet, this one uses very few unusual ingredients, so as long as you have our good friend Chartreuse behind your bar, you can probably make this drink tonight! (Highly recommended, by the way.)