Spelling Check

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.

The Difference

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.)


The Last Ward

The Final Ward

This may be one of the most famous cocktail variations – Phil Ward’s “The Final Ward” cocktail, a take on The Last Word.
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  • 3/4 oz Rye Whiskey Sonoma Distilling Company
  • 3/4 oz Green Chartreuse Green Chartreuse
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz Maraschino Luxardo


  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
  • (Optional) Garnish with Maraschino cherries.