3rd #cocktail of #FridayNightCocktails on the 7th October: The Last Word
Our third and final cocktail this evening is The Last Word. The Last Word is a gin-based Prohibition-era cocktail originally developed at the Detroit Athletic Club. While the drink eventually fell out of favor, it enjoyed a renewed popularity after being rediscovered by the bartender Murray Stenson in 2004 during his tenure at the Zig Zag Café and becoming a cult hit in the Seattle area.
Thee is an IBA cocktail version of this cocktail which is made with 22.5ml of each ingredient, but we’ve opted for Simon Difford’s version which is a little more balanced.
The Last Word is a gin-based Prohibition-era cocktail originally developed at the Detroit Athletic Club, but eventually fell out of favour.
Add ice to a cocktail shaker.
Add all ingredients and shake until well chilled.
Strain into a cocktail glass.
it enjoyed a renewed popularity after being rediscovered by the bartender Murray Stenson in 2004 during his tenure at the Zig Zag Café and becoming a cult hit in the Seattle area.
The first publication in which the Last Word appeared was Ted Saucier's 1951 cocktail book Bottoms Up!. In it, Saucier states that the cocktail was first served around 30 years earlier at the Detroit Athletic Club and later introduced in New York by Frank Fogarty. Since this dates the creation of the drink to the first years of the prohibition (1919-1933), it is usually considered a prohibition era drink. A research in the archives of the Detroit Athletic Club by St. John Frizell revealed later that the drink was slightly older predating the prohibition era by a few years. It was already offered on the club's 1916 menu for a price of 35 cents (about $8.22 in 2019 currency) making it the club's most expensive cocktail at the time.
Fogarty himself was no bartender but one of the best known vaudevillian monologists (roughly comparable to today's stand-up comedians) of his time. Some assume that this occupation gave rise to the cocktail's name. Nicknamed the "Dublin minstrel" Fogarty often opened his performance with a song and ended it with a serious heartthrob recitation. In 1912 he won the New York Morning Telegraph contest for the best vaudeville artist and in 1914 he was elected president of The White Rats (vaudeville actors union). Around the time the cocktail was presumably created, Fogarty performed at the Temple theater in Detroit.
The cocktail however fell into oblivion sometime after World War II until it was rediscovered by Murray Stenson in 2004. Stenson was looking for a new cocktail for the Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle, when he came across an old 1952 copy of Saucier's book. Soon after being offered at the Zig Zag Cafe it became somewhat of cult hit in the Seattle and Portland areas and spread to cocktail bars in major cities worldwide. It also spawned several variations with The Final Ward probably being the best known among them. In addition its recipe reappeared in newer cocktail guides including the 2009 edition of the Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide.