MxMO – Superior Twists

April 13th, 2009

Mixology Monday - Superior Twists

Mixology Monday seems to come around faster and faster every month, so much so that lately I have been a little lax in taking part every month and in doing so have missed some superb topics. Thankfully though today I find myself sitting in Hamburg airport with an hour to kill and a perfect drink for this months theme – superior twists hosted by fellow Englishman Tristan Stephenson.

Tristan asks us to consider drink variations that “for one reason or another do an even better job than the drinks upon which they are based.” I’ve already written about several superb drinks that fall in to this category such as Bastian Heuser’s Guyana Manhattan, a Manhattan that replaces rye with Demerara rum, and Gonçalo de Sousa Monteiro’s Pegu Club variation, The Juniper Club Cocktail. Of course there is even the humble Oh Gosh!, a Daiquiri variation that if not superior is at least interesting.

The drink I’ve chosen, however, is a play on the Last Word – a cocktail that already defies common sense and logic by combining powerful ingredients like Chartreuse, Maraschino and gin, yet somehow manages to turn out delcious, complex yet incredibly balanced. Attempting to adjust such a recipe might seem foolhardy, but thankfully with a skilful bartender like Phil Ward of Death & Co. in New York you know you are in safe hands.

Photo to come…

Final Ward

View in: oz | ml | shots

Swapping gin for rye, and lime juice for lemon juice, the ingredient list for the Final Ward, like its progenitor the Last Word, doesn’t look like it would turn out very well on paper. In a cocktail glass, however, is another matter. A deliciously bright drink for a rye cocktail, the Final Ward is at once fresh, complex and very herbal with the strange interplay of the Maraschino and Chartreuse from the Last Word further deepened by the spicy, aromatic notes of the rye.

A wonderful drink indeed, and while it’s hard to find fault with the original Last Word for my money the Final Ward is even tastier and definitely qualifies at a superior twist

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Posted in Chartreuse, Maraschino, Mixology Monday, Recipes, Rye

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10 responses to “MxMO – Superior Twists”

  1. Jeremy Brooks Jeremy Brooks says:

    That sounds like an interesting twist. I’m definitely going to give that one a try….

  2. Mixology Monday XXVIII: The Round Up « The Wild Drink Blog says:

    [...] all the rules of combing powerful flavours together. In Jay’s superior twist, which is titled Final Word (credit to Phil Ward of Death & Co.), he replaces the Gin with Rye whisky. So, even more [...]

  3. The Concierge The Concierge says:

    Also worth noting, is Death & Co.’s “Pete’s Word,” which is a last word where the gin is swapped for Lophraig Scotch Whiskey. I supposed, however, that most Islay Single Malt’s will work as well (Finlaggan being less expensive but also very petey Islay malt is likely a good choice)

  4. The Concierge The Concierge says:

    [sic: supposed=suppose] [sic:Malt's=Malts]

  5. Jay Jay says:

    That sounds good The Concierge. Ever since falling in love with Penicillins I’ve been growing more and more fond of cocktails using Scottish whisky. Will definitely have to give that a try The Concierge!

  6. Tristan Tristan says:

    I had a ‘Final Ward’ at Milk & Honey last night, I reckon the spec was different to yours though, because the chartreuse didn’t come through as much as I expected. Still tasty though!

  7. Jay Jay says:

    Tristan – Yeah I think the one they server at Milk & Honey is a little heavier on the rye and lighter on the Chartreuse, though I believe the above is the original recipe. My first ever Final Ward was at Milk & Honey, not sure which recipe I prefer to be honest, both have their merits.

  8. Merlin Griffiths Merlin Griffiths says:

    Fantastic drink that Murray Stenson re-discovered, the Last Word. Continuing your adaptations I offer “Le Bon Mot” – swap out the Chartreuse for DOM Benedictine and keep the ratios the same 1:1:1:1. Cheers!

  9. Emerson Emerson says:

    Merlin – does the Bon Mot keep to rye as its base spirit, and lemon as its citrus, like the Final Ward, swapping in only the Benedictine? Or are you changing up the original Last Word, and so keeping the gin and lime? Thanks!

  10. Shaun Layton Shaun Layton says:

    The Witch……Try swapping rye for gin, lemon for lime, Strega for Chartreuse, keep the Merischino in there, add 2 dashes Peychaud

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