When life gives you limes, makes classic cocktails

by Justin D'Olier on March 31, 2011 | Comments Off on When life gives you limes, makes classic cocktails |

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But, when life gives you 20 organic limes, make cocktails. (I believe that’s how the saying goes. I might be paraphrasing.)

Last week Monday I ended up with more organic limes than I knew what to do with so I took the logical course of action and asked Twitter for drink recipes. Twitter is a strange tool: part communication device, part advertising medium, part tool for sharing the glory of the best music video in the history of the world (If you’re not familiar with Friday by Rebecca Black, you’re welcome). The one area where Twitter really shines is crowd-sourcing. Ask a random question, get a bunch of answers. Some topical, some insightful, some insulting your manhood and calling you obscene names (The best part of the internet is that everyone has a voice. Sadly that’s also the worst part of the internet), but generally helpful insight and opinions.

In order to solve my organic citrus crisis, I tweeted: “20 organic limes have come into my possession. I am in dire need of cocktail recipes that include lime juice. Thoughts?”. Less than an hour later, bartender extraordinaire Kyle Reutner (@Paradiseonrocks) came to my rescue: “last word or final ward are great lime juice cocktails”.

Crisis averted.

A quick Google search informed me that Last Word and Final Ward are two variations of a prohibition era cocktail. The drinks call for equal portions of gin (Last Word) or rye (Final Ward), lime juice, maraschino liqueur, and Chartreuse.

Simple preparation. Complex flavors. Obscure, yet accessible ingredients. Exactly what I was looking for, except for one tiny problem: I didn’t have maraschino liqueur or Chartreuse.

Last Word

The obligatory artsy cocktail photo

Of course, it’s not exactly like I need an excuse to buy booze, so, after a quick trip to Fujioka’s and Tamura’s (I try to spread the love around, plus Fujioka’s didn’t have maraschino liqueur), I had everything I needed to enjoy some classic cocktails.

 

Both drinks are fantastic, strong, and completely unlike the modern flavored martini. Chartreuse has a bizarre herbal flavor that takes some getting used to, but keeps you coming back for more. It balances beautifully with the tart lime juice and just slightly sweet maraschino liqueur. The gin (or rye) provide the perfect kick in the pants to smooth the strong flavors of the other ingredients.

Different, but delicious.

Last Word
3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz Chartruese

Final Ward
3/4 oz rye whiskey
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz Chartruese

Directions: Shake (or stir) all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Close your eyes, imagine you’re in a speakeasy, take a sip and enjoy the delicious flavors of a forgotten era.

(Note: Some versions of Final Ward substitute lemon juice for lime juice, but I don’t have 20 organic lemons, so screw those recipes.)

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