Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Sep 13, 2012

The Italian's Last Word

This coming Sunday marks the season 3 premiere of "Boardwalk Empire," and how could the Lush Chef not be a fan of a show about Prohibition?  I've been enjoying cocktails with Green Chartreuse lately, which seems to be experiencing a resurgence (expect a Libation Education on it soon) and ran across a Prohibition-era cocktail recipe that contains it.  "The Last Word" was created at the Detroit Athletic Club back in the 1920's.  So proud of my home state!  The drink was then popularized, and the name perhaps inspired by, a vaudevillian named Frank Fogarty who introduced it to New York.  In 1951, it got published in Ted Saucier's cocktail book Bottoms Up!, but then the drink kind of disappeared after World War II.  When the classic cocktail movement started, a bartender in Seattle brought the drink back to life.

The drink contains equal parts gin, Green Chartreuse, lime juice and Maraschino liqueur.  I didn't have any Maraschino, but I had just bought a bottle of Averna (another Libation Education coming!) and thought this Italian bittersweet liqueur would be an interesting substitute.  The bitterness perfectly balances with the sourness from the lime juice.  I also added in a brandied cherry to still get a little bit of that flavor.  Nucky Thompson would be proud.  After all, he likes to have the last word.

The Italian's Last Word
  • 3/4 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 oz gin (I used No. 3 London Dry Gin)
  • 3/4 oz Averna
  • 3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
  • 1 brandied or Luxardo cherry
- Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with some ice and shake.
- Add a cherry into the bottom of a chilled coupe glass, and strain the drink in.