The Last Word and the Hemingway Daiquiri are two beloved classic cocktails that you’ll typically find popping up early at bars dipping their toes into the crafty drinking waters. They come with plenty of history. The Regal Beagle in Brookline provides an irresistible wrinkle to the drink: Their Hemingway’s Last Word, as you can surmise from its name, combines the two drinks in one.
“They both get ordered a lot here by people who know their classic cocktails,” says Regal Beagle bar manager Grant Anderson. “I figured it would be a fun way to present both of them.” The sharp, herbal, lightly sweet Last Word, a Prohibition-era cocktail first served at the Detroit Athletic Club, as the story goes, was rediscovered about 10 years ago at Seattle’s Zig Zag Cafe; it soon spread throughout the country.
The structure of four equal parts (gin, lime juice, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur) makes it perfectly suited for endless variations. The Hemingway Daiquiri, as with most cocktail lore and Hemingway mythology, has competing genesis narratives, but ultimately amounts to a sturdier pour of rum than typical, and the addition of grapefruit juice to the standard lime, plus a touch of Maraschino.
It was the commonality of the Maraschino, the almondy-sweet liqueur, and lime juice, which connected the dots for Anderson. The result is a good combination of two refreshing, crisp, summery apertifs that pack a strong punch, as Hemingway would’ve liked, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it from the flavor profile.
Using aged, assertive Old Monk rum instead of a silver rum proved his recipe’s most interesting change. The intense maple and vanilla notes remain present against the sourness of the citrus and Maraschino. “It definitely is a strong-flavored rum, but with other ingredients it goes pretty well,” says Anderson. “It has that robust flavor, but when mixing with Maraschino and green Chartreuse, which also have strong flavors, the marriage is sort of perfect.”
Luke O’Neil can be reached at email@example.com.