Maraschino Liqueur and The Last Word

cocktails gin liqueur liqueur guide the boys club  -  2013-09-11
The elixir of long life
Photo by Alessio Fangano

I am sure you have seen the almost florescent unnatural jars of maraschino cherries in your grocery store, but this is not on our agenda for today. The original maraschino cherries come from the marasca cherry juice, after Luxardo Distilling Company makes, from it, their famous liqueur of the same name, Maraschino.

For any classic cocktail enthusiast, a bottle of Maraschino is a must have. It is part of many recipes from The Aviation to The Last Word, and Maraschino is used throughout the cocktail world for its light and sweet flavor. This tasty liqueur can also be used in place of a simple syrup in several recipes.

Maraschino’s prevalence throughout classic cocktails can be attributed to its production starting in the 18th century in Zadar*. By the end of the 18th century, the liqueur had become popular not only in Venice, but all throughout Europe. In fact, because of its popularity amongst several royal courts, the factory was entitled to use the royal coat-of-arms from Italy, Austria, and Great Britain.

Today, the factory still makes the Maraschino very much the same as it always has, and also sells the delicious Luxardo Maraschino cherries that should be added to your own manhattan cocktail. Although there are many cocktails that can be made with Maraschino, my favorite is The Last Word. It is a prohibition-era cocktail developed at the Detroit Athletic Club, but has had a renewal in recent years. A variation called The Final Say can be made by changing the gin for rye whiskey and the lime juice for lemon. It is sweet, and slightly tangy, but always makes for a lovely evening.

* At the time, Zadar was under Venetian control; however, now it is apart of Croatia.

The Last Word

The Last Word
Yield: 1 cocktail
Glasswear: cocktail glass
Tools: cocktail shaker, mesh strainer


  • 1 fl. oz. — gin
  • 1 fl. oz. — lime juice
  • 1 fl. oz. — green Chartreuse
  • 1 fl. oz. — Luxardo Maraschino


  1. Add ice and all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
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