Originally published Jun 23,2014
CHEAPER VERSION OF THE LAST WORD
By far the biggest barrier to entering the homemade craft cocktail scene is the cost or perceived cost of making cocktails. There is a perception that these cocktail bars use expensive and rare ingredients. Every bar is in the business of selling a product so that means everyone is looking for the highest margin. This is where I have picked up on bottles that are labeled as 'bang for the buck'. These great priced spirits that when mixed with others to form a cocktail, is difficult to pick out the $45 dollar bottle from the $28 bottle. So for all you people that hate Gin and would rather drink Whiskey or Tequila, please continue hating on my preferred spirit. The public's lack of demand for Gin has pushed the price point for premium Gin to the mid $30s.
Most of you know by now that Green Chartreuse is one of the more beloved bottles that reside in my collection. The problem is that summer is here and most of my friends are looking for either a Last Word or Mezcal Last Word. Green Chartreuse is easily a upper $50 to low $60 bottle. If those monks raise the price again, this is going to turn into a serious problem. There has been no getting around the cost of making this drink until a recent visit to Laschet's Inn.
The kind folks at Laschet's Inn told me of a 'herby' liquor that a couple of folks enjoyed but cautioned it was strong. Escorial was the mystery green bottle that they were kind enough to pour our party a couple of shots and were amazed at our reaction. For starters, we don't do shots and instead sipped but each one of us instantly spouted: this is green chartreuse. A quick phone call to the Chef confirmed our suspicions: 'yes I told you, Germans make some it. not the same but close'.
Binny's has Escorial for $29.99 but don't expect to find this at every location.
Three times, I have made Mezcal Last Words for a group of people, few were able to determine a difference. For those thinking about doing this, think of it like using North Shore Distillery's Mighty Gin which has a higher proof in a Last Word, this will be the same effect using normal gin with Escorial.
Mezcal Last Word
- .75 oz of Mezcal
- .75 oz of Escorial
- .75 oz of Maraschino Liquor
- .75 oz of fresh squeezed lime juice
Shake with ice then strain into a cocktail glass garnished with a real maraschino cherry.
For those that want the real Last Word, replace the Mezcal above with your favorite Gin. If the French Monk's have internet access and are reading this, I still have love for you guys.
Don't forget to drink like a responsible adult