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Cheers! The first Last Word and the Final Ward

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Tammy Coxen turns the Last Word into the Final Ward.

Cheers! episodes have been airing on Stateside on Michigan Radio for more than three-and-a-half years. Many of those cocktail recipes and the history behind them were gathered and accompanied by a history of drinking in Michigan. It’s all in a new book by Tammy Coxen and Lester Graham titled Cheers to Michigan.

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Ingredients for the Final Ward.

“I was looking back through the book and it inspired me to make a cocktail based on the very first cocktail we ever made on Cheers and the very first cocktail that's printed in the book,” Tammy said.

That first cocktail was the Last Word (find it here). It’s a very well balanced drink. But, it was lost for a time. It was rediscovered in 2004 and became very popular first in Seattle and then in craft cocktail bars across the nation.

"The original calls for gin, but you can substitute in pretty much any other kind of spirit and you still get a great cocktail. That's what we're going to do today. We’ll make a riff on that original and it's called the Final Ward. And it was created by a bartender in New York called Phil Ward," Tammy said.

The recipe replaces the gin with rye and substitutes lemon for lime.

“It's that combination of the rye and the lemon juice,” Tammy said, adding, “If you think about it, we tend to use lime more with gin and lemon more with whiskey. And so we're really kind of playing on those complimentary flavors here.”

Final Ward

3/4 oz Detroit City Distillery Homegrown Rye

3/4 oz Green Chartreuse

3/4 oz Maraschino liqueur

3/4 oz lemon juice

Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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