This ambitious cocktail is inspired by the classic prohibition-era Last Word cocktail and Baccarat’s spectacular Tsar Glass.
The Last Word was created by Vaudeville performer Frank Fogarty – aka the “Dublin Minstrel” at Detroit’s Athletic Club Bar in the 1920’s. It consists of equal parts Gin, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino Liqueur, and lime juice. A menu from the Club lists the cost of the cocktail at .35 cents, which made it the most expensive drink at the club during that time.
The Tsar glass was designed in 1909 for Nicholas II, who fell in love with Baccarat in 1896 during his honeymoon in Paris. It sparkled at suppers and sumptuous festivities that combined opulence and grandeur with lavish dishes. Such was the passion of the Russian Court for Baccarat that at their factory, an entire furnace with 1000 workers was dedicated to satisfy any whim coming from the Tsars.
The hotel’s Culinary Director, Two-Michelin starred Chef Gabriel Kreuther of Gabriel Kreuther Restaurant in New York City, created this regal garnish exclusively for L’Imperial. An Amarena cherry is hand-pressed with gold leaf set atop saffron – the most expensive spice in the world. This decadent nod to one of the Last Word’s four main ingredients, maraschino liqueur, creates a vivid contrast to the cocktail’s pure elements.
Nolet’s Gin Reserve
Crafted by Carolus Nolet Sr. with astute attention to balance, exclusivity, and quality, he personally approves each bottle of Nolet’s Reserve before it is bottled. Verbena and the most expensive spice in the word, saffron, are used in its production to bring this unique gin to life.
Vintage Green Chartruese circa 1921 to 1926
Chartruese is already a mainstay in the cocktail world, and is respected for the dedication for the monks who make it have in ensuring it is perfect every time. While keeping the recipe of the 140 botanicals secret, Chartruese is the only spirit proven to evolve in the bottle over time. The Chartruese used in L’Imperial is the rarest of elements that gives this cocktail its edge, identity, mystique and exclusivity.
This is aged in cherry oak to pay homage to the Last Word’s classic cherry garnish. This process dilutes the overwhelming aromatics of the maraschino, bringing out deeper, complex dried fruit, stone fruit notes, and a hint or floral.
Clarified Lime Juice
This in-house clarification process removes any impurities and cloudiness from the juice, leaving the bright refreshing citrus notes while adding a rich velvety texture to the drink once it is shaken.
Beluga Vodka Caviar Pearls with Kaffir Lime
Created by Antoine Hodge, Bar & Spirits Director, Baccarat Hotel New York:
“Having just acquired an ‘impossible-to-get’ vintage bottle of green chartreuse circa 1921-1926 from France, I was very intrigued and felt as if I was holding a piece of history in my hands. This drove me to do the unexpected and use it in a cocktail. After all, great things in life are created to be enjoyed in life. Knowing Chartreuse was a staple in
the Last Word cocktail, it seemed only fitting to recreate this timeless drink. My vision for
it was focused on its history and simplicity with a desire to elevate it through the use of premier ingredients, rare spirits, and a glass that takes your breath away.”
The Baccarat Tsar Glass:
The Tsar glass is a masterpiece of intense labor and skill that requires unique expertise. It is double cased with colored crystal covering the clear crystal which is then cut to
reveal the splendor within. Only the best artisans in France - Meilleurs Ouvriers de France - can accomplish this wonder. To this day, Baccarat still receives special orders for the Tsar glass from connoisseurs all over the world looking to acquire a truly exceptional piece. $3,600.
Price of L’Imperial:
$5,000 with Tsar Glass keepsake
$1,400 cocktail alone