On the biggest bar night of the year, the night before Thanksgiving, Dave and I visited The Last Word in Ann Arbor. I had been the The Last Word once before with the Ann Arbor Food Bloggers and Writers Meet-up, but I only tried the cocktails on that occasion. The name of the bar is taken from the cocktail of the same name. The Last Word is a gin based prohibition-era cocktail originally developed at the Detroit Athletic Club. It’s made with gin, lime juice, Green Chartreuse, and maraschino liqueur.
The cocktail menu at The Last Word is fairly large, so there was a lot to choose from. I originally ordered the Port Flip, which I had tried previously, but they were out of port. Upon recommendation from our server, I ordered the Van Tassel Flip and I’m so glad I did! It was fabulous! It was made with Ichabod Liqueur (a housemade liquer using New Holland Ichabod pumpkin ale blended with nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and sugar, then fortified with brandy), apple brandy, egg yolk, nutmeg. Now don’t make a face at the inclusion of a raw egg yoke in this drink. If the eggs come from a reputable source and you’re not immune-compromised, then there’s no reason to be squeamish. The egg adds a rich, creaminess.
Dave ordered an Ichabod Sour, which was made with Rhum Barbancourt (aged rum), Ichabod Liqueur, fresh lemon juice, honey syrup, and Wormwood bitters. He really enjoyed his drink too. It’s just sad that we can’t recreate either at home because of the housemade Ichabod Liqueur, but all the more reason to visit again and soon as their menu changes seasonally.
The Last Word also has a fairly decent sized food menu. We ordered the Mergues sliders, empanadas, provoleta, and beignets. Everything was delicious! The Mergues sliders were small lamb burgers seasoned with harissa and ground fennel, red cabbage slaw, and mint yogurt. They were very moist and flavorful.
We ordered the provoleta out of curiosity. The provolone was seared on the grill and seasoned with za’atar and served with toast. I had heard of za’atar (a generic name for a family of related Middle Eastern herbs including oregano, basil thyme, thyme, and savory), but I had never tried it. The cheese was melted and a little crispy in spots. The za’atar added nice flavor to the creamy cheese.
Next up were the empanadas, which I don’t have an official description for, but they were filled with ground pork and served with a creamy sauce that had a bit of a kick. The empanadas had a very crispy shell and were served piping hot. The sauce really made the dish, I wish it had come with more of it.
We also ordered a second drink, which we also both enjoyed. The Pro Whale for me and the Manhattan #2 for Dave. The Pro Whale was made with Zaya rum, falernum (a sweet syrup containing almond, ginger, clove, allspice, vanilla, and lime), brandied cherry juice, Aztec chocolate bitters. And the Manhattan #2 was made with Rittenhouse Rye, Punt e Mes Vermouth, house bitters, and a brandied cherry. It was Whiskey Wednesdays so I think Dave got a discount on his drink, though I don’t remember what. We also got happy hour prices (I think it was 15% off) of our first round of drinks which was a nice bonus.
Finally we ordered the beignets, something we had our eye on since the moment we took a look at the menu. They’re made to order and served with salted caramel sauce, berries, and cardamom clove powdered sugar. They were fabulous, simply heavenly. The beignets were light and crispy and packed a lot of flavor on their own. The caramel and berry sauces were a great addition, again we would have liked more.
We’ll definitely be checking out the Last Word again and soon. The cozy atmosphere, good service, tasty food, and delicious cocktails will have us coming back for more. Highly recommend!