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The Sugar House's Yani Frye Mixes Up the Celebrated Last Word Cocktail

Welcome to The Hot Dish, a behind the scenes look at the making of the dishes of the moment. In honor of Classics Week, The Sugar House’s head bartender Yani Frye recreates a signature Detroit cocktail: The Last Word.

Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

A gin-based cocktail, The Last Word has a storied history in Detroit dating back to 1916. The Sugar House's head bartender Yani Frye starts off by peeling the limes and placing them in a hand-held juicer. The lime rind is cleverly branded with a "Detroit" logo, a technique Frye is experimenting with. The Last Word is "very classic, very sour, [and] a little herbaceous," Frye says, as he measures out the signature green Chartreuse, a French liqueur made by Carthusian Monks.

Frye says that while the beverage isn't the most popular on the bar's extensive menu (the beverage list hosts 100 classic cocktails, not to mention the original inventions and punch), it does make a good shot, poured into individual glasses for groups.

Finishing the measurements, Frye takes a moment to skewer three dark purple Maraschino cherries. The beverage's signature garnish, he explains, is sometimes confused with olives because they lack the bright red color of the ubiquitous Maraschino. "It's kind of funny how things were popular back in the day, but then become popular again," Frye remarks, pouring the green cocktail through a strainer and into the waiting coupe.

The Sugar House

2130 Michigan Avenue, , MI 48216 (313) 962-0123 Visit Website