The Gothamist reports that an unassuming little hardware store at 31-30 Ditmars Boulevard between 31st and 33rd Streets in Astoria is offering a lot more than nuts and bolts, garden hoses, and caulk.
Inside Square Hardware—hidden behind displays of industrial lubricants, saw blades, and cleansers—you’ll find “lubricants” of a totally different nature.
Hootch, booze, spirits, firewater, moonshine. Whatever you call alcohol—the cocktail kind—it’s in the back behind curtains that would normally hide the stock room.
The speakeasy’s called The Last Word.
The name mirrors that of a Prohibition cocktail invented in 1916 and debuted at the Detroit Athletic Club. It was mentioned in a 1950s cocktail book, Bottoms Up by Ted Saucier, and later was revived and popularized by folks in Seattle’s cocktail scene last decade.
According to their website, “Our main Cocktail menu rotates frequently and highlights the seasonal availability of produce, industry trends, and our staff’s current obsessions.
“Our Food or Cocktail Companion menu features a handful of delicious snacks to complement our craft cocktails.
“We proudly pour only craft Beer and the ones we serve are some of the finest examples of their respective styles.”
The next time that I’m in New York, I’m grabbing an N train, or the Q, and heading to Astoria. Meantime here’s the recipe for
The Last Word cocktail
Equal parts gin, chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice, this is an old-fashioned cocktail that feels wonderfully refreshing and modern. Its equally-portioned ingredients make for easy up-scaling: mix up a triple or quadruple batch to serve several drinkers at once.
3⁄4 oz. gin
3⁄4 oz. green Chartreuse
3⁄4 oz. maraschino liqueur, like Luxardo
3⁄4 oz. fresh lime juice
Twist of lime for garnish
Vigorously shake all ingredients together with ice. Strain into a martini glass or a coupe and garnish with lime twist. Makes one cocktail.