Tom's Foolery Cocktail

Lost Lantern Tom’s Foolery Cocktail: Zyzzyva

To go along with Lost Lantern’s Spring 2024 Collection, the Midwest Collection, our California state manager, Drew Record, has prepared a series of cocktails. There are seven unique releases in the Midwest Collection and Drew has created a cocktail to showcase each one of the releases. Next up in the series is our Tom’s Foolery Rye Cocktail – Zyzzyva. 

Lost Lantern Tom’s Foolery Cocktail: Zyzzyva

Zyzzyva Cocktail: The Story

When diving into cocktails of the Midwest, the Detroit Athletic Club cannot be ignored. Chief among the cocktails invented by Frank Fogarty and co there is the Last Word. Invented in 1915, this combination of gin, green chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lime juice were the beginning framework for many equal parts cocktails that would follow. This cocktail may have never been revived had it not become a favorite of Murray Stenson, then at the Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle. Murray, who recently passed away, was the consummate bartender’s bartender.

First it must be said that he was incredibly kind. Just such a warm and giving soul. He remembered what everyone who sat at his bar drank, he always had a joke to share, and was constantly going back to the books to find interesting drinks to share with his regulars. Because of Murray, the Last Word started to become a handshake of West Coast bartenders at the start of the aughts. Eventually the acclaim of that drink made its way east and in New York that equal parts, four ingredient template became a benchmark of what Phil Ward called the Mr. Potato head approach to cocktails.

This is where modern classics like the Paper Plane and the Naked and Famous come from. Phil’s own take on the Last Word, which he called the Final Ward, serves as the inspiration for Zyzzyva. Keeping his Rye and lemon and swapping out Chartreuse for the earthiness of Suze, this cocktail only shares maraschino and the formula from the original Last Word all those years ago. It even deviates from the equal parts slightly, dropping the proportion of maraschino liqueur a touch to allow the aggressive Suze and delightful Lost Lantern Tom’s Foolery Single Cask take center stage. 

The Oxford English Dictionary used to end with the word “zythum,” which was an ancient Egyptian beer. That was the last word in the dictionary that is the standard bearer for the English language for decades. In 2017 however the OED added Zyzzyva (pronounced “zih-zih-vah”), which is a South African palm weevil. While Entomology Quarterly doesn’t seem like the first place to take a cocktail name, when you are playing around with riffs on the Last Word cocktail it almost seems appropriate for entomology and etymology to cross over.

Our Zyzzyva keeps the Rye, maraschino and lemon of Phil’s “Final Ward” cocktail but substitutes the green chartreuse from both the original Last Word and Phil’s riff for the earthy funk of Suze. Suze is a bright yellow French aperitif in a family know as gentians. These bitter liqueurs get their flavor and name from a family of gentian flowering plants that grow in the Alps and elsewhere.

As the plants take almost a decade to reach maturity, the cultivation and harvesting of the roots of these plants is tightly controlled. In addition to gentian root, Suze uses other botanicals and roots, giving the final aperitif the bittersweet flavor of dandelion greens, with a hint of citrus zest and slight creaminess.

If the sound of Suze is intimidating, then you could opt to put the Chartreuse back in the cocktail and make the modern classic Final Ward. However, the bold, spicy profile of the Lost Lantern Tom’s Foolery Rye single cask is just begging to be paired with something earthier and more pungent than Chartreuse can deliver. These two really sing together, and who knows? You may find your next new favorite cocktail ingredient. Suze, Rye and tonic with a squeeze of lemon is a delightfully bitter and refreshing cocktail to enjoy while pulling up your own dandelion roots in the garden this spring.

Zyzzyva – A Tom’s Foolery Rye Cocktail

.75 oz Lost Lantern Tom’s Foolery Rye Single cask 

.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino 

.75 oz Suze

.75 oz Lemon


Combine ingredients in a shaker tin with ice. Shake, strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a brandied cherry.


Learn more about Lost Lantern Tom’s Foolery Ohio Straight Rye 



Additional cocktails from our Midwest Collection: