DAC Drink Menu From 1916

“We didn’t even take credit for the drink at first,” Kenneth Voyles, communications director and historian for the Detroit Athletic Club, told me as I scurried after him through the DAC’s art-and-mahogany-adorned hallways. “We just couldn’t find anything definite on it.”

I’d shown up at the worst possible time, the evening of a major wine dinner and the day before the Tigers’ home opener, and Voyles was rushing around trying to deal with a last-minute menu crisis. But he patiently answered the questions I directed to the back of his head, and he later accompanied me to the private club’s beautiful Tap Room bar so I could sample the Last Word in the place where it probably originated.

Dedicated cocktailers probably know the history: how Seattle bartender Murray Stenson pulled the drink from obscurity in the early 2000s, taking it from the pages of Ted Saucier’s 1951 cocktail book “Bottoms Up!” and adding it to the menu at the Zig Zag Café in Seattle, from whence its reputation spread. The Saucier book credited the DAC as the source of the drink and mentioned a well-known vaudevillian, Frank Fogarty, as having introduced it around New York.

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