Every time I review one of these craftsman’s boxes, I feel “born again”. It’s a great feeling so I’m always glad to get the chance. Jesse Born is a talented young fellow form Rome, New York with the knack for making great puzzles, the skill for making beautiful woodwork, and the desire to perfectly merge the two together. The patterns on the sides of his Yosegi Pattern Box made me think of the “Zig-Zag Café” in Seattle, former home of famed bartender Murray Stenson who in 2004 resurrected a pre-prohibition cocktail classic known as the Last Word. The story of that cocktail dates back to the Detroit Athletic Club in 1915, where it was the drink of choice for a celebrated stand-up comic of the day who was known to always have one (the last word) – on stage and in the bar. It’s an incredibly versatile and easy drink, with equal parts gin, lime, chartreuse and maraschino liqueur, and it lit up the cocktail scene during the recent renaissance. It’s been described as cocktail “lasagna” – meaning there are scores of different recipes which tweak the ingredients, but as long as the formula remains the same they’re all good. Here’s a delicious variation apropos for the season which I call, “Born Yesterday." Ironically, it features apple brandy from America’s oldest distillery, Laird and Company. Their classic Applejack is also fantastic this time of year. In addition to swapping the gin for apple brandy, the maraschino is exchanged for another incredible seasonal treat from a newer American craft distillery, St. George Spirits Spiced Pear liqueur. This magical fruit brandy liqueur tastes like a freshly pressed Bartlett pear sprinkled with cinnamon and clove. The combination of fall flavors blends effortlessly and you might be fooled into thinking this is an inspired new creation when, in fact, it’s merely the latest word. But you weren’t born yesterday – cheers!


Born Yesterday

  • ¾ oz Laird’s Old Apple Brandy
  • ¾ oz lemon
  • ¾ oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • ¾ oz St. George Spirits Spiced Pear Liqueur

Stir together with ice and strain into a favorite glass. Garnish with a twist.


For more about the delightful Yosegi Pattern Box see:

Boxes and Booze: Natural Born

For more Last Word variations:

The Lost Word

The Alexandrian Solution

Naked and Famous