• Vince Larson

A Second Opinion

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

In this new tiki concoction, two classic cocktails come together in a marriage that is both adventurous and delicious. The Last Word and Dr. Funk are both amazing cocktails that I’ve come to enjoy over the past couple of years. As I‘ve played around with them, acting half bartender and half mad scientist, I have discovered a fun place where they not only overlap, but come together in a complementary marriage of sorts.

I first discovered the Dr. Funk Cocktail in Martin Cate’s book, Smuggler’s Cove, and was immediately a fan! Dr. Funk was named after an actual German physician, Dr. Bernhard Funk, whose practice followed him to the Pacific Islands, where he took on such famous clients as Robert Louis Stevenson. His original concoction (made up of essentially Lime Juice, Absinthe, Seltzer and a dash of Grenadine) was already quite the tasty affair, before it was picked up decades later, and further developed by the Father of Tiki, Don Beach. The Resulting Tiki Classic is a delicious cocktail, filled with rum, lemon and lime juice, absinthe, and grenadine. My own variation of the Dr. Funk omits the standard club soda, opting instead for a punchier rum-forward flavor profile, with strong overtones of Jamaican funk. I personally like to use Dr. Byrd’s Pot Still Rum to achieve a level of funkiness (HOGO), as well as to match the name. Here is my Dr. Funk Recipe.


Dr. Funk

2 1/2 oz Dark Funky Rum Blend

1/4 oz Grenadine

1/2 oz Demerara Syrup

1/2 oz Lemon

1/4 oz Lime

Shaken over Ice

Absinthe Rinse or Spritz

Garnish: Lime Wheel


I discovered the second cocktail as I was watching YouTube one night, and was awestruck by the videography, personality and skills of a bartender, Anders Erickson, whose channel of creative videos I have since come to love. In this video, Anders described and handcrafted two variations of a modern classic, The Last Word. The original recipe results in a refreshing gin based cocktail comprised of four simple ingredients: Gin, Green Chartreuse, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, and Lime Juice. The two variations on this cocktail, both award-winning and delicious in their own right, are The Final Ward and the Monte Cassino. These variations substitute Lemon for Lime, Whiskey for Gin, and various liqueurs for the originals. Steve the Bartender (another YouTube sensation) crafted another play on this classic which he calls the Last of the Oaxacans, adding Mezcal in place of the Gin or Whiskey. Here is the Classic Last Word.

The Last Word

1 oz Gin

1 oz Green Chartreuse

1 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

1 oz Lime

Shaken over Ice

Garnish: Lime Wheel


Over the next couple of weeks I tried all of these variations, and even played around with a few of my own. But when I went to search for a Rum variation, I couldn’t find one I thoroughly enjoyed. Instead I found many of the recipes lacking. There’s something about Rum that requires a bit more complexity than many of the four ingredient variations allowed. So I put on my lab coat and began tinkering.

Over the next week or so, I played around with several different ingredients, and eventually discovered this lovely marriage between Dr. Funk and The Last Word. But the ratios were still a bit off and I couldn’t quite strike a balance that I completely loved. I came up with a clever name, packed up my ingredients, and headed to my buddy Tyson’s house. That day, as Tyson and I dabbled with several different approaches, the dabbling led to some drinking, and finally somewhere in there we struck a balance on this drink which has quickly become my new favorite cocktail. When we first tasted it, I shouted “Amen!” after one sip!


As a fun play on both of the names (The Last Word and Dr. Funk) I decided to call this one "A Second Opinion." Here’s the recipe. I hope your mouth shouts Amen too!


A Second Opinion

1 oz Dr. Byrds Pot Still Rum

1 oz Green Chartreuse

1/4 oz Homemade Grenadine

1/4 oz Rich Demerara

1/2 oz Lime

1/2 oz Lemon

2-3 Dashes Black Walnut Bitters

Shaken over Ice

Absinthe Rinse or Spritz

Garnish: Dehydrated Lime Wheel



49 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All