The Story Behind The Division Bell

An original from New-York-based bartender Phil Ward, the Division Bell is a mezcal-driven riff on the Last Word, replacing gin with the smoky agave-based spirit and green Chartreuse with Aperol, giving this cocktail an attractive orange glow. Ingredients-wise, the Division Bell also bears similarities to Joaquín Simó’s Naked and Famous, though Ward’s cocktail predates Simó’s in creation by a few years. To that note, the Division Bell uses Maraschino liqueur instead of the former’s yellow Chartreuse, which has become more expensive and harder to track down as of late.

Today, mezcal can be found on just about any cocktail bar menu, but in 2009, when Ward created the Division Bell, that wasn’t the case. Therefore, this was and is a pioneering drink, helping bring mezcal into the limelight in the United States. Ward is also responsible for the Oaxaca Old Fashioned, which employs a split base of reposado tequila and mezcal. When Ward opened his now-shuttered East Village bar, Mayahuel, the debut menu had 20 mezcal- and tequila-based cocktails.

The cocktail’s name pays homage to Pink Floyd’s 1994 album that Ward allegedly listened to on repeat while constructing the Mayahuel. Ward claimed that bar construction was one of the most stressful endeavors he’s ever embarked on. Thankfully, there’s nothing like a good Division Bell to melt that stress away.


  • 1 ½ ounces mezcal, preferably Del Maguey Vida
  • ¾ ounce Aperol
  • ½ ounce Maraschino liqueur
  • ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
  • Garnish: grapefruit twist, expressed and discarded


  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Express the grapefruit twist over the drink, then discard.

Rate This Recipe:

(53 votes)

Yield: 1
Calories: 193
Updated: 2023-04-27

The Division Bell