Lion's Tail Cocktail Recipe

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Lion's Tail Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:27

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Lion's Tail cocktail is a classic from the Prohibition era, first appearing in the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book in 1937. It's a bourbon-based cocktail, making it a favorite among whiskey lovers. The unique ingredient in this cocktail is Allspice Dram, a liqueur that adds a distinctive spicy, sweet flavor. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a balance of sweet and sour with a hint of spice.

How Lion's Tail Tastes?

The Lion's Tail has a complex flavor profile. It's sweet, yet tangy with a hint of spice. The bourbon provides a robust base, while the Allspice Dram adds a unique spicy sweetness. The lime juice and simple syrup balance out the flavors with their sour and sweet notes respectively.

Interesting facts about Lion's Tail

  • The Lion's Tail is a classic cocktail from the Prohibition era.
  • It's a bourbon-based cocktail, making it a favorite among whiskey lovers.
  • The unique ingredient in this cocktail is Allspice Dram, a liqueur that adds a distinctive spicy, sweet flavor.



The bourbon (2 oz) serves as the backbone of our Lion's Tail, providing a warm, rich base with notes of vanilla and caramel. Use too little, and the drink lacks its boldness; too much, and it overpowers the other subtle spices. Forget it, and you've got no pride—this lion's roar turns into a kitten's purr.

Mary Mitkina

Allspice Dram

0.5 oz of Allspice Dram brings a hint of Jamaican jerk spice to the game. It adds layers of complexity that play well with the cocktail's citrus and sweet elements. Leave it out, and the Lion's Tail loses its exotic whisker. Swap with a dash of cinnamon syrup, but prepare for a tamer experience.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Juice

Fresh lime juice (0.5 oz) is essential for balance; it's the tart roar that cuts through the sweetness. Less juice, and the drink becomes cloyingly sweet; too much, and it's soured by the citrus. No lime? You'll miss the zesty punch that livens the spirit of the cocktail.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

Simple syrup (0.5 oz) is the peacemaker between the bourbon's strength and the lime's acidity. Its sweet whispers keep the peace in the jungle of flavors. Alter the amount, and you either unleash the bourbon's bite or suppress the lime's liveliness.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

Two dashes of Angostura Bitters act like the finishing brushstroke on a masterpiece, adding depth and a touch of mystery. Skipping the bitters is like a lion without its mane—lacking that defining flourish. No real alternatives here, as the unique blend of botanicals is irreplaceable.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Lion's Tail Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add all the ingredients to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure to shake the cocktail well to properly mix all the ingredients.
  • Use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill your glass before serving for a colder, more refreshing cocktail.

Perfect Pairings


  • Grilled Sausages: The smoky quality of the sausage complements the bourbon's warmth.
  • Cheese Plate: Opt for aged cheeses like Gouda or Cheddar to match the cocktail's depth.
  • Spiced Nuts: The allspice dram in the cocktail will harmonize with the spices on the nuts.

Main Courses

  • Barbecue Pork: A sweet and smoky barbecue sauce thematically pairs with the whiskey base.
  • Jerk Chicken: The allspice present in both the dish and the dram creates a beautiful synergy.


  • Lemon Tart: The citrus from the tart will accentuate the lime juice in the drink.
  • Chocolate Desserts: Dark chocolate can handle the robust nature of this cocktail.

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What you could change in Lion's Tail

  • If you can't find Allspice Dram, you can substitute it with a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
  • You can substitute the simple syrup with honey or agave syrup for a different kind of sweetness.

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And of course - twists🍹

Apple Lion's Tail

  • Bourbon: 2 oz
  • Apple Brandy: 0.5 oz
  • Allspice Dram: 0.25 oz
  • Lime Juice: 0.25 oz
  • Maple Syrup: 0.5 oz
  • Angostura Bitters: 2 dashes

Replace half of the Allspice Dram and all of the simple syrup with apple brandy and maple syrup to embrace the spirit of autumn. The apple brandy adds a fruity kick, while the maple syrup offers a seasonal sweetness. You'll get a Lion's Tail that might just make you want to put on a flannel and go apple picking.

Smoky Lion's Tail

  • Smoked Bourbon: 2 oz
  • Allspice Dram: 0.5 oz
  • Lime Juice: 0.5 oz
  • Agave Syrup: 0.5 oz
  • Chipotle Bitters: 2 dashes

Smoke the bourbon for an earthy, fire-side twist, and swap simple syrup for agave to introduce a smooth, Mexican-inspired sweetness. Chipotle bitters add a subtle, smoky heat. This twist will have you roaring by a campfire under the stars.

Herbal Lion's Tail

  • Bourbon: 2 oz
  • Green Chartreuse: 0.25 oz
  • Allspice Dram: 0.25 oz
  • Lime Juice: 0.5 oz
  • Honey Syrup: 0.5 oz
  • Angostura Bitters: 2 dashes

For an herbaceous twist, introduce a touch of Green Chartreuse along with the dram, and use honey syrup in place of simple syrup. The Chartreuse's botanical complexity marries with the honey's natural sweetness and the dram's spice. This Lion's Tail walks through an herb garden, with a mix that's both sophisticated and wild.

In case you forgot basics how to make Lion's Tail

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Lion's Tail

What is the origin of the name 'Lion's Tail'?

The origins of the name 'Lion's Tail' are not entirely clear as it is a classic cocktail from the Prohibition era. Given the bold and robust nature of the cocktail, it could represent the strength and power associated with Lions.

How does the flavor change if I substitute Bourbon with another whiskey?

Substituting Bourbon would alter the flavor profile of the cocktail. Each type of whiskey has its own distinct flavor characteristics which would contribute differently to the cocktail.

What type of bourbon works best with this cocktail?

A smooth, full-bodied bourbon works best with this cocktail to complement the strong flavors of the Allspice Dram and the tanginess of the lime juice.

What are some good occasions to serve the Lion's Tail cocktail?

The Lion's Tail cocktail is perfect for a cozy evening or a sophisticated gathering. It's a versatile drink that suits different occasions.

Why is shaking the cocktail necessary?

Shaking the cocktail is necessary to mix all the ingredients and create a beautiful blend of flavors. It also helps to chill the drink quickly.

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