Rooster Tail Cocktail Recipe

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Rooster Tail Nutrition Facts






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 16, 2024


The Rooster Tail is a cocktail that harks back to the golden age of bartending, where creativity and the art of mixology began to take center stage. It's a drink that appeals to those who appreciate a balance of fruitiness and subtle complexity.

  • Origins The cocktail's origins are not well-documented, but it's believed to be a modern creation that pays homage to classic cocktail principles.
  • Popularity It's favored by connoisseurs who enjoy a nuanced drink with a touch of historical charm.

How Rooster Tail Tastes?

The Rooster Tail offers a symphony of flavors. It's a sweet and fruity cocktail with a hint of tartness from the lemon juice, balanced by the warm, oak-infused notes of the rainwater madeira. The raspberry syrup adds a layer of berry sweetness, while the Peychaud’s bitters provide a floral and anise backdrop.

Interesting facts about Rooster Tail

  • The use of peach brandy in cocktails dates back to the 19th century.
  • Rainwater madeira is a lighter style of madeira that pairs well with the sweetness of fruit-based cocktails.
  • Peychaud’s bitters were created in New Orleans and are a key ingredient in the classic Sazerac cocktail.


  • Peach brandy: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Rainwater madeira: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Lemon juice: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Raspberry syrup: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Peychaud’s bitters: 3 dashes
  • Mint sprig: 1
  • Garnish raspberries: 2

Peach Brandy: 2 oz

Peach Brandy brings a sweet peachy zest, acting like the soul of the Rooster Tail. Say goodbye to the fruity kick if it goes AWOL. Opt for apricot brandy if peaches aren't your thing; it's the cocktail cousin that still plays nice with the other flavors.

Mary Mitkina

Rainwater Madeira: 1 oz

Rainwater Madeira gives a slightly drier note with a touch of nuttiness, balancing out the sweetness. Less would make the drink less complex, more could drown the delicate peach. No Madeira? Try a light sherry to keep things smooth.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice: 1 oz

Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds that citrus zing, brightening the drink and cutting through the sweetness. Skimping on it might leave your cocktail feeling heavy, too much makes for a sourpuss. In a pinch, lime juice could step in, but expect a tarter show.

Emma Rose

Raspberry Syrup: 0.5 oz

Raspberry syrup weaves in a berry-licious sweetness and color. It's like the little red dress in a sea of monotones - necessary for that pop. Go without, and you'll miss the raspberry charm, while too much could make it cloying. A dash of grenadine could sub in for a different kind of sweet.

Mary Mitkina

Peychaud’s Bitters: 3 dashes

Peychaud’s bitters are like the spice cabinet here - a floral, anise backdrop that adds layers without stealing the show. Skip and the cocktail lacks depth; overdo it, and it's a bitter pill to swallow. Angostura could pinch-hit but expect a more herbaceous bite.

Alex Green

Mint Sprig: 1

That mint sprig isn't just a pretty face. It's freshness personified, and its aroma is half the experience. Without it, you won't get the same refreshing hit. Basil could be an unexpected twist, offering a more peppery note.

Emma Rose

Garnish Raspberries: 2

They're the encore - a sweet, edible garnish that sends you off with a fruity farewell. Neglect the berries, and it's like clapping with one hand. No raspberries? A slice of peach teeters on the glass could also say 'cheers'.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Rooster Tail Drink

  1. Combine Ingredients Add 2 oz of peach brandy, 1 oz of rainwater madeira, 1 oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 0.5 oz of raspberry syrup, and 3 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters into a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake Shake the mixture until well-chilled.
  3. Strain Strain the cocktail into a small goblet filled with fresh cracked ice.
  4. Garnish Garnish with a mint sprig and a couple of raspberries.

Pro Tips

  • Ice Quality: Use large, high-quality ice cubes for shaking to achieve optimal dilution and chill.
  • Lemon Juice: Always use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Garnish: Slap the mint sprig between your hands before garnishing to release its aromatic oils.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese Board: A selection of mild cheeses like Brie or Camembert would complement the fruity notes of the Rooster Tail. Avoid very aged or strong cheeses which might overpower the drink's delicate flavors.
  • Bruschetta: Tomato and basil bruschetta can offer a refreshing and acidic balance to the sweetness of the cocktail.


  • Grilled Chicken or Fish: The lemon juice and raspberry syrup in the cocktail pair beautifully with the light flavors of grilled poultry or seafood.
  • Pork Tenderloin: A dish with a subtle sweetness, such as pork tenderloin with a peach glaze, would echo the peach brandy in the cocktail.


  • Lemon Tart: A tart with a similar citrus profile would resonate with the lemon juice in the cocktail.
  • Chocolate Fondue: The raspberry and chocolate combination is classic and would be sublime with the Rooster Tail.


  • Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate between sips, sparking water is a perfect match.
  • Light Tea: A light, floral tea can complement the cocktail without overwhelming it.

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What you could change in Rooster Tail

  • Peach Brandy: You can substitute with apricot brandy if peach is unavailable.
  • Rainwater Madeira: A light sherry can be used as an alternative.
  • Raspberry Syrup: In a pinch, muddle fresh raspberries with simple syrup.

Explore all drinks starting with R here

And of course - twists🍹

Twist 1: Southern Orchard

  • Substitute peach brandy with apple brandy
  • Use green apple syrup instead of raspberry
  • Garnish with a thin apple slice This twist results in a more orchard-fresh flavor, crisp and slightly tart, like a walk through apple groves in the fall.

Twist 2: Berry Patch

  • Add a splash of blackberry liqueur
  • Muddle fresh berries in the shaker
  • Use a sprig of thyme instead of mint With this berry-driven twist, you'll dive into a deeper berry flavor that's both earthy and aromatic, seeming like a berry picker's reward.

Twist 3: Citrus Grove

  • Use grapefruit juice in place of lemon
  • Include a small amount of orange liqueur
  • Garnish with a twist of orange peel Shifting to a citrus focus, this brighter, more robust cocktail feels like a sunset in a citrus grove, playful and refreshing.

In case you forgot basics how to make Rooster Tail

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 Rooster Tail

What type of glass is best for serving a Rooster Tail?

A Rooster Tail is traditionally served in a small goblet or a coupe glass to enhance its elegant presentation.

Can I make the Rooster Tail in advance?

It's best enjoyed fresh, but you can pre-mix all ingredients except the ice and refrigerate. Then shake with ice and serve when ready.

What is Rainwater Madeira?

Rainwater Madeira is a lighter, slightly less sweet style of Madeira wine that gets its name from the tradition of leaving barrels outside to be diluted by rain.

Is the Rooster Tail suitable for vegans?

Yes, the ingredients in the Rooster Tail do not include any animal products, making it suitable for vegans.

How can I adjust the sweetness of the cocktail?

To adjust sweetness, vary the amount of raspberry syrup used or add a touch of simple syrup if more sweetness is desired.

What is the alcohol content of a Rooster Tail?

The cocktail contains approximately 20% alcohol by volume, with the majority coming from peach brandy and Rainwater Madeira.

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh?

Fresh lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor, but bottled can be used if fresh lemons aren't available.

What can I use if I don't have Peychaud's Bitters?

While Peychaud's Bitters are unique, a possible substitute could be aromatic bitters, though the flavor profile will change slightly.

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