Tailspin Cocktail Recipe

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Tailspin 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 7, 2024


The Tailspin is a classic cocktail that hails from the Prohibition era, finding its way into the hearts of those who appreciate a complex, herbal flavor profile. It's a riff on the Negroni, substituting Green Chartreuse for the Campari, giving it a unique twist.

  • Who Would Like It?
    • Fans of the Negroni or the Last Word.
    • Those who enjoy herbal and complex flavors.
    • Cocktail enthusiasts who appreciate Prohibition-era drinks.

How Tailspin Tastes?

The Tailspin is a symphony of flavors, with a bold, herbaceous punch from the Green Chartreuse, balanced by the sweet, fortified notes of the sweet vermouth, and the clean, juniper-led profile of dry gin. It's complex, slightly bitter, and aromatic.

Interesting facts about Tailspin

  • The Tailspin can be considered a 'cousin' to the Negroni due to its similar structure.
  • Green Chartreuse is a French liqueur made by Carthusian Monks since the 1740s.
  • The cocktail's name might evoke a sense of disorientation, much like the experience of tasting its complex layers for the first time.


  • Green chartreuse: 0.75 oz(23ml)
  • Orange bitters: 1dash
  • Sweet vermouth: 0.75 oz(23ml)
  • Dry gin: 0.75 oz(23ml)
  • Lemon twist: 1 garnish

A few good options for Tailspin are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Green Chartreuse

Chartreuse brings a unique floral and herbal complexity that's unrivaled; it's the center-stage diva of this cocktail. Skimp on it, and you risk a flavorless flop. Too much, and it'll steal the show in a not-so-graceful way. Absinthe can be a substitute, but it follows its own beat of anise and will change the whole act.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Bitters

A dash does wonders here—it's like the spice in your favorite dish, you may not identify it, but you'd miss it if it's gone. Without it, the cocktail might feel one-dimensional. Angostura Bitters could swap in, but they would bring a whole new vibe, more like changing the bass line in your favorite song.

Alex Green

Sweet Vermouth

This is the smooth bridge between the herbal gin and the robust Chartreuse. Think of it as the cocktail's mediator. If its presence is too strong, it can become overbearingly sweet, and if too little, it'll lose its balancing act. A dry vermouth could work but expect a leaner, drier cocktail storyline.

Emma Rose

Dry Gin

The backbone of any fine cocktail—it's what gives it structure. Mess with the quantity of gin, and you're essentially changing the cocktail's bone structure—it could go from a ballet dancer to a rugby player. A classic London Dry Gin is irreplaceable, but an Old Tom Gin might add a quirky sweetness.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Twist

Not just garnish, but a final aromatic flourish that brings everything together with a citrus zing. It's like the bow on a gift—you notice when it's not there. Neglect it, and the cocktail loses its polished finish. A grapefruit twist could be a tangy alternative, adding a bit more pizazz to the party.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Tailspin Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the Green Chartreuse, orange bitters, sweet vermouth, and dry gin.
  3. Stir until well-chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Pro Tips

  • Always use fresh ice when stirring to ensure the best dilution and chilling.
  • A chilled glass will keep your cocktail at the perfect temperature longer.
  • Express the lemon twist over the drink to release the essential oils before garnishing.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Cheeses: A cheese plate featuring aged Gouda or a nutty Manchego could complement the herbal notes of the Green Chartreuse.
  • Savory Appetizers: Think prosciutto-wrapped asparagus or smoked salmon canapés to balance the botanicals of gin and the bitter zest from the orange bitters.
  • Dark Chocolate: A piece of high-quality dark chocolate would create a pleasing contrast with the sweet and bitter notes of the cocktail.

Drink Pairings

  • Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate in between sips of the Tailspin. It's like a refreshing intermission for your taste buds.
  • Non-Alcoholic Ginger Beer: Its spicy kick can complement the Tailspin's complexity without overpowering it.

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What you could change in Tailspin

  • Green Chartreuse: If unavailable, consider using another herbal liqueur like Yellow Chartreuse, though the flavor will be milder.
  • Sweet Vermouth: A different brand of sweet vermouth can be used, such as Carpano Antica or Dolin Rouge.

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

Tailspin Royale

  • Add: 0.5 oz of champagne
  • Recipe: Follow the Tailspin recipe, but top with champagne after straining.
  • Taste: Imagine the Tailspin wearing a sparkly top hat—that's the Royale. The bubbly gives a festive lift, making the familiar rich and herbal profile dance on the palate.

Green Apple Tailspin

  • Substitute: Green Chartreuse with apple schnapps
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, replacing Green Chartreuse with apple schnapps.
  • Taste: It's like taking the original Tailspin to a picnicking in an orchard. The apple schnapps introduces a fruity twist, playing well with the botanical gin and vermouth's sweetness.

Citrus Tailspin

  • Add: 0.5 oz fresh orange juice
  • Recipe: Combine original ingredients with orange juice. Shake it up and strain.
  • Taste: Citrus revs up the Tailspin into a tangy new gear. It's a zestier journey for those who like their cocktails bright and full of sunshine.

In case you forgot basics how to make Tailspin

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

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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 Tailspin

What type of glass is best suited for serving a Tailspin cocktail?

A Tailspin is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass, also known as a martini glass, to enhance the elegance and allow the aromas to concentrate.

Can I make the Tailspin cocktail in advance?

It's best enjoyed fresh, but you can pre-mix the liquors and store it in the refrigerator. Add ice and garnish just before serving.

Is the Tailspin cocktail suitable for those who prefer sweet drinks?

The Tailspin might not be the best choice for those with a sweet tooth, as it is herbal and slightly bitter. Those preferring sweet cocktails might want to try a different drink.

How can I make my Tailspin less alcoholic?

To lower the alcohol content, you can reduce the amounts of Green Chartreuse, dry gin, and sweet vermouth proportionally, or add a splash of soda water.

Are there any non-alcoholic substitutes for the Tailspin's ingredients?

For a mocktail version, use non-alcoholic bitters, and herbal syrups or infusions instead of the Green Chartreuse, and a non-alcoholic aperitif in place of vermouth.

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