Lions Tail Recipe

Unleashing Secrets of Lions Tail Recipe Cocktail

Lion’s Tail cocktail is a drink that has a rich history dating back to the 1920s in Jamaica, where it was first crafted. The drink was originally known as “Jamaican Rum Sour,” but it wasn’t until later that it became popularly known as “Lion’s Tail.” The name originated from the unique blend of allspice and citrus, which are both commonly associated with Jamaican cuisine. This cocktail is now considered one of the most iconic drinks in Jamaica and has become popular in bars around the world.

Origins of the Lions Tail Recipe

The lion’s tail cocktail is believed to have originated in Jamaica, where it was created as a variation of the classic sour cocktail. The original recipe included bourbon, lime juice, and allspice dram – a Jamaican liqueur made from allspice berries. The name “lion’s tail” is said to come from the fact that allspice is sometimes called “Jamaican pepper,” which was also known as “lion’s pepper” in some countries.

Over time, the recipe for lion’s tail has evolved to include different types of whiskey or rum, and various bitters have been added to enhance its flavor profile. Some bartenders have even experimented with using other Jamaican ingredients like ginger beer or hibiscus syrup.

Popularity Among Bartenders Today

In recent years, the lion’s tail cocktail has experienced a resurgence among bartenders who appreciate its complex flavor profile and rich history. Many craft cocktail bars now offer their own unique variations on this classic recipe, using high-quality spirits and handcrafted bitters to create new twists on an old favorite. One reason why lion’s tail has become so popular among bartenders is its versatility.

The simple base ingredients can be easily adapted to suit different tastes and occasions. For example, adding a splash of cherry liqueur can give the drink a fruity twist, while substituting mezcal for whiskey can provide a smoky undertone that pairs well with spicy foods.


Servers: 1

  • 2 oz bourbon whiskey
  • 0.75 oz fresh lime juice
  • 0.5 oz allspice dram
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Lime twist (garnish)

Taster’s Guide Tip 237: Lions Tail Recipe

The Lion’s Tail cocktail is a classic cocktail that originated in the 1930s. It was first documented in the 1948 book “Bottoms Up!” by Ted Saucier. The drink gained popularity in the 2000s as the cocktail revival movement brought back interest in classic and forgotten recipes. Today, it is enjoyed by cocktail enthusiasts around the world for its balanced combination of bourbon whiskey, fresh lime juice, allspice dram, and bitters.


  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Add bourbon whiskey, fresh lime juice, allspice dram, and a dash of Angostura bitters to the shaker.
  3. Shake the mixture vigorously for at least 15 seconds to chill and combine the ingredients.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass, using a cocktail strainer to catch the ice.
  5. Garnish the drink with a lime twist.
  6. Serve and enjoy your delicious Lions Tail cocktail!

Ingredients Info

Before diving into the preparation of the lion’s tail cocktail, it is imperative to gather all of the necessary ingredients. While some recipes call for variations, here is a list of standard ingredients that make up a classic lion’s tail recipe:

Bourbon Whiskey

The base spirit for the lion’s tail cocktail is bourbon whiskey, a type of American whiskey that is made from a mash containing at least 51% corn. The caramel and vanilla notes in bourbon complement the citrus and spiciness of the other ingredients in this drink, creating a perfectly balanced cocktail.

Fresh Lime Juice

Lime juice adds an element of tartness to this cocktail that balances out its sweetness. It also brings out the fruity flavors in bourbon while adding a refreshing quality to the drink. It is highly recommended to use fresh lime juice over pre-packaged lime juice from concentrate for an optimal taste.

Allspice Dram

Allspice dram, also known as pimento dram or allspice liqueur, adds complexity and warmth to this cocktail. Made from allspice berries (a spice native to Jamaica) steeped in rum and then sweetened with syrup, it has notes of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and pepper which are perfect for fall or winter drinking.


A simple syrup consisting equal parts sugar and water can be used as a sweetener in this recipe. For more depth and flavor you can opt for honey syrup or demerara syrup depending on your preference. With these four ingredients combined you have yourself one delicious Lion’s Tail!

Lions Tail Recipe

Tips and presentation

The key to making an excellent lion’s tail cocktail is finding the right balance of flavors and presentation. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:

1. Measurement:

Be precise when measuring ingredients – small variances can significantly affect the final taste.

2. Bourbon or Rye Whiskey:

Choose your whiskey wisely; it should be smooth but have enough bite to stand up to the other ingredients.

3. Lime Juice:

Always use freshly squeezed lime juice as bottled juice won’t give you the same flavor.

4. Allspice Dram:

This ingredient is what gives lion’s tail its signature flavor profile; use high-quality brands of allspice dram like St Elizabeth Allspice Dram and Bitter Truth Pimento Dram.

5. Bitters:

Use just one dash of Angostura bitters – anything more will overpower the other flavors in the drink.

6. Presentation:

The garnish makes this drink look even more appealing.

A simple lime twist should do the trick – it’s easy to make and adds to the drink’s aromatic experience. By following these tips, you’ll have a well-balanced and delicious lion’s tail cocktail that looks as good as it tastes.

Lions Tail Recipe Variations

The traditional recipe for the lion’s tail cocktail calls for bourbon, fresh lime juice, allspice dram, and angostura bitters. However, there are many variations to this classic recipe that can add a unique twist to the drink. Here are some suggestions for variations on the traditional lion’s tail recipe:

Different Types of Bitters

Bitters play an important role in the flavor profile of the lion’s tail cocktail. While angostura bitters are traditionally used in this drink, you can experiment with different types of bitters to create your own unique version of the cocktail. For example, you might try using orange bitters for a brighter citrus flavor or chocolate bitters to add a hint of sweetness and richness.

Adding a Twist

Another way to customize your lion’s tail cocktail is by adding a unique ingredient that complements or contrasts with the flavors in the drink. One popular variation on this classic recipe is to add ginger beer or ginger syrup for an added kick of spice. You might also consider adding fresh herbs like mint or basil for an herbal note that blends well with the other ingredients.

Customizing for Individual Tastes or Occasions

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations on the lion’s tail recipe based on individual tastes or occasions. For example, if you prefer sweeter cocktails, you might try adding simple syrup or honey instead of allspice dram. If you’re serving guests at a summer barbecue or pool party, consider making a large batch of punch-style lion’s tail cocktails using sparkling water and plenty of fresh fruit garnishes.

Evolution of the Lions Tail Recipe

Despite its long history and enduring popularity, the recipe for lion’s tail continues to evolve as bartenders experiment with new ingredients and techniques. Some mixologists have started barrel-aging their drinks for added complexity, while others are incorporating unusual spices like cardamom or saffron into their recipes.

One trend that has emerged in recent years is the use of locally sourced ingredients to create unique regional variations on the classic lion’s tail recipe. For example, bartenders in California might use Meyer lemons instead of limes to give the cocktail a sweeter, more floral flavor, while those in New England might add a touch of maple syrup for a hint of sweetness and depth.

Overall, the evolution of lion’s tail cocktail is a testament to its enduring appeal and adaptability. Whether enjoyed in its classic form or customized to suit individual tastes, this drink continues to be a beloved classic among bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts around the world.

Lions Tail Recipe


Recap of key points about lion’s tail cocktail recipe

The Lion’s Tail cocktail is a classic drink that originates from Jamaica, and has become increasingly popular in bars all over the world. This delicious cocktail is made with bourbon or rye whiskey, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and aromatic bitters.

The combination of the smoky whiskey and the sweet-and-sour flavors of lime and spice makes this drink truly unique. Preparing the perfect Lion’s Tail requires some attention to detail.

Ensure that you use high-quality ingredients such as freshly-squeezed lime juice, homemade simple syrup, and a good quality bourbon or rye whiskey. When making this drink, be sure to measure each component carefully to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.

Encouragement to try making this delicious drink at home

If you enjoy trying new cocktails or are a fan of classic drinks with a modern twist, then you must try making your own Lion’s Tail cocktail at home! Not only is it an impressive addition to any home bar menu, but it also allows you to experiment with different variations and adapt it to your personal preferences.

By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this article and taking care when measuring each ingredient, you can easily create a refreshing and flavorful Lion’s Tail cocktail right in your own kitchen. Whether you’re looking for something new to impress guests at your next dinner party or simply want to enjoy a sophisticated beverage on a quiet night in – give the Lion’s Tail cocktail a try!

Similar Posts