Lion's Tail

Bourbon, Allspice Dram, Bitters, Lime juice, Gomme syrup
Shake, strain, straight up, cocktail glass
St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram is very potent. Consider using quite a bit less.
Cocktail summary
Created byL. A. Clarke
AuthenticityAuthentic recipe
ReferenceCafe Royal Cocktail Book. Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, Ted Haigh.
Posted by
Dan's picture
Dan on 06/06/2010


I made and enjoyed this with regular simple syrup as I have yet to make gomme syrup. Has anyone made it both ways and care to comment?

Dan's picture

This cocktail is much nicer than I previously thought. I had substituted Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur (Nocino) for the Allspice Dram and thought it was merely good. I think the trick is to balance the Allspice Dram with the bourbon. St Elizabeth is very potent. I suggest no more than 1/4 oz and maybe just 1 tsp (1/6 oz). To add a bit more depth, I added 1/4 oz of Becherovka, which has a compatible cinnamon spice and a touch of bitterness. Together with the Angostura, and in moderation, this combines with the bourbon and lime for an accessible and unusual cocktail. A clove-forward bitters would work well too, I suspect.

Dan's picture

I'd say that if you like bourbon equally well as rye, then use bourbon here. If you prefer rye to bourbon, rye works fine too.

Zachary Pearson's picture

Moderated this to be in line with the 1937 version of the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book as noted in the link above. That recipe was 2/3 Bourbon, 1/6 lime, 1/6 pimiento dram (or 4:1:1) , so setting 2/3 = 2 oz works.

rwilde's picture

Would like to know which bourbons or whiskeys for that matter work best? We were playing around today and found not all bourbons are up to the task. Any favorites?

I discovered (and fell madly in love with) this drink at my favorite DC spot, where they make it with Old Overholt rye. Doesn't have to be expensive to be good! As for a clove-forward bitters--from a separate comment--The Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters might fit the bill, if you really want some extra spice.

sjdiaz21's picture

This cocktail is a perfect example of the end result is dependent upon what brand you use, especially for the allspice dram. I usually give generic recipes so that way the "essence" of the cocktail is usually intact with most commonly found brands and ingredients. First time I made this I used Ted Haigh's ratio of 2oz bourbon, 3/4 oz allspice dram (yikes!!!!) 1/2 oz lime and 1/4 oz simple (dash of bitters too). Waaaayyy too much spice....but I used St. Elizabeths. I think Dan is right on with a tsp, in which that's the amount I use now with St. Elizabeth. the "or less" he stated after the allspice ratio is an understatment...Still, quite pleasing when done with minimal allspice and using rye vs bourbon.

Zachary Pearson's picture

I think Bourbon here is the way to go - you need the sweetness to balance out the allspice and lime. I like something fairly high proof - Booker's, Rowan's Creek, Baker's. 



Dan's picture

I want to try rye in this. And actually, it's pretty potent due to the high quantity of spirit. Booker's would put you under the table.

rwilde's picture

Awesome Thanks!

Dan's picture

Corrected recipe and added attribution

From other users

Like a whiskey sour, really, with the Allspice Dram suggesting greater depth. It might actually be better on the rocks! (3 stars)
I have to concur with the notes about St. Elizabeth's. I found that the allspice was pleasant, but still very forward while using only 1/4 oz. Bulleit Bourbon, Fee Brother's OF bitters. (4 stars)
Robert Hess suggests reducing the allspice dram to 1/2 oz to avoid overpowering the drink.
Sub Allspice Dram for Nocino
Used 1/4 oz St. Elizabeth's and 1/4 oz Becherovka. Very nice, accessible pie-spiced whiskey sour. (5 stars)

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