The Tailspin is a lovely little cocktail I first came across in How to Booze: Exquisite Cocktails and Unsound Advice. Combining gin, sweet vermouth, green chartreuse and a touch of Campari, the Tailspin is a flavor-packed cocktail colored with interesting hues of both green and red.
For a drink with some very potent flavors, namely chartreuse and Campari, the Tailspin is surprisingly well balanced, layering its flavors quite well. Sweeter and more herbal than a Last Word or Negroni, it’s an interesting little concoction. And composed of ingredients that any respectable bar will carry—plus many well-stocked home bars—it’s easy to make.
1 oz dry gin
1 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes Campari
Rinse a chilled glass with Campari, and discard the excess. Stir other ingredients with ice, and strain into the glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.
The Tailspin is sweet and herbal with a hint of bitterness, and the underlying gin isn’t lost in the background. I liked it overall, but for round 2, I used more Campari to temper the sweetness. Rather than simply using it as a rinse, I dumped a full bar spoon into the drink. The result adhered better to my personal tastes, which lean toward the bitter.
If you like the Tailspin, try the Bijou. Simply substitute orange bitters for the Campari, and you’ve got it.