The Dragon Lady (Lion's Tale)

Alexis Jesup

South End den Lion’s Tail is a newcomer to the Boston cocktail scene, having opened its doors just last December. But thanks to inventive (and often strong) riffs on classic libations, the sleek cocktail bar is making waves. Right now we’re loving the Dragon Lady, a boozy twist on the Alaska.

This glowing yellow-green concoction was hatched by Jarek Mountain, a managing partner at Lion’s Tail who previously served as beverage director at Abby Lane and Back Bay Harry’s. Using the Alaska—gin, Yellow Chartreuse, orange bitters—as a foundation, Mountain tweaked its proportions and introduced Cocchi Americano and Suze to the mix.

The central ingredient is Junípero Gin, due to the 98.6-proof spirit’s exceptionally strong juniper flavor. The sweetness of the Cocchi Americano and Yellow Chartreuse tempers the heavy-duty booze, while a hint of bitterness rounds the finish thanks to Suze, a Swiss liqueur made from gentian root.

While it’s exceptionally easy to make—the only work is gathering the ingredients—the Dragon Lady’s taste is deeply complex, thanks to a mix of sweet, bitter, and herbal flavors. You might want to reflect on those flavors and take it slow: This one doesn’t skimp on the alcohol content.

“Sometimes people send it back, saying there’s no booze in it,” Mountain says with a laugh. “It’s all booze.”

The Dragon Lady

1½ ounces Junípero Gin
1 ounce Cocchi Americano
¾ ounce Yellow Chartreuse
¼ ounce Suze
2 dashes orange bitters

Fill a stirring glass with ice and combine ingredients, starting with orange bitters. Stir for 35 seconds. Strain into a Nick and Nora martini glass (though any martini glass will do) and garnish with lemon peel.

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