The Tailwind is the perfect after dinner treat. It is slightly sweet with the Marschino, Kummel and maple coming together in a almond extract/maple/rye kind of flavor. The Madeira wine brings warm mellow spice flavor and the bourbon gives body to the cocktail. It’s for sure a post meal type of drink, like a tailwind pushing you to the end of the night kind of thing. It sounded like a cool name, no judging!
I started out wanting to use Madeira and Kummel together and just kept slowly adding ingredients until I got something I liked. This seems to be a trend in my cocktail experiments as of late, where two ingredients sound like they would go together nicely, so I toss those in my mixing glass and start adding flavors to fill in the gaps.
There are all types of ways to add new ingredients to cocktails such as: playing off the flavors of another ingredient, directly contrasting other ingredients, or adding things as background or filling flavors.
Sometimes you think of combinations that sound really great, then you mix them up and no matter how long you try to mess with the ratios they just suck. This happens quite a bit to me actually, just get back to the drawing board and think up something new… never stop experimenting!
Lets get into the ingredients.
Maraschino is a liquor made of Marasca cherries that has an almond type sweetness, and green herbal and floral flavors. It works well to add a touch of sweetness and background notes to cocktail.
Kummel is an old European liquor flavored primarily with caraway and fennel so it has a really nice caraway rye bread quality to it. Originally from the Netherlands, it spread through Europe and really took up with the Russians and the Germans where it is largely produced to this day. Most large liquor stores should have at least one brand in stock.
If your putting maple syrup in cocktails you should try to use grade B. It is made from sap that has been collected towards the end of the season so it has more dark and intense maple flavors. I prefer this type of syrup over the others for everything including pouring on pancakes.
The bourbon you choose here will not have a massive impact in the Tailwind, but as always, grab yourself a decent mixing bourbon. Unless you are mixing it into a drink where the bourbon will really shine through (such as an Old Fashioned or Manhattan), a mixing bourbon should be solid, have a bit of complexity and interest, and be reasonably priced. Sure you can add Blanton’s or Hillrock to the Tailwind, but it won’t be worth the extra 4 dollars you poured in the jigger. Some great options are Makers Mark, Buffalo Trace, Bulleit and Medley Bros.
And lastly, the Madeira, a category of fortified wines made in the Portuguese Madeira islands off the African coast. There are several different subcategories with different levels of age, grape varietals, and wine making process. The type for this drink is Rainwater, which is the lightest and least expensive of them all, however, this is not to say it isn’t good.
Rainwater Madeira is a medium dry, has been aged for several years and has really nice flavors of golden raisin, warm baking spice, and nuts with a touch of acidity. This stuff can work great in cocktails or even as a little aperitif.
So mix this baby up and drink it after your next hearty dinner in place of dessert. It’s a bit sweet, with good complexity, and some cool flavors mixing together… great way to end an evening.
- 1 1/4 Oz Rainwater Madeira
- 1 Oz Bourbon
- 1/4 Oz Grade B Maple Syrup
- 1/4 Oz Kummel
- 1/4 Oz Maraschino Liquor
- 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
- 3 Drops 20% Saline - (optional)
- Add all of the ingredients to a shaker tin or chilled mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir until desired chill and dilution is reached.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
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