Rabo-de-galo (Rooster’s Tail)


Photo of author
Written By cocktailflavors.com
Rabo-de-galo (Rooster's Tail)_001

Introduction to Rabo-de-Galo (Rooster’s Tail)

Welcome to the vibrant world of Brazilian cocktails, where the Rabo-de-Galo stands tall. This bold concoction marries the potent kick of cachaça with the aromatic complexity of red vermouth. A staple in Brazil’s drinking culture, it’s a cocktail that promises to awaken your senses.

With its rich history and straightforward preparation, the Rabo-de-Galo is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in mixology. Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or a curious newcomer, this drink is sure to leave a lasting impression. Let’s dive into the essence of this Brazilian classic.

Key Facts About Rabo-de-Galo

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 30% ABV
  • Calories: Around 150 kcal per serving
  • Preferred Glass: Old-fashioned glass
  • Typical Garnish: None traditionally, but a twist of orange can be added

Interesting Facts about Rabo-de-Galo

  • The name translates to “Rooster’s Tail,” a nod to the cocktail’s bold and spirited nature.
  • In some regions, it’s also known as “traçado,” which hints at the drink’s mixed or “traced” composition.
  • It’s often enjoyed as an aperitif, setting the stage for a delightful meal.

Rabo-de-Galo Cocktail

Tasting Notes on Rabo-de-Galo

The Rabo-de-Galo is a symphony of flavors, with the cachaça providing a robust, sugarcane-based foundation. The red vermouth adds a layer of herbal and fruity notes, creating a harmonious blend. It’s a cocktail that’s both refreshing and warming, perfect for any season.

Its appeal stretches to those who appreciate a drink with depth and character. Ideal for celebratory occasions or as a pre-dinner delight, the Rabo-de-Galo is versatile and universally appealing.

History of Rabo-de-Galo

The origins of the Rabo-de-Galo are deeply rooted in Brazilian culture. It emerged as a straightforward mix of local spirits and imported vermouth, symbolizing a fusion of Brazilian tradition and European influence. This cocktail quickly became a beloved staple in bars and homes across the country.

As the popularity of cachaça grew, so did the Rabo-de-Galo. It’s a drink that tells a story of Brazil’s social and economic landscape, evolving through the decades while maintaining its core identity.

Rabo-de-Galo Ingredients

  • Cachaça (1 1/2 oz or 45 ml): The soul of the cocktail, providing a robust and slightly sweet base.
  • Red Vermouth (1 oz or 30 ml): Adds complexity with its aromatic blend of herbs and spices.
  • Ice Cubes: Essential for chilling and diluting the drink to perfection.

Did you know? The Rabo-de-Galo is often served straight up in Brazil, showcasing its pure, unadulterated flavors.

Preparing Rabo-de-Galo

Rabo-de-Galo Method

Creating the perfect Rabo-de-Galo is an art of balance and technique. Begin by filling a mixing glass with ice cubes to chill the spirits without excessive dilution. Next, pour the cachaça and red vermouth over the ice, stirring gently to combine the flavors while maintaining the drink’s integrity.

Once the mixture is well-chilled, strain it into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. The result is a crystal-clear cocktail that’s ready to be savored. Serve immediately to enjoy the Rabo-de-Galo at its best.

Serving Suggestion for Rabo-de-Galo

The traditional vessel for a Rabo-de-Galo is an old-fashioned glass. This choice is not just about aesthetics; the wide brim allows the aromas to unfold, enhancing the drinking experience. No garnish is needed, keeping the focus on the drink’s pure flavors.

Elevating the Rabo-de-Galo

  • Chill Your Glass: Pre-chill the old-fashioned glass to keep the cocktail colder for longer.
  • Quality Ingredients: Opt for premium cachaça and vermouth to elevate the drink’s profile.
  • Stirring Technique: Stir with a bar spoon for the perfect dilution and temperature.

Rabo-de-Galo Served

Substitutions and Alternatives for Rabo-de-Galo

If cachaça is unavailable, a light rum can be a suitable substitute, though it will alter the drink’s traditional flavor. For a less potent version, consider adjusting the ratio of cachaça to vermouth. Similar cocktails include the Negroni or the Manhattan, which share the vermouth component.

Add a Twist to Rabo-de-Galo

Experiment with different types of vermouth to find your preferred flavor balance. Infuse the cachaça with fruits or herbs for an added dimension. A splash of soda water can transform the Rabo-de-Galo into a refreshing long drink.

Preferred Liquors for Rabo-de-Galo

Select a cachaça that’s smooth yet expressive, such as Leblon or Novo Fogo. For the vermouth, a brand like Carpano Antica Formula can provide the desired complexity. These choices will ensure a Rabo-de-Galo that’s authentic and flavorful.

Similar Cocktails to Rabo-de-Galo

If the Rabo-de-Galo piques your interest, you might also enjoy the Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail. The Americano, with its vermouth and bitter components, is another comparable option. Both share elements of the Rabo-de-Galo’s spirit-forward and herbal profile.

Food Pairings to Go with Rabo-de-Galo

Pair the Rabo-de-Galo with salty snacks like nuts or cheese to complement its bold flavors. For a more substantial pairing, consider Brazilian favorites like pão de queijo or coxinha. These combinations will enhance your cocktail experience.

Rabo-de-Galo FAQs

Can I make Rabo-de-Galo without cachaça? While cachaça is traditional, a light rum can be used as a substitute.

Is Rabo-de-Galo served with ice? Traditionally, it’s served straight up, but it can also be enjoyed over ice.

What does Rabo-de-Galo taste like? It has a strong, slightly sweet flavor from the cachaça, balanced by the herbal notes of red vermouth.

Rabo-de-galo (Rooster's Tail)_001

Rabo-de-Galo (Rooster’s Tail)

A classic Brazilian cocktail, Rabo-de-Galo is a simple yet bold drink that combines the strength of cachaça with the complexity of red vermouth. Traditionally served as an aperitif, this cocktail is also known as a "traçado" in some regions of Brazil.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Cuisine Brazilian
Calories 150 kcal


  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Old Fashioned glass


  • 1 1/2 oz Cachaça
  • 1 oz Red Vermouth
  • Ice cubes


  • Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the cachaça and red vermouth over the ice.
  • Stir well to chill the mixture without diluting it too much.
  • Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice.
  • Serve immediately.


The Rabo-de-Galo is often served straight up in Brazil, but can also be enjoyed over ice. Adjust the ratio of cachaça to red vermouth according to taste; some prefer a stronger or milder cocktail.
Keyword Aperitif, Brazilian cocktail, cachaça, Cocktail, Rabo-de-Galo, red vermouth, Rooster's Tail, traçado

Leave a Comment