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 Filed as : Cocktails

The Spirit(s) Of Port

Jun 5, 2012
The Spirit(s) Of Port
Cocktail historian David Wondrich resurrects Port as a mixer

portPortugal’s famous fortified wine, Port, is a singular aperitif. But its rich history as a mixer is also reviving the wine’s place in the modern cocktail movement.

According to cocktail historian David Wondrich, British sea captains of the 17th century mixed Port with sugar, water, and nutmeg to make sangaree, or what we would come to know as a type of sangria. Throughout the following century, Port made appearances in punch bowls, julep cups, and martini glasses.

Now, Wondrich is working with prestigious Port houses to resurrect these classics and utilize the spectrum of Port’s rich flavors, velvety textures, and opulent colors to create new cocktails.

In addition to white, ruby, and tawny Port, Wondrich uses Croft Pink, a new rosé style Port from one of the Douro Valley’s oldest Port houses. Below are three of Wondrich’s recipes.

Siroco and Tonic
cocktail• 1 part Fonseca Siroco White Port
• 1 part tonic water
• ice cubes

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add Fonseca Siroco White Port and tonic water. Stir well and garnish with a lemon wheel, mint leaf, or basil leaf.

Pink Diamond

cocktail• 1 part Croft Pink Port
• 1 part soda water
• Lemon wedge
• Lemon wheel for garnish

Pour both Croft Pink and soda water into a highball glass filled with ice.
Squeeze a lemon wedge over the top and stir. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Trafalgar Punch

cocktail• 12 ounces Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Port
• 8 ounces Laressingle VSOP Armagnac
• 4 ounces Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum
• The peel of three lemons, cut in wide spirals
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 6 ounces fresh-squeezed, strained lemon juice
• 24 ounces water
• 1 whole nutmeg

In a 3-quart punch bowl, muddle the lemon peel and sugar. Let it sit for one hour. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Port, Armagnac, rum, and water. Stir. Carefully slide in a 1-quart block of ice. Chill for 20 minutes and grate 1/3 of a whole nutmeg over the top. Ladle out small servings into punch cups. Makes 20-30 servings.

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