Tropical cocktails
Port: a Wine or Distilled?


Port tastes wonderful by itself, but also makes a pretty good cocktail

Port, which is actually a English finding is only about 150 years old and is most popular in France, of all places. Although the port wine is now produced on rugged terrain in hills and mountain, it's been all over the world. Port is usually drank when it's young (about 3 years old), but can ripen surprisingly long to about 40 or 50 years.

Is port a Wine or distilled? This is a question unmistakably leads to everlasting discussions. Obviously, port owes a lot of itself to the wine stakes that grow along the riverbanks of the Douro, where the difference in production of the different quinta's (vineyard is Portuguese) are living proof of, but without the addition of brandy, the only thing coming out of Porto would be a strong, provincial wine.

Although Port is usually an aperitif that stands alone quite well, it can be combined with other ingredients and, particularly in England, it is used a base to make warm drinks.

One of the distinctive features of port comes from the moment when the brandy (77% alcohol) is added during fermentation, which causes the 'wines' to be kept and ripened much longer than regular wines. This is why we sometimes read about mutage, the mutation of the natural sugars during the fermentation.

Age determines the quality of the port:

  • Ruby: younger than 3 years;
  • Tawny: older than 3 years;
  • Vintage: with a year on it's label
  • Late bottled vintage: with a year marking and late bottled
  • Quintas: from one vineyard, while usually port is a blended product
  • and, last but by now means last: White port.

Port is not the only fortified wine: in Spain we find several types of sherry (xérès), in France there are the naturally sweet wines of Banyuls, Rivesaltes and Maury and then there is, of course, the Madera's. Most of these fortified wines have enough 'body' by itself, but de young 'rubies' can certainly add a bit more 'schwung' to a cocktail.

Porto Flip

This classic used to be made with a whole egg, which made it more foamy and refreshing.

Put in a shaker that is filled with 50% ice:

7/10 Port (Ruby)
3/10 Cognac
1 tsp. sugar
1 egg yoke

Shake long and serve in chilled cocktail glasses.

Porto Cobler

A must try amongst our cocktails.

Add to a tumbler glass with crushed ice:

6/10 Port (Ruby)
2/10 Orange Juice
1/10 Cointreau
1/10 Marasquin

Stir well and decorate with an orange. Serve with a straw.




This short drink lets de often undervalued aromas of the white port come out. Ideal as an aperitif.

Put in a shaker that is filled with 50% ice:

6/10 Dry White Port
2/10 Gin
1/10 Apricot Liqueur
1/10 Lime juice

Shake and serve in cocktail glasses. Decorate with strip of lime skin.

Lucky Ingrid

This rather strong short drink tastes best after a meal.

Put in a mixing glass with some ice cubes:

5/10 Port (Ruby)
3/10 Cognac
2/10 Amaretto

Stir long and serve in cocktail glasses.


More cocktails based on: | Gin | Vodka | Tequila | Rum | Whisky | Calvados | Cognac | Vermouth | Port | Anise drinks & bitters | Liqueurs | Wine | Champagne | Beer | warm cocktails |