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Port isn’t just for sipping on, it can be mixed with other drinks or used as an ingredient to make delicious cocktails.

So, whether you are a Port aficionado or just want to use up a bottle of Port before it goes bad, this Port Lemonade recipe is refreshing and easy to make.

What is Port wine?

Port wine is a fortified wine, which means that additional alcohol (grape spirit) is added to fermented grape juice to produce an alcoholic sweet wine.

It is made from black grapes grown in the upper Douro in Portugal. The majority of Port wine is red, but it is also made in white and rosé styles.

Port wine vats at Taylor’s winery in Porto, Portugal.

Types of Port

There are different styles of Port with different names, which can be confusing. Let’s discuss briefly what they are, what they taste like and how they differ from one another.

Ruby Port

Ruby Ports are bottled ready to drink. They are deeply colored and taste fruity. There are three types of Ruby Port:

Inexpensive Ruby Port

Inexpensive Ruby Port is fruity, sweet and simple wine, usually aged for less than three years.

Reserve Ruby Port

Reserve Ruby Port uses better quality wine, has complex flavors and intensity. They are aged for up to five years.

LBV Port

LBV Port is similar to Reserve Ruby Port, but the wine is made from a single year’s harvest.

Tawny Port

Tawny Ports are a paler-colored Ruby Port (some have White Port added to adjust the color) with caramel and toffee flavors.

Reserve Tawny Ports are aged for a minimum of six years in small oak vessels. They develop kernel and oxidative flavors (walnut, coffee, caramel) and have a tawny or even brown appearance rather than the ruby or purple colors of Vintage Ports.

Tawny Ports with indication of age can be labelled 10, 20, 30 or 40 (indicates the average, rather than a minimum age). They do not need to be decanted and should be drank as close to the bottling date as possible. This date is usually written on the label.

They are best served slightly chilled.

Vintage Port

Vintage Port is only made in good years. They are made from grapes from the best vineyards. After a short period of ageing in oak, Vintage Port is bottled unfiltered.

They are long-live wines that age well.

Generally speaking, a Vintage Port is a special occasion drink to savor, rather than to use as a cocktail ingredient.

White Port

White port is made from white grapes and can be made in a wide variety of styles.

White Port wine

Rosé Port

Rosé Port is a recent variation that was first released in 2008.

It is created in a similar way to rosé wine. There is a shorter period of contact with the grape skins, ensuring less color is extracted (creating the rose color rather than the typical deep ruby color created with longer contact with the grape skins).

Port Lemonade Recipe


Port Lemonade

Port, vodka and lemonade mixed together for a delicious cocktail.
Servings 1


  • 1 oz Port wine 25 ml
  • 1.5 oz vodka 37.5 ml
  • 2 oz lemonade 50 ml
  • 1 lemon slice


  • Fill a glass with ice.
  • Add the ingredients and stir well.
  • Garnish with lemon slice.

Read with confidence: I am a certified wine expert (WSET L3).