Port wine is synonymous with cosy winter evenings and Christmas. But Port isn’t just for sipping on while you warm yourself in front of the fire, it also makes delicious cocktails. So, whether you are a Port aficionado or just want to use up a bottle of port before it goes bad, this twist on a classic Martini is the perfect Christmas cocktail.
Use Ruby Port if you don’t have Tawny Port.
What is Port wine?
Port wine is made from black grapes grown in the upper Douro in Portugal. It is a fortified wine, which means that additional alcohol (grape spirit) is added to fermented grape juice to produce an alcoholic sweet wine.
Ruby Port vs Tawny Port wine
Ruby Ports are aged for short periods in large oak vessels and are bottled ready to drink. They are fruity (blackberry, blackcurrant, cherry) and dark in color. 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). They 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 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 use as a cocktail ingredient.
Tawny Port Martini
- 2 oz Tawny Port 50 ml
- 1 oz vodka 25 ml
- .5 oz cranberry juice 12.5 ml
- Pour ingredients into an ice-filled shaker.
- Shake and strain to a chilled Martini glass.
- Garnish with olives.