≡ Menu

Best Port Drink Recipes

Port drink (more commonly known as “port” or “port wine”) is a type of Portuguese wine made with distilled grapes from the Douro Valley in the Northern parts of Portugal.

Unlike other wines, the tipple can only be named port after strict instructions have been followed, including how to label, produce and market the drink. The general rule of thumb, however, is to look at the label and see if it says “Selo de Garantia” and you’re good to go.

How to Drink Port Wine

Port is perfect when paired with dessert, cheese or chocolate. Of course, this isn’t a rule that is set in stone! You can even make some delicious cocktails with this tipple that you can drink whatever the course (don’t worry, we’ve got the recipes for these too, just keep reading).

The Best Brands to Try

If you aren’t a port expert, you’ll want to dip your toes in at the shallow end with some affordable bottles. For that, you should try the following:

Sandeman Ruby Port

This one is incredibly easy to drink thanks to the smooth texture. You’ll notice a cherry syrup flavour which makes it the perfect companion to chocolate desserts.

Delaforce Fine Ruby Port

Delaforce brings wonderful wood tones in the background of an otherwise fairly tannic port.

Nieport Ruby Porto

No, you don’t need to be snooty about it but you should play with the breath with this one, otherwise, you will miss the gorgeous liquorice and gingerbread aromas. For the perfect accompaniment, eat some blue cheese.

After you’ve sipped on a few of these (and enjoyed it), you can upgrade to “better” ports like these:

Late Bottled Vintage Ports (like those from Noval and Taylor Fladgate)

This is where it gets pretty fancy — it comes from a certain vintage and the specific year will be shown on the bottle’s label. Try looking for those from 2003 as this was a great port era.

You can buy it filtered or unfiltered, it’s up to you. Just bear in mind that unfiltered has far more character but you’ll have to use a metal decanting funnel to take off the sediment before you can enjoy it.

Tawny Port

These guys start life as ruby port but then rest in a barrel for 10 to 40 years to mould the flavour, oxidise and infuse with mahogany tones from its container. The longer it stays in the barrel, the less fruity the port will be as it turns into a silky, rich concoction of taste bud heaven.

The Port Drink Cocktail Recipes

Right, you’ve got your favourite port (you’re now an expert on the topic of course) and you’re wondering what to do with the near-empty bottle. This is where cocktails come in!

Port New York Sour

To Make This, You Will Need:

  • 60ml bourbon
  • 20ml simple syrup
  • 20ml fresh lemon juice
  • 30ml Tawny port (the really nice one)
  • Ice

How to Make It:

1. Put the ice into a cocktail shaker.
2. Pour the bourbon, simple syrup and lemon juice into it.
3. Shake thoroughly until the mixture is very chilled.
4. Strain using a finely meshed sieve into a glass.
5. Add some more ice.
6. Pour the port over the back of a spoon into the glass.
7. Swirl the cocktail lightly so the port covers the surface of the drink.
8. Serve immediately.

New and Improved Dunlop

To Make This, You Will Need:

  • 60ml Tawny port
  • 30ml rum
  • 1 tsp sugar syrup
  • 1 dash chocolate cocktail bitters
  • Grapefruit peel (optional, for garnish)
  • Ice

How to Make It:

1. Put the ice, chocolate cocktail bitters, rum, Tawny port and sugar syrup into a mixing glass.
2. Stir until thoroughly chilled.
3. Strain using a finely meshed sieve into a drinking glass.
4. Garnish with the grapefruit peel (completely optional).
5. Serve immediately.

Lounge Chair Afternoon

To Make This, You Will Need:

  • 45ml pink port
  • 20ml tequila
  • 20ml grapefruit juice
  • 15ml fresh lemon juice
  • 15ml tarragon simple syrup (just make simple syrup as you usually would but add tarragon into the mix so it can infuse)
  • Ice
  • Grapefruit wheel (entirely optional, for garnish)

How to Make It:

1. Add the ice, grapefruit juice, tequila, pink port, fresh lemon juice and tarragon simple syrup into a cocktail shaker.
2. Shake thoroughly until the mixture is very chilled.
3. Strain using a finely meshed sieve into a glass.
4. Add fresh ice into the glass.
5. Put the grapefruit wheel on for garnish.
6. Serve immediately.

Port of Call

To Make This, You Will Need:

  • 30ml dry gin (pick your favourite)
  • 30ml ruby port (one from the first list above)
  • 20ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cranberry jam
  • 15ml cinnamon syrup (make simple syrup as normal, adding cinnamon into the mix so it can infuse)
  • Ice
  • Blackberries and raspberries on a cocktail stick (garnish, optional)
  • Mint spring (garnish, optional)

How to Make It:

1. Put the gin, ruby port, fresh lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, ice and cranberry jam into a cocktail shaker.
2. Shake very well until the ingredients are chilled.
3. Strain using a finely meshed sieve into a drinking glass.
4. Add extra ice.
5. Garnish with the mint spring, blackberries and raspberries.
6. Serve immediately.

Port Old-Fashioned

To Make This, You Will Need:

  • 60ml bourbon
  • 5ml tawny port
  • 5ml maple syrup
  • Ice
  • Several drops bitters
  • Orange twist or wheel (completely optional, for garnish)

How to Make It:

1. Put ice into a mixing glass.
2. Add the bourbon, bitters, tawny port and maple syrup.
3. Stir until combined and chilled.
4. Add fresh ice into a drinking glass.
5. Strain using a finely meshed sieve over the ice.
6. Garnish with an orange twist or wheel (entirely optional).
7. Serve immediately.