The S(port) Of Bartending

I know.

This doesn't look like a typical glass of Port. Before I made this video, I always pictured Port as an aperitif that a bunch of Europeans drank (in tiny sips) as they sat around a table talking about their siestas. 

But then I found out about Port Cocktails. That's right. This spring, liven up your typical drink order by adding Port into your Aperol Spritz or Cucumber Cooler. And with low ABV drinks hitting everyone's radar lately, it's the perfect time to swap out your liquor of choice for this sweet fortified wine. Mixologist and educator Andy Seymour of Liquid Productions loves using Port as a base for cocktails because:

  • It’s versatile. The Ruby and Tawny styles are rich and complex, adding nuance and creating a dynamic drink.
  • Often a base spirit drives a drink’s flavor, but Port allows for a different structure. The drinks are still enjoyable while minimizing the effect of the alcohol.
  • Port lasts for a long time once opened and imparts plenty of flavor and texture to a drink. 
  • White or Pink Port styles add a subtle yet refreshing crispness that is conducive to extended evenings.
  • Port cocktails are easy to pair with food, an essential part of enjoying session drinks the right way.

Now, onto the most important part: Making the actual cocktails! I took a stab at it (I messed up a few times, per usual) but no matter what additional ingredient I threw into my drink (including the wrong type of Port), it always tasted great. Whether you're a whiskey drinker or you prefer something light and refreshing, each one of these recipes will make you feel like flying to Portugal and pulling up at chair at that table filled with Europeans.

Here's a few more recipes:


Aperitif of Destruction

  • 1 oz Lilet Blanc
  • 3/4 oz Fonseca Siroco White Port
  • 1/2 oz Tonic

Build in a Collins glass. Shake. Fill with tonic, garnish with an orange peel. Drink available at The Lighthouse in Brooklyn. 

Desert Wind

  • 1/2 oz Fonseca Siroco White Port
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 oz Cardinal Mendoza Spanish Brandy
  • 1/4 lemon, cut up
  • 1/4 lime, cup up


Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Stir thoroughly and strain over a big ice cube, garnish with a wide lemon peel. Drink available at The Pierre Hotel in NYC.


What does your bar look like? Send me pics and I'll feature it on POTR!