Port Wine Sangaree

Port Wine Sangaree
1 1/3 Wineglasses of Port Wine. (Generous 2 oz Smith & Woodhouse 1999 Late Bottled Vintage Port)
1 Teaspoonful of Sugar. (1 teaspoon caster sugar)
(1 oz Chilled Sparkling Water)
Fill tumbler 2/3 full of ice. Shake well and grate nutmeg on top. (Err, well, as in the previous two Sangarees, muddle sugar in a splash of soda water to dissolve. Add big ice cube, pour over port, stir briefly, and top with an ounce of Chilled Sparkling water. Garnish with Lemon Twist and Nutmeg.)

I’ve been annoying the wine clerk at Canyon Market this week, he keeps asking me what I need, hoping to make some swank and perceptive wine recommendation, and I say “Well, I need some Madeira for a 18th Century Drink I’m making.” Fortunately, they do have small, but decent, selection of fortified wines.

I had to explain the whole Sangaree thing, and he got it right away. “You mean something you could drink on your lunch our and your boss wouldn’t fire you?” Exactly. Just enough to take the edge off, but not enough to get much of a buzz.

Or, as David Wondrich remarked last night at the Cointreau event at the Boothby Center for Beverage Arts, “…They just didn’t have bottled soft drinks back then, and sometimes you’d want something a little milder than a cocktail.”

Anyway, I picked this Late Bottle Vintage Port, because I wanted a Port with enough “grip” to stand up to being diluted. So many of the modern Ruby Ports are being made in such a mild, sweet style, as to be nearly Sangarees without adding the extra water and sugar for dilution.

This Port Wine Sangaree and the Madeira Sangaree were definitely my favorites of the bunch. Give them a try some hot summer afternoon and tell me they are not great drinks.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.

Tinton Cocktail

Tinton Cocktail
1/3 Port Wine. (sink 3/4 oz Warre’s Warrior Porto)
2/3 Applejack or Calvados. (1 1/2 oz MONTREUIL RESERVE CALVADOS)
(dash Angostura Orange Bitters)
Shake (Stir, please) well (the Calvados and orange bitters) and strain into cocktail glass. (Over the back of a spoon, pour the Port Wine down the side of the glass as a “sink”.

When I first made the Princeton Cocktail, I didn’t realize that properly made, the Port Wine should be added as a “sink”. Attempting to rectify that situation, I have applied that methodology to the Tinton. I think it looks, and tastes, kind of cool.

A few years ago, when I was first getting to know my mother-in-law, I discovered her displeasure at having her Old-Fashioned glasses cleared before she felt she was finished with them. She enjoyed lingering over the dregs of the cocktail, the diluted bitters and whiskey, which collected in the bottom of her glass. Woe betide the waiter, who cleared that glass without asking.

When thinking about that, I started thinking about the tautology of the life of a cocktail. You want it to be enjoyable to the drinker for the whole time they have it, not everyone is “one and done” with their drink.

Which also got me to thinking about cocktails which evolve while you drink them.

The Old-Fashioned is a good example. Usually, when it is put in front of you, the ice has only begun to melt. It should sting a little. As you savor, the ice melts further, chilling and diluting the drink. By the end, you are left with mostly water, which on a hot, humid day in Wisconsin, isn’t a bad thing.

In a similar way, ‘Ti Punch is another drink which can be a bit of a bear the first few sips, the heat and fire of the Rhum Agricole needs time to be tamed by the melt from the cubes and to blend with the cane syrup and lime peel.

In a more obvious way, the Princeton changes as you drink it. The first few sips will be almost entirely cold Gin. Then as you tilt it back, you find it being more mixed with the Port. The last few sips will mostly be Port.

This works just as well, orignal recipe intention or not, with the Tinton. And I do think the Orange Bitters were a nice addition.

Admittedly, most cocktail drinkers, we hope, down their cocktails quickly, while they are still cold.

But some drinks are meant to be lingered over, to enjoy the puzzle provided by the evolution of the spirits, ice, and flavor as they mingle over time.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Tempter Cocktail

Tempter Cocktail
1/2 Port Wine. (1 oz Warre’s Warrior Port)
1/2 Apricot Brandy. (1 oz Blumme Marillen Apricot Eau-de-Vie)
Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cocktail glass.

I, uh, suppose I really should have made this with Apricot Liqueur. But that just sounded, well, like pancake syrup, and it was not yet dinner time when I made this cocktail.

So sue me, I swapped in Apricot Eau-de-Vie instead of liqueur.

Monty* doesn’t approve of all this attention going to cocktails instead of him, but he approves of the choice.

*You can blame the gratuitous dog photo on paystyle

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Sevilla Cocktail (No. 2)

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Sevilla Cocktail (No. 2)
1/2 teaspoonful Powdered Sugar. (1/2 teaspoon caster sugar)
1 Egg (1 Large Egg)
1/2 Port Wine. (1 1/2 oz Warre’s Warrio Port)
1/2 Bacardi Rum. (1 1/2 oz Havana Club Anejo Blanco)

Stir (I shook) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Stir this cocktail? Nearly every other drink in the book they direct you to shake, but this one has a whole egg and they tell you to stir? Ridiculous!

Didn’t particularly care for this drink, despite it being merely spitting difference from the thoroughly enjoyable Coffee Cocktail.  Not sure what is up with that.  I think maybe a darker rum might make it more enjoyable.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Princeton Cocktail

Princeton Cocktail

Princeton Cocktail.
2 Dashes Orange Bitters. (Angostura)
1/3 Port Wine. (3/4 oz Ficklin Tinta Port)
2/3 Tom Gin. (1 1/2 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin)

Stir well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

I thought that was pretty good. A sort of variation on the Martinez with Port instead of Sweet Vermouth. Lighter and a bit more winey. However, when I posted the picture of this drink on my flickr photostream, I got an unexpected comment from Michael Dietch (A Dash of Bitters)

I love this drink, but not made in this way. In Imbibe (the book, not the mag), Dave Wondrich has a variant in which he slides the port gently down the side of the cocktail glass, instead of stirring it all together. This way, the port layers underneath the gin, and gradually mixes with the gin as you drink.

I love when others do my research for me, especially those as erudite as Mr. Dietch!

And look how pretty it is when prepared in that way!

Princeton Cocktail*

*Hijacking this photo taken by Michael’s wife.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Port Wine Cocktail No. 2

Port Wine Cocktail No. 2

Port Wine Cocktail (No. 2)

Squeeze orange peel on top.
1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
2 Dashes Curacao. (1/2 tsp. Brizard Curacao)
1 Glass Port Wine. (2 oz Ficklin Tinta Port)

Stir well and strain into Port Wine glass.

OK, now that is a cocktail, at least! Bitters, Curacao, and Port Wine!

And, as such, fairly enjoyable.

I have to admit being a bit fond of Ficklin’s Ports.  In 1941 UC Davis issued a report suggesting that it would be very possible to produce wines in California from Port varietals which were on par with those from their country of origin.  In 1948  Ficklin Vineyards accepted that challenge and began growing Portuguese varietals from UC Davis Cuttings for the production of Port Style wines.

The Ficklin Tinta is a lighter style Wine which doesn’t hit you over the head with sweetness, so I could see this cocktail working before or after dinner. I guess, especially, if you didn’t feel like dragging liquor into your night’s affairs.

Interesting Tidbit from an old “WineDay” Article, “When Ficklin was founded, Americans drank three bottles of Port and Sherry for every one of table wine such as “Pinot Chardonnay” or Zinfandel.”

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Port Wine Cocktail No. 1

Port Wine Cocktail No. 1

Port Wine Cocktail (No. 1).

1 Dash Brandy. (Osocalis Brandy)
1 Glass Port Wine. (2 oz Ficklin Tinta Port)

Stir slightly in ice and strain.

I dunno, does this even count as a cocktail? 2 oz of port with a dash of brandy?

I suppose it is perfectly fine, and all. Just don’t much see the point.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Poop Deck Cocktail

Poop Deck Cocktail

Poop Deck Cocktail.
1/2 Blackberry Brandy. (1 oz Leopold Brothers Rocky Mountain Blackberry Liqueur)
1/4 Port Wine. (1/2 oz Ficklin Port)
1/4 Brandy. (1/2 oz Osocalis Brandy)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (uh, oops, build in crushed ice, stir, top up with a splash of soda. Squeeze Lemon Peel over glass.)

One of the fun things about Savoy Cocktail Book night at Alembic is that some of the Savoy Cocktails are actually on the “Classics” section of Alembic’s regular menu.

The Poop Deck is one that they describe in the following way, “It’s hard to resist a cocktail with a nautical theme (or scatalogical reference for that matter). This classic cocktail blends Cognac, Port Wine, and Blackberry Brandy, making for smooth sailing on stormy seas. Overindulgence, however, could send a wave up over your stern.”

To me the “up” version of the Poop Deck is a tad rich for my taste, so I decided to give it the old Bradsell Bramble treatment, building it over crushed ice.  Worked quite well, I must say!

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Devil’s Cocktail

Devil’s Cocktail

1/2 Port Wine. (1 1/4 oz Ficklin Old Vine Tinta Port)
1/2 French Vermouth. (1 1/4 oz Noilly Prat)
2 Dashes Lemon Juice.

Shake (stir, please) well and strain into cocktail glass.

Well, this is an appropriately named cocktail for Halloween.

Though, it really doesn’t seem particularly satanic to me.

It is refreshing, light, and somewhat wine-like.

Aside from the color, perhaps it is a “Devil’s Cocktail” because it doesn’t really seem like it has any alcohol?

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Chocolate Cocktail (No 2)

Chocolate Cocktail (No 2)

Chocolate Cocktail (No. 2)

The Yolk of 1 Fresh Egg
1/4 Yellow Chartruese (1/2 oz Yellow Chartruese)
3/4 Port Wine (1 1/2 oz Warre’s Warrior Port)
Teaspoonful of Crushed Chocolate (heaping teaspoon of Scharffen Berger cocoa powder)

Shake well and strain into medium size glass.

Yes, well, again, I am not sure what might be meant by “crushed chocolate”. I couldn’t imagine how crushing a chocolate bar would result in anything except a mess.

Extra equipment: 2 small bowls, rubber spatula, and a whisk or fork.

Alternative instructions:

Dump a generous teaspoon of unsweetened Cocoa Power into one of your bowls. Add a teaspoon of water and mix until it starts to form a paste. Add a little more water at a time and continue mixing until it reaches the consistency of melted chocolate. Separate the white from the egg and whisk the yolk into the chocolate. Measure the liqueurs into your mixing tin or glass. Pour in the egg and chocolate mixture. Add ice and shake well. Strain into cocktail glass.

While I enjoyed the Chocolate Cocktail (No 1) and I know port and chocolate are supposed to go together, this reminded me of that old reese’s peanut butter cup commercial: “Excuse me, you got Port in my Chocolate. Why, no sir, you got chocolate in my Port.”

Unfortunately, they don’t really seem like, “two great tastes that taste great together,” at least in a cocktail. I dunno, maybe white or tawny port would work better.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.