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Feb 13, 2008 03:21 PM

Port Cocktails

Okay, I know port is a wine, not a spirit, but I'm asking for cocktail suggestions here, so I feel I'm in the right place.

My cocktail books don't contain many recipes that call for port. DeGroff has a port-whiskey punch and a port cobbler, but that's it. Regan doesn't even mention port, so far as I can tell. has only the very sorry Port Cocktail (, and the Coffee Cocktail (, which I must admit does sound a bit more promising (and delightfully old school).

Anyone have any ideas for other port cocktails?

(We just bought a bottle of LBV port to drink with Stilton, and I want to make a good faith effort to kill the bottle. ;) )

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  1. Enjoy the Porto with the Stilton . . . without the Stilton . . . after dinner . . . before bedtime . . . with a good book . . . with a good television show . . . on Valentine's Day . . . on Saturday . . . .

    A simple Ruby Porto is often served on the rocks with soda as a summertime refresher; the same is true of a low-end, "simple" Tawny Porto -- think a tall Campari and soda with a twist. Most people however, myself included, tend to prefer an LBV "straight, with some age." Depending upon the producer, and whether or not it is a "Traditional" Late Bottled Vintage Porto, it may be capable of great improvement with added bottle age, and it would be (IMHO) a shame to destroy its complexity and character in a cocktail or punch.


    3 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      Thanks for this perspective. I'm pretty ignorant about port, as you might have noticed.

      We're doing our Valentine's celebration a day late, and the port is for the cheese course of that meal. I'm not near the bottle at the moment, so I can't identify the producer, but I can remember my fiancee saying she only paid about $25 (in a PA state store) and that it's marked 2001.

      How long will the port last after opening. I assume refrigeration will help, right? Is it traditionally consumed at cellar temperature, or warmer?

      1. re: mhoffman

        Two percent of all Porto produced is Vintage Porto. Another small percentage are the "secondary" Vintage Ports. Then come the Late Bottled Vintage Ports.

        LBVs spend between four and six years aging in wood prior to bottling, versus only (approx.) two years for "true" Vintage Porto. There are two types of LBVs: those which are labeled "Traditional" or "Unfined"/"Unfiltered"; and those which are not. The former will improve with further bottle age, and will approximate the character and quality of a "true" Vintage Porto. The latter type is more like a "super" Ruby Porto: dense, ripe, but it's as good as it's going to get.

        Post back with the specific wine, and I can give you some specific ideas as to how (and when) to serve this . . .

        1. re: zin1953

          It's made by Dow's. Labeled "Late Bottled Vintage" but not "traditional" or "unfiltered." Bottled 2007, vintage 2001.