When it comes to fortified wine, port is king. The wine’s flavor profile ranges all over the spectrum, going from syrupy sweet ruby styles to nutty, more oxidized examples. Believe it or not, port actually comes in a variety of colors, too, from white to coppery brown, to even brighter pinks and reds. While we tend to associate port with warm winter sipping, our favorite fortified wine is actually great in cocktails, making it a year-round staple in our wine consumption regimen. Bright acidity, residual sugar, and tons of nutty oxidized notes make it an incredibly versatile addition to a variety of classic cocktail recipes. We’ve rounded up seven of our favorite port cocktails, perfect for sipping anytime of year. Simply sip, shake, and see for yourself just how multifaceted this delicious Douro wine can be.
We’ve never met a fruit we liked more than port-soaked strawberries. The black pepper, salt, and citrusy orange zest balance out the sugary sweetness of the fruit and maple syrup. A perfect springtime sipper!
White port is a thing, and if you haven’t tried it, this is a great, simple cocktail to get you started. Drink like the locals do and sip on this easy-to-make take on the classic G&T.
Smoky mezcal and nutty tawny port make for a deliciously complex cocktail. Perfect for enjoying after dinner or beside a fireplace with your current read.
An alternative to the classic gin-based Pimm’s cup, this port-based cocktail was originally created by Jim Meehan of Please Don’t Tell in New York. Garnish with cucumber for a pop of color and fresh finish.
Bourbon, port, Kahlua… basically all of our favorite after-dinner sweet drinks are meshed into one gorgeous, boozy cocktail. Skip dessert and sip on this instead; for certified chocoholics, pair with a few pieces of dark chocolate for a decadent experience.
This easy-to-make cocktail is a must-try for lovers of St. Germain liqueur everywhere. Well balanced and booze-heavy, this drink is perfect for slower at-home happy hour sipping with friends.
Cold brew, dark aged rum, and tawny port. Three ingredients were never so impeccably made for one another. The nutty, caramel flavors of the port gorgeously complement the dark, roasted notes of cold brew. A flawless after-dinner selection!
Some days just call for happy hour at home, especially if you have a chic home bar to leisurely sip at in style. Most homes (and nearly all apartments!) don’t come fully equipped with an already existing bar station, but we scoured the internet for seven inspirational at-home bar ideas.
This beach-inspired bar is perfect for patios, outdoor spaces, and, of course, right beside the pool. Keeping fresh fruit available not only adds an adorable touch, but it’s great for mid-afternoon snacks and happy hour cocktail crafting.
Not sure how to utilize that awkward space under your staircase? Turn it into a bar, of course! The exposed brick wall adds a rustic touch to this contemporary design.
Make your own mad-scientist cocktail laboratory, inspired by this gorgeous corner bar station. Ample shelving makes this station perfect for smaller living spaces.
Spruce up your neutral-tone bar space with a bright accent color, like this gorgeous emerald green. Adding a contrasting color pop with flowers makes the space even more vibrant.
Even an addition as simple as some lighting fixtures can change the entire ambiance of a bar space. Organizing shelves by accessories, bottles, and glasses makes the bar look even more elegant and put together.
Simple Ikea cabinet or sophisticated DIY bar? It’s amazing what a painting, a plant, and a rose-gold shaker can do for a space.
As if that kitchen island weren’t multi-purpose enough, take it one step further by turning it into your wine storage rack! We’re obsessed with this chalkboard-painted wall, too; perfect for scripting out tonight’s happy-hour menu or wine of the evening among friends.
The Story Behind The Gin Marmalade Smash
With April on the way out and May making its beautiful and bright way toward us, winter is finally translating into memory. It’s officailly rosé weather and Champagne weather and bright, complex cocktail flavor. Well, it’s always the right weather for that, in our opinion. But it’s especially weather for bright, complex cocktails when the breeze turns warm and the slacks turn to skirts and the boots become adorable wedges.
For this week’s cocktail, in honor of spring, we transformed the classic Whiskey Smash into a beautiful spring cocktail with Old Tom gin and an orange twist. With a bar spoon of marmalade and the addition of triple sec, this cocktail takes a fresh classic and makes it perfect for sipping on a warm day. The orange and mint pair perfectly with the gin in this cocktail and lemon juice brings everything together with a little kick, as is its wont.
Ingredients In The Gin Marmalade Smash:
- 1.5 ounces Old Tom gin
- ½ ounce triple sec
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- 1 bar spoon orange marmalade
- 5 mint leaves
Gin Marmalade Smash Directions:
- Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
- Shake hard to combine ingredients
- Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice (ice cube)
- Garnish with mint and orange twist