Dare to Mix It
79th Street Cocktail: A Port-based Manhattan

When I think of Port , I think of a drink that has a wide range of styles as much as a lot of versatility. From white to rosé and red, off-dry to sweet, fresh and simple to complex and structured, it can be drunk as an apéro as much as it can accompany a sophisticated meat dish or a sweet dessert. An original way of drinking Port wine is to use it as a cocktail ingredient. Tawny Port is among the styles that give me the most pleasure while crafting cocktails since the oxidative perfume and the fruit character offer a pungent aromatic. The sweetness level of a Tawny can be compared to sweet vermouth, which means that you can easily switch one for the other as much as combining both in a classic cocktail. That being said, Tawny Port is a nice ingredient to add deepness and complexity to any cocktail. A classic that I find delicious with Port is a reverse Manhattan that calls for a 10 years Tawny Port with a dash of maple syrup instead of sweet vermouth. This classic becomes driven by the flavours and perfume of the Port wine while staying serious, elegant and boozy. While the classic pairings are as good as they have ever been, it is consumer creativity and the audacity of restaurant workers that will expand Port’s versatility. You can make an opinion on your own by pairing this cocktail with blue cheese. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

79th Street Cocktail (Port Reserve Manhattan)

2 fl oz 10 Year Old Tawny Port
1 fl oz rye whisky
1 barspoon (1/6 oz) maple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Bokers bitters
Brandy marinated cherry or orange zest, for garnish

Directions: Place ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass. Stir until chilled and to desired dilution. Strain into a chilled Martini glass or a Marie Antoinette coupe. Garnish with a brandy marinated cherry or orange zest. While the classic pairings are as good as always, it is the consumer creativity and the audacity of restaurant workers that will expand Port wine versatility.