Culinary Tours in Portugal: Port Wine Cocktails

November 17, 2020  |  By Peg Kern
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Glasses of port wine on a culinary tour of Portugal. It’s Wine Wednesday! And since we’re featuring Portugal this week, we’re featuring one of our favorites, port wine (or Porto). Port is actually a fortified wine, which means it is produced with the addition of alcohol (a neutral grape spirit called aguardente) during fermentation. This stops the fermentation and results in more sugars being left in the wine.

Tawny Port on our culinary tours in Portugal Port is therefore usually a sweet wine, and is served mostly as a dessert wine or digestif, although drier varieties do exist. Two two most common types of Port are “Ruby” Port, which is not aged in wood, thereby preserving the ruby red color, and “Tawny” Port, which is aged in wooden barriques, creating a more golden-brown color.

Learn more about Porto on a cooking vacation in Portugal.

So besides serving it with dessert, what is Port good for? It makes an excellent addition to many cocktails. And while I personally usually like the nuttiness of a Tawny Port, in cocktail recipes featuring port Ruby Port’s color makes a spectacular looking beverage!

Here are some classic Port cocktail recipes!

Port Lemonade

Port Lemonade

This is a refreshing summertime cocktail and can be made without the vodka if you want less alcohol.


  • 1 part ruby Port
  • 1 part vodka
  • 2 parts lemon
  • 1/2 part simple syrup


  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Serve over ice garnished with a lemon wedge.

See also our favorite sangria recipes from Portugal.

A refreshing cocktail on a vacation with TIK.


Named after Brooklyn’s Suburban Handicap horse race that was run during the Nineteenth Century.

  • 3 parts Rye whiskey
  • 1 part dark rum
  • 1 part ruby Port
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Stir all the ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry and an orange slice.

Check out one of our favorite Portugal culinary tours. 

Trafalgar Punch

A recipe from master mixologist David Wondrich.

  • 12 oz. tawny Port
  • 8 oz. Armagnac
  • 4 oz. white rum
  • The peel of 3 lemons
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 oz. lemon juice
  • 24 oz. water
  • nutmeg

Muddle the lemon peel and sugar and leave to sit for one hour. Add the rest of the ingredients except the nutmeg and stir until combined. Let chill in a punch bowl with a large block of ice. Before serving, grate nutmeg over the top.

Explore some of our favorite Mexican cocktails.


Bar Drake Manhattan

This one reputedly hails from San Francisco’s Sir Francis Drake Hotel during the prohibition period.

  • 2 parts Bourbon
  • 1 part tawny Port
  • 1/2 part maple syrup
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

Stir all the ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Learn more about Portuguese wines. 

What are your favorite recipes using Port? Do you have any savory or dessert recipes featuring Port that you can share?

Check out also some of our favorite Portuguese recipes:

By Peg Kern

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