Since you can make cocktails with beer, wine and even sake, I suppose it’s not much of a stretch to create mixed drinks using port. Not that heavy, after-dinner winter port, mind you. I’m talking about cocktails made with pink port.
Pacific Wine & Spirits sent me over a bottle of Croft Pink, a rose style of port made by extracting fresh fruity flavours and a lovely pink colour from limited contact with the skins of classic port grapes. The result is a refreshing, light port; one that’s sweet like a rose but also heavy like a port. It’s great to sip chilled on its own but it also makes a unique ingredient in summer patio cocktails.
The bottle came with a little booklet filled with Croft Pink cocktail recipes, and I sampled a couple on the first day of summer.
The Paloma Rosa (pictured above) was my favourite because I am a tequila girl. It’s not unlike a grapefruit margarita, with Croft Pink taking the place of Cointreau.
- 1 oz Croft Pink Porto
- 1-1/2 oz white tequila
- 2 oz grapefruit juice
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1 oz soda water
- Dash of simple syrup as needed (I used 1/2 oz as our grapefruit juice was unsweetened)
- Lime wedge garnish
Pour all ingredients into an ice-filled mixing glass, stir, and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
I didn’t love the Sunset at first, but it grew on me as the ice melted and diluted the mix of port, gin and ginger beer. The gin’s botanicals highlight the port’s fruitiness and the ginger beer adds a nice kick of spice. It’s kind of like a hybrid Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, and makes another great patio drink.
- 2 oz Croft Pink Porto
- 1 oz gin (I used Bombay Sapphire)
- 2 dashes orange bitters (I used Twisted & Bitter)
- 3 oz ginger beer
- 1 mint sprig, for garnish
- Seasonal fruit, as garnish
Pour all ingredients into an ice-filled highball glass, stir, and add the garnishes.
— Recipes courtesy Croft Pink