The 8 Most Delicious Port Wine Cocktails

Port Wine Cocktails

Summertime is party time. And no matter if you enjoy yourself and your favorite people in your garden, by the pool, or at the beach, a cocktail makes the day even better. But why not try something new and go beyond the typical Margarita or the Mojito? What about trying Port wine cocktails? In this article, you will learn about these examples:

Before we shed light on these port wine recipes, here is a brief summary about port wine and cocktails in general.


Port wine is a fortified wine from the Douro Valley in Portugal. Most styles are made from red grapes and are extraordinarily sweet. You can find white and dry versions, though. The wines undergo a sophisticated winemaking process that includes barrel aging for 3 to 40 years.


We speak of a cocktail when at least two, but often more ingredients are mixed into one drink. Typically, at least one of these ingredients is alcoholic. The most common liquids for this purpose are spirits, including rum, whiskey, gin, or vodka. Non-alcoholic beverages like tonic water, cola, lemonade, juices, or energy drinks come into play as mixers.

Cocktails made with red wine or white wine are not as popular as those made with spirits as the main ingredients. And Port wine cocktails are even rarer. That is for good reason: Port is a complex and delicious beverage itself, and wine lovers might argue that mixing it with other liquids makes it rather worse than better. Nevertheless, Port wine cocktails are absolutely worth trying.


There are three things you need to make a great Port wine cocktail: the right ingredients, the proper tools, and the optimal glasses.

The Right Glasses for Serving Port Wine Cocktails

Let us start with the glasses. While you can enjoy cocktails from any glass, including wine glasses, having the right cocktail glassware has some advantages. Many glasses have stems to keep your drink cool by keeping your warm hand away from the drink. Also, they simply look better. These are typical cocktail glasses:

  • Rocks Glass: These stemless glasses with round, broad bases are the typical vessels for whiskey.
  • Long Drink Glass: This glass is tall and slim, with a small base. As the name suggests, it is mainly used for long drinks but also cocktails.
  • Martini Glass: The Martini glass might be the most elegant of all cocktail glasses. It has a wide, cone-shaped bowl and a long stem.
  • Pitcher: When hosting a party, it might make more sense to prepare a cocktail pitcher instead of single glasses so you can serve a group of people at once.

The Right Tools to Make Port Wine Cocktails

Even more important than the right glasses are the proper tools. To prepare Port wine cocktails, you need at least these tools:

  • Shaker With a Lid: Probably the essential cocktail tool is a shaker with a lid. Usually, it is made from stainless steel.
  • Measuring Cups in Different Sizes: The second crucial tool is a measuring cup, or better, various cups in different sizes.
  • Mesh Strainer: Many cocktails are mixed with crushed ice but served without it. For these drinks, you need a mesh strainer to remove the solids. Make sure it’s big enough to cover your widest cocktail glasses.
  • Knife and Cutting Board: To cut fruits, either as ingredients or as garnishment, you need a knife and a cutting board.

The Right Ingredients for Port Wine Cocktails

Logically, your ingredients determine your cocktail’s taste. By following some simple rules, you can make your Port wine cocktails much better:

  • When picking the Port wine for your cocktail, don’t aim too high. Basic Port wines have a decent quality and are perfectly fine as ingredients. Don’t waste your precious vintage Ports by mixing them into a cocktail.
  • The same rule goes for spirits such as vodka, rum, or gin. You should not go for the cheapest bottles because they are often very aggressive in taste. But you don’t need to buy the most expensive styles either.
  • Make ingredients like simple syrup yourself. It is cheaper and also more natural than buying industrial products.
    The same goes for fruits and juices. Buy fresh fruits and squeeze the juices yourself instead of using industrial products that contain a lot of extra sugar.
  • Use filtered spring water to make your own ice.


After discussing the glasses, tools, and ingredients for delicious Port wine cocktails, it is time to get into the recipes.

Port Melon Cocktail

There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a slice of sweet melon. And there is nothing better to warm you up on a cold winter day than a sip of Port wine. When they come together, these two ingredients are perfect for making delicious Port wine cocktails that you can serve in summer as well as in winter.


  • 1 ½ oz Tawny Port wine
  • 1 ½ oz dry white Port wine
  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • 1 small slice of Charentais melon
  • ice cubes
  • melon cubes for decoration


Serve the Port Melon Cocktail in a Martini glass. To prepare it, you need a blender, a shaker, and a mesh strainer. Here is how to make it:

  1. Cut a slice from the melon. Peel it, remove the seeds, and puree it in a blender.
  2. Fill a shaker with the melon puree, the Port wines, and the vodka. Add ice and shake it properly.
  3. Strain the cocktail into the glass but leave the ice in the shaker.
  4. Garnish the glass with small melon cubes.

Port New York Sour

Cocktail lovers admire sour cocktails. And, of course, multiple sour cocktails contain Port wine. The first we will discuss is a variation of the New York Sour. The original is made from red wine and whiskey. To transform it into a Port wine cocktail, you have to replace the red wine with Port.


  • 1 oz Tawny Port wine
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • crushed ice
  • ice cubes


You need a shaker, a mesh strainer, and a long spoon to prepare the cocktail. And to serve it, a rocks glass is the best choice. Follow these steps:

  1. Fill the bourbon, the juice, and the syrup into the shaker. Add crushed ice.
  2. Shake the mix properly until chilled.
  3. Fill a couple of ice cubes into the rocks glass.
  4. Strain the mix from the shaker into the glass.
  5. Fill the Port wine into a small measuring cup.
  6. Dribble the Port wine from the cup into the glass by pouring it slowly over the spoon’s back. When done right, the Port wine will float on top of the drink, creating a fascinating red layer. Swirl the glass carefully to move the wine across the entire surface if necessary.

Porto Negroni

The Negroni is a staple in every cocktail bar with a bitter-sweet aroma from Campari, Vermouth, and gin. And with just one small adjustment, you create a fantastic Port wine cocktail: the Porto Negroni. Waive the Vermouth, and use Tawny Port wine instead.


  • 1 oz Tawny Port wine
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 large ice cube
  • orange zest for decoration


The Porto Negroni should be served in a rocks glass. Alternatively, a long drink glass is fine, as well. Here are the instructions to prepare the Porto Negroni:

  1. Pour all liquids into the rocks glass.
  2. Stir the mix carefully.
  3. Add the big ice cube.
  4. Garnish the drink with a piece of orange zest.

St. Charles Punch

Another delicious sour cocktail that contains Port wine comes from New Orleans. It is much easier to make than the Port New York Sour, so it is a great drink, especially for newcomer bartenders.


  • 1 ½ oz Ruby Port wine
  • ¾ oz brandy
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • crushed ice
  • 1 orange slice for decoration


The right glass for the St. Charles Punch is a Rocks glass. These are the steps for preparing the cocktail:

  1. Fill the crushed ice into a shaker.
  2. Add the Port wine, the brandy, the juice, and the syrup.
  3. Shake properly until the shaker gets cool.
  4. Fill some crushed ice into the Rocks glass.
  5. Strain the mix from the shaker into the glass.
  6. Garnish the glass with a slice of orange.

Port and Tonic

The Port and Tonic is the prototype of a summer cocktail, just right for your pool party or garden barbecue. It is sweet, light, and full of refreshing citrus flavors. You need to invest some time, but it is worth it. Plus, you can easily make a whole pitcher of Port and Tonic and serve an entire group.


  • 4 oz White Port wine
  • 8 oz tonic water
  • 1 orange slice
  • 2 lemon slices
  • 2 lime slices
  • ice cubes


To prepare the Port and Tonic cocktail, you need a big wine glass. A Cabernet glass is great, but most other red wine glasses work as well. You need a big spoon to make this Port wine cocktail. Follow these steps to prepare it:

  1. Fill some ice cubes into the glass.
  2. Add the sliced fruits. Depending on the glass size, you might have to vary the amount.
  3. Add the white Port wine.
  4. Stir carefully. While stirring, press the fruits, so they release a bit of juice.
  5. Top the drink with tonic water and stir again.
Port and Tonic Cocktail
Port and Tonic Cocktail

Port Lemonade

Let us have a look at another refreshing summertime cocktail: the Port Lemonade. It deliciously combines sweet Port with vodka, lemonade, and herbal notes from mint leaves. Just like the Port and Tonic, you can prepare it in a pitcher to serve a crowd. Simply multiply the following measures by the number of people you want to serve.


  • 2 oz Ruby Port wine
  • 1 oz vodka
  • lemonade
  • mint leaves
  • 1 lemon slice
  • crushed ice


You can prepare this Port wine cocktail directly in a tall long drink glass, so there is no need for a shaker. You require a big stirring spoon, though. This is how you make the Port Lemonade:

  1. Fill crushed ice into the long drink glass.
  2. Add the Port wine and the vodka to the glass.
  3. Top it with lemonade.
  4. Stir the mix properly.
  5. Garnish the glass with a couple of mint leaves and a lemon slice.

The Suburban

The Suburban is quite the opposite of the Port and Tonic. Mixed from five different types of alcohol, it is a heavy drink and probably not the best choice for a summer party. But it is a great cocktail to sip while enjoying an evening by the chimney. And it absolutely is a delicious drink with a fascinating flavor mix.


  • ½ oz Ruby Port wine
  • ½ oz dark rum
  • 1½ oz rye whiskey
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • crushed ice
  • 1 orange slice for decoration


The Suburban comes in a rocks glass. To prepare it, you need a shaker and a mesh strainer. Here is how to do it:

  1. Fill some crushed ice into the shaker.
  2. Add all the liquids.
  3. Shake properly until you feel the shaker getting cold.
  4. Strain the mix into the rocks glass.
  5. Garnish the glass with a slice of orange.

Valentino’s Delight

Another fabulous Port wine cocktail to enjoy on a cold winter night is Valentino’s Delight. It is also relatively high in alcohol. Its notes of coffee, cream, and chocolate make a great dessert, even for Christmas evening.


  • 1 oz Ruby Port wine
  • 1½ oz bourbon
  • 1 oz coffee liqueur
  • 1 ½ oz heavy cream
  • chocolate sprinkles
  • crushed ice


Valentino's Delight Cocktail
Valentino’s Delight Cocktail

The Valentino’s Delight looks just great in an elegant Martini glass. You need a shaker and a mesh strainer to make it. Here is how to do it:

  1. Put crushed ice into the shaker.
  2. Add the wine, the bourbon, the liqueur, and the cream.
  3. Shake the ingredients properly until the shaker gets cool.
  4. Strain the drink into the Martini glass.
  5. Sprinkle a bit of chocolate over the drink.


With the recipes from this article, you are prepared to offer something special to your guests, whether you invite them to a pool party or a cozy night by the fireplace. So sharpen your bar tools, polish your glasses, and get ready to serve some delicious Port wine cocktails. Cheers!

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