Raise a glass: Port cocktails


Raise a glass: Port cocktails

|

UPDATED:

00:36 GMT, 22 November 2012

Port has been the quintessential English gentleman’s tipple since its creation in the 17th century, by British sailors who added brandy to Portugese wine to prevent it spoiling on the voyage home.

The drinking of it is steeped in etiquette — port should be passed to the left; and if anyone dallies with the decanter, you should ask whether he knows the Bishop of Norwich…

‘He’s a terribly good chap, but he always forgets to pass the port.’

Port is no longer just an after dinner drink, it's an essential cocktail component

Port is no longer just an after dinner drink, it's an essential cocktail component

That bibulous Bishop must be turning in his grave — port’s stuffy image is no more. Sales have risen by 50 percent in the last 15 years, to 75m a year, and it increasingly appeals to young drinkers and women.

At Marks and Spencer, sales are up 18 percent, and at Selfridges, ruby and tawny ports are selling well. And port is not just an after dinner drink — now it’s an essential cocktail component.

Award-winning barmen Erik Lorincz (left) and Agostino Perrone (right) serve port at The Connaught

Award-winning barmen Erik Lorincz (left) and Agostino Perrone (right) serve port at The Connaught

Agostino Perrone at The Connaught Bar has created the Verve Cobbler, with blackberries, truffle and bison grass vodkas, Galliano Balsamico liqueur, tawny port, lemon and spiced sugar.

More simply, try white port with tonic water, a twist of lemon and ice. Leave a glass of that with the mince pies on Christmas Eve and you’ll have a very happy Santa.