Anyone who has ever visited Portugal is sure to have come across a drink that is a favorite with locals called the Porto Tónico (Port Tonic). It is a ubiquitous aperitif in Portugal, much like the Aperol Spritz in Italy. This popular cocktail is made with white port wine (yes, there is such a thing) and tonic, which creates a light and refreshing drink that is the perfect summer beverage. After you try your first Port Tonic you will wish you had discovered it sooner.
Many are not familiar with white port wines, as they are made in small quantities by around 30 producers in the Douro Valley, so they are not widely exported. But the good news is that they can now be found in some local wine shops and online vendors are starting to offer a selection as well. White ports are made from the same grapes used to make dry white wines, and like their red counterparts they are fortified with brandy to stop fermentation.
White ports are best served chilled. They are an excellent aperitif, or can be combined with tonic to create the perfect summer cocktail.
- 1.5 oz White Port (a dry white port works best)
- 3 oz Tonic
- Lemon slice (orange works well also)
Directions: Fill a wine glass with ice. Add the white port and the tonic to the glass and gently stir together. Garnish with a slice of lemon or orange and enjoy! It’s that simple. To make a pitcher of Port Tonics maintain the ratio of 1 part Port to 2 parts Tonic and you will be all set.
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