The Drinks Cabinet – December

Cocktail columnist Guy Mazuch, head bar tender at the Zetter Townhouse, talks about his favourite Christmas tipple.

When it comes to our favourite Christmas tipple, Port always ends up on top. If you are by the roaring fire with a stinky blue cheese in front of you and you haven’t got a glass of Port in your hand, quite frankly, you’re doing it all wrong!

When we think about mixing drinks with Port it doesn’t take a lot to have great results. Add a splash to almost any cocktail and you’ll be happy (especially Whisky Sours). At The Zetter Townhouse, we wanted to make a cocktail that had Port as the sole ingredient (with tweaks here and there), so we decided on a Port Old Fashioned – essentially, Port to the power of Port. Any style of Port would work for this cocktail, but we went for Ruby Port. I would also recommend trying with a White Port to get those apricot/baked apple notes.

Our Ruby Port Old Fashioned uses:
10ml of Ruby Port reduction
3 dashes of orange bitters
50ml Ruby Port

To make the Ruby Port reduction we use a young Ruby Port (any other style is fine), reduce 200ml down to 100ml in a pan on a medium heat. Once this is done we add 50grams of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Then all the ingredients are stirred down, served over ice, and garnished with orange zest. This cocktail is spectacular paired with mince pies or your ripest stilton. Happy holidays.