“I think port is extremely misunderstood,” says Sandy de Almeida, the bar manager at The Drake Hotel in Toronto. She counts herself as a big fan of the fortified wine. “It reminds me of laughter and loud voices,” she says. “Of drunk red-faced aunts and uncles and lots of food on the table. It’s the spirit of family and holidays. Of warmth.”
So she adds it into classic cocktails, cobblers, and everything in-between, like this cold-weather cocktail with amaro, scotch whisky, and a hefty splash of late-bottled vintage (LBV) port. “LBV is a nice balance between a ruby and a tawny port, typically aged between four and six years,” she says. “You still get a bold, intense flavor, with some added complexity, but at a nicer price for mixing into cocktails.”
Here, it joins a sweet, mild amaro to sub in for sweet vermouth in what can be seen as a twist on a Rob Roy, an ultimate wintertime sipper.
- 1 1/4 ounces Bowmore 12-year-old Islay scotch
- 3/4 ounce Taylor Fladgate LBV port
- 1/2 ounce Nonino amaro
- 1 barspoon Luxardo maraschino liqueur
- 2 heavy dashes Angostura
- Garnish: lemon twist
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Express the oils from the lemon twist over the drink, then discard the twist.