How you doin’? It’s Friday! Time to get ready for my own home-time lonely hearts Happy Hour. It’s been getting hot in Los Angeles this week and I wanted nice, light, refreshing cocktails. The Portuguese Cocktail is a great solution. This is a favorite of most “Lisboners” and me, too. Here’s a little background.
Over the last 10 years or so I had two clients in Lisbon that required me to travel back and forth monthly (it’s a killer trip, no direct flights). While I wasn’t all that familiar with most Portuguese foods and cocktails, I quickly became an adopter of everything Portuguese—well, mostly everything—the pig ears being an exception. They’re just gross and better left as doggie treats.
My friend Nuno, the founder of A Padaria Portuguesa, and I use to go out evenings checking out the competition. There are many things from the Portuguese bar that I really like—green wine, Portuguese port—but mostly a light Springtime beverage made with just 3 ingredients—White Portuguese Port (a little hard find in the US), tonic and lime. These ingredients make for a beautiful Springtime happy hour. Also, see my recipe for Portuguese White Port Sangria.
Note: If you can’t find White Port use a little less of traditional Port to taste—it’s still a great drink.
White Port Cocktail
The night is at your fingertips. This Portuguese drink is a great addition to your spring and summer your cocktail arsenal.
1-ounce White Port
6 ounces Tonic Water
a twist and squeeze of lime
ChefSecret: This is how they do it in Portugal. We asked a few bartenders in Lisbon what the proper mixture of port and tonic was. Most bars and cafes pour one serving of Port (1 to 3 ounces) into a glass of ice and hand you a small bottle of tonic to pour over at your own discretion.
Portuguese White Port Sangria
This is a delicious Sangria made with White Port. It can be made with authentic Portuguese Port, or just Port-style wine. It has a delicate mix of flavors and sweetness while still being refreshing.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 1 to 2 hours
Yield: 8 servings
2 cinnamon sticks
5 sprigs of mint
1-pint strawberries sliced
2 oranges cut into 1/4" round slices, then quartered
1 lemon cut into 1/4" round slices, then quartered
1 lime cut into 1/4" round slices, then quartered
1 bottle white port-style wine
2 12-ounce cans of lemon-lime soda
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