Port has not always had the most modern image in Britain, often seen as a Christmas drink consigned to the more mellow part of the evening. But this thinking now seems outdated, even wrong. Many classic cocktail recipes, dreamed up in the late 1800s list Port as the base in cocktails and punches, and today more and more mixologists from hip cocktail bars across the country (and the world) are shouting about the drink’s virtues as a way of elevating a cocktail with added complexity and flavour. There’s also a healthy nod to the lower alcohol qualities of Port – a fortified wine – compared to gin, vodka and any other fully fledged spirit.
Its complex flavours and different styles lend themselves to a variety of cocktails. A younger ruby Port delivers fresh, red-fruit notes. Oak-aged Tawny Ports give a hit of richer notes and delicious sweetness. White port, from white grapes, contribute bright acidity and a bagful of fruit flavours such as citrus, apples and a hint of summer hay on the palate. Pink Port, in the meantime, is all about crisp fruit intensity.
White Port Season
For many around the world this time of year lends itself to white port and tonic or even white port sipped on its own over ice.
Taylor’s pioneered dry white aperitif Port back in 1934 when its Chip Dry White Port first burst onto the market. Made from selected dry white Ports produced from a variety of grapes grown in the Douro Superior, its core and most important grape is the Malvasia Fina, known for its fresh, light and moderately complex character.
The new Taylor’s Chip Dry & Tonic can is pre-mixed to create the perfect serve of White Port & Tonic (see below) for those moments with friends and family, at home or out and about. This deliciously dry and refreshing drink can be served chilled straight from the can or, even better, over ice with a slice of lemon or orange and a sprig of mint.
Taylor’s Chip Dry
Chip Dry is produced using the traditional Port wine vinification methods, but the wine’s secret is that moment in the fermentation process when the winemakers add a dose of high quality brandy to halt fermentation and preserve some of the grape’s natural sugar in the finished wine. The winemakers at Taylor’s add the brandy late, when much of the fruit sugar has been converted into alcohol, producing a Port of unusual dryness. The individual wines are matured separately in oak vats for between four and five years and are then blended together shortly before bottling. The result is a wine of superb balance and delightful character.
So what can we expect from the Taylor’s Chip Dry? From this light straw coloured wine, the nose is delicate and mellow with fresh fruit fragrances and hints of oak. Fresh, lively palate, with good flavour and crisp, dry finish.
How to serve
Taylor’s Chip Dry White port is best served chilled between 6ºC to 10ºC, either as a drink on its own, or alternatively pour into your favourite glass over ice, top up with tonic water, and add a sprig of fresh mint and a slice of lemon or orange. Add in a bowl of salted almonds or olives for extra deliciousness.
Once opened, the bottle will maintain its freshness and vibrancy for up a month.
- Taylor’s Chip Dry White Port – one part
- Tonic Water – two parts
- A couple of mint leaves
- Strip of orange zest or slice of lemon
- Lots of ice
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White port cocktail recipes
Add to your cocktail repertoire with one of these perfectly balanced white port cocktails. Each one is simple to make, looks impressive and chances are your dinner guests haven't tried one before.
- Taylor's Chip Dry
- 3cl Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1.5cl Honey
- 3 Egg Whites
- 5 Mint leaves
Dry shake all the ingredients, then shake again with ice. Double strain into a chilled Martini coupe. Finish with a garnish of lavender
Bubbly Apple Port
- 4cl Taylor's Chip Dry White Port
- 3cl Apple Cider
- 2,5cl Lemon Juice
- 2cl Ginger Beer
Run a lemon wedge around the rim. Dip the rim in yellow sugar and cinnamon. Add Taylor's Chip Dry, lemon juice, apple cider and ginger beer. Add ice and stir gently. Garnish with a thin slice of apple.
- 4cl Taylor's Chip Dry White Port
- 2cl Fresh Orange Juice
- 1cl Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2cl Sugar Syrup
Berry Mix (for 25 cocktails)
- 400g Red Fruits Pulp (Boiron Brand)
- 10cl Campari
- 30cl Taylor's LBV
Fill a double rocks glass with crushed ice. Place Taylor's Chip Dry, orange juice and lemon juice. Stir gently. Add the prepared Berry Mix on top. Finish with garnish of rosemary and fresh blackberries. For the Berry Mix recipe, put all ingredients in a blender. Mix for about 5 minutes. Remove from blender and re-serve. To preserve, place in a cold fridge.
Background on Taylor's
For many Taylor’s is the quintessential Port house. Family managed since 1692, Taylor’s owns three great vineyards in the Douro, Quinta de Vargellas, Quinta de Terra Feita and Quinta do Junco. These iconic properties, all with the highest possible rating, occupy three distinct geographic locations with their own unique character, and provide the main source and backbone of Taylor’s unique house style.
Taylor's is fully committed to sustainability. In the vineyard they have adopted techniques and strategies to establish a balanced, sustainable and diverse environment, with no compromise to the quality of the Port wine produced by the vines. In addition to this, they have made advances in areas such as renewable energy, waste management and effluent treatment.