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Cockburn’s Porto Branco, Portugal ($14.50)

by Andrew Chalk


This is a really good example of a wine category that we should drink more of - white port. We are used to the deep brown of Vintage Port, Port wine’s highest, and therefore most expensive, expression. The beech brown of Tawny Port. The maroon red of ruby port. Is white port simply one of those, denuded of all the colour components?


Not so. It is made of different, white grapes. Commonly Códega, Malvasia Fina, Rabigato and Viosinho. It is generally not oak-aged, although some are. Some are now single-vintage, rather than a blend. The taste is fruity. Apricots, citrus fruit, and sometimes nuts.


A favorite Portuguese way of serving them is in a small glass on a hot summer’s afternoon with salted almonds and olives. In such an aperitif form they serve as the backdrop for conversation. Other common ways of serving them are with tonic water, and a curl of lemon and a slice of mint or, as Cockburn’s recommends for this example, as the base of a cocktail. This example is from the social and cocktail club of the UK.


THE HI-HO

THE INGREDIENTS

50 ml Gin, 25 ml White Port, 4 dashes Orange Bitters, Lemon Peel

HOW TO MAKE A HI-HO

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

SOCIAL AND COCKTAIL SAYS:

Very similar to the classic Martini with white port instead of vermouth. A very distinct and unique taste results, which will not be for all tastes but worth a try for the more adventurous.

DID YOU KNOW?

This cocktail originated from the "Hi Ho Club" of Hollywood California and was their signature cocktail during the 1930s.


Sample



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