MxMoVI: Port Wine Sangaree

OK, at least half of the appeal of making this drink is the opportunity to say (or in this case, write) “Sangaree.” If you’re looking for a new way to get tossed out of a bar, you could do worse than making it a habit to stroll in, rap loudly on the bartop with your knuckles and shout, “Barman! A Port Wine SAN-GAREE, extra nutmeg, s’il vous plait — and keep ’em comin’!”

The other part of the appeal comes from finding a way to drink Port in the heat of summer. Let’s face it — during the season when mojitos and rickeys and collinses are as essential as sunblock, the heavy richness of Port doesn’t get much demand. Here, then, a summer-worthy drink with Port, refreshing yet robust.

Up top of this post, you’ll see I’m also tagging this drink for “Gettin’ Jerry With It,” my lamely named category for drinks that appeared (in some version) in Jerry Thomas’ original bar guide. To be fair, Thomas also listed recipes for sangarees made with sherry, brandy, gin, ale and porter, so just about any kind of booze you wish to tip in the glass can be easily made into a sangaree. And what the hell is it, you ask? Well, not much, really — basically just your booze of choice shaken with ice and a little sugar, then served with a little nutmeg on top (and while Thomas doesn’t call for it, tossing a couple of wheels of lemon into the mixing glass brightens up the drink a tad). Does such a thing really need a name, especially something as flamboyant as “Sangaree”? Apparently.

Yet don’t let the modesty of its composition dissuade you — after all, epic summer coolers are frequently made of less. And while the Port Wine Sangaree lacks the power of a mint julep to air-condition your interior, it’s still surprisingly refreshing — kind of like a sangria with a touch more gravitas.

Port Wine Sangaree (this version from the Esquire Drinking Database)

  • 4 ounces port
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 thin lemon wheels (optional)

Shake with ice and pour, unstrained, into a double Old Fashioned glass. Grate a little nutmeg on top.

The Port Wine Sangaree is brought to you as part of Mixology Monday VI, for which the topic is Grapes, hosted by Rick over at Martini Lounge. Skip on over to Rick’s place and see what everyone else is doing for this round.

The next round of Mixology Monday is hosted by … me, I guess, as nobody else has offered. Since most everyone (including me) has some vacation time worked into the schedule over the next month, let’s take it easy and plan to rev up MxMoVII on September 18. The theme for this round will be Goodbye, Summer — pick the drink you found yourself turning to most this summer and enjoy it one last time before Autumn comes around.

6 Responses to MxMoVI: Port Wine Sangaree

  1. I guess I should read the posts before I send my mails off! Sorry! However, my offer still stands to host a MM session if you like!

  2. Ive been working with Port based cocktails for a few years now, not only do I find it a good base, but also a great modifier for whisky & rum based cocktails. Im assuming its a Ruby Port you’re using in the above cocktail ?

  3. Mal–that’s correct on the ruby port. And I’d love to hear more about your use of port in cocktails, especially as a modifier. The few instances where I’ve used it as an ingredient, I’ve been very pleased, and would love to know more drinks that have proven successful.

  4. I created this cocktail about month ago, dont give me slack if its already been done !!

    Maestro Ronero

    Glass – coupe
    garnish – none
    Method – dissolve sugar with gomme, add ingredients and shake, double strain.
    Ingredients – 60ml Bacardi 8 year old
    2 barspoons brown sugar
    10ml vanilla sugar syrup
    12.5ml Ruby Port

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