Fortified Wine Cocktails To Strengthen Your Resolve This Winter

Being from Ireland, a Hot Toddy was the go-to remedy for all colds and cases of flu while I was a young woman, and a sherry-based nightcap was necessary on a cold night for anyone who was interested in sound sleep. These fortified-wine-based staples are becoming increasingly popular in the States now, and have been making their mark more indelibly over the past five to six years. We’ve seen a real shift in consumer attention to ports, brandies and sherries, perhaps in response to mixologists who are adopting them to create some truly outstanding cocktails.

Jordan Hughes and Kate Richards have laid out to two-easy to make cocktails, to warm your cockles this winter while elevating your spirits.

Smoke in Midwinter

By Jordan Hughes, The High Proof Preacher

  • 1¼ oz Islay scotch (I used @laphroaig)
  • ¾ oz Croft Reserve Tawny Port @croftport
  • ½ oz Pear brandy
  • ¼ oz Allspice dram
  • 2 dashes lemon bitters
  • 1 dash aromatic bitters

Build: Combine ingredients in a mixing glass & stir with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe & garnish with lemon zest & brandied cherry.

Spiced Chocolate and Orange Mulled Port

By Kate Richards, Drinking with Chickens

  • 1 750ml bottle of Fonseca BIN 27 Port
  • 1 750ml bottle of dry red wine
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice, strained to remove pulp
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur)
  • 1/4 cup powdered Mexican hot chocolate mix (or another bittersweet dark hot chocolate mix)
  • 2 small oranges, halved for mulling
  • 2 small oranges, sliced for garnish
  • 2 cinnamon sticks for mulling
  • 6 cinnamon sticks for garnish
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 nutmeg seed
  • 4 cloves


In a large saucepan, combine Port, wine, orange juice, orange liqueur, hot chocolate mix, the 2 halved oranges, 2 cinnamon sticks, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir thoroughly to combine and dissolve chocolate, then bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. When you are ready to serve, spoon liquids into your mug/glass, and garnish with a fresh orange slice and cinnamon stick.


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