These here porto tonicos are the earthy, deeply flavored answer to what you should be drinking tonight.
Winter is great..(?)
Let’s try that again. Winter is sometimes great, and sometimes it’s the absolute worst.
My attitude towards winter is flaky. Like a group of pony-tailed freshman trying to decide who the hunk of the week is. It could be ‘omg winter, I love you longtime you so pretty and cozy and let’s make snow angels every day.’ OR it’s ‘I hate everything about this season. Why is my butt so cold only all of the time.’
I don’t think I’m alone in this love/hate relationship. The good news is no matter what your winter feels are — Porto Tonicos with Blackberry and Balsamic will improve the situation.
Porto Tonicos hail from Portugal (shocker), are usually made with white port and give off serious summertime vibes.
But as discussed, it ain’t summer.
This interpretation reaches for a bottle of tawny port, fresh blackberries roll out sweetness and texture, and there’s a heavy musky element thanks to bitters and vinegar.
Basically, these porto tonicos are like the brighter and easier cousin to mulled wine. Which is a very good thing.
Winter, love it or hate it. Ice in your veins and snowflakes in your heart rockin’ like the witch of Narnia. Or dreaming of sunnier days that don’t include shivering and shoveling and salting the roads because what even is that. — Or like me and you just can’t decide — you still deserve a drink.
Wintery Porto Tonicos with Blackberry & Balsamic
- 1 bottle tawny port
- 32 ounce tonic water
For Blackberry Balsamic Smash:
- 6 ounces fresh blackberries rinsed, plus more for garnish
- 2 tsp best quality balsamic vinegar I really mean it, the good stuff
- 5-15 dashes bitters (go for a floral or citrus based bitters if possible. They're all so different depending on the brand so start with five dashes and go from there. Once you cross the line of too much the effect can be overpowering and not in a good way. )
For Each Drink:
- 1 TB blackberry balsamic smash
- 3 ounces tawny port
- 4 ounces tonic water
For the smash:
Dump the berries into a jar and muddle using a wooden spoon into a jammy pulp.
Add the balsamic vinegar and bitters (starting with just a few dashes), stir and taste. Shake in more bitters to taste.
For the drinks:
Line up as many glasses as needed and spoon about a tablespoon into the bottom of each.
Add the 3 ounces of port to each glass, give each a stir to mix it up, then add ice about halfway up.
Top with the tonic water, add a straw and swizzle it up for a second. Garnish with extra blackberries and drink up.
- There’s two main categories of port: ruby and tawny. Tawny is less sweet and I would pretty much always recommend it because port is a fortified dessert wine and even the dry stuff is already quite sweet and the ruby stuff makes my teeth fall out.
- Store leftover smash covered in the fridge for a few days.
- This is easily adapted to your own tastes. Want it sweeter, add a splash of agave or bit of brown sugar. Try different bitters, etc. Go crazy go wild go home.
- There’s not many ingredients to this cocktail recipe so quality does matter here. Not that you need to get a 30$ port by any means, just don’t get the lonesome 6$ bottle at the grocery store. Like all things in life, balance. <3
- Serve this with: