Given the amount of champagne based drinks I’ve posted about recently, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’ve had some fantastic news and been on a celebratory binge, cracking open bottles left right and center. I hate to disappoint, but I’ve not had anything to particularly celebrate; just a spare bottle sat despondently on the wine rack for a good couple of months that’s finally been upgraded to ‘fridge’ status.
Today’s drink is good way to use your leftover champagne once the festivities begin to die down. Not that leftover bubbly is ever going to exist but hey, it’s better to be prepared and/or blissfully ignorant!
This is another simple cocktail with just two ingredients; champagne (or prosecco or any other fizz you might have stashed away in the fridge) and ruby port. Now, if you’re tempted to turn your nose up at the mention of port and click away to another recipe, just hang in there and here me out. A month ago, I wouldn’t have been keen on the idea of port either, but we’ve had a revelation – indeed, practically an epiphany – here at Team G&T HQ.
It’s a bit of a long-winded tale, and it begins with our love of a sweet shiraz wine called Jam Jar; I’m slightly shallow and like to pick wines sometimes based on either the name, or the label and Jam Jar appealed to me on both counts so naturally we gave it a whirl. Given the name, you might think that it would be pretty sweet, and you would be correct – this is the sweetest red wine i’ve tried and, having a fair sweet tooth, it became an instant favourite. Outside of Amazon, it’s become surprisingly hard to buy, however, and in an effort to branch out we’ve been trying different red wines to see if any matched that level of sticky delightfulness. Literally, we kept walking into our local wine merchant and asking for the sweetest red wine in the shop. We must have sounded like a broken record.
One evening, after we had gone through the wine, our merchant asked us if we had tried port instead. He asked us to bear with him (sound familiar?) and explained that port was a greatly misunderstood beverage which possessed sweetness that was largely unmatched by wine and, being the amazing bloke he is, poured us a wee dram of one of the most popular ones in the shop to try. Oh my word, the flavour was phenomenal. So rich, decadent and most importantly, outrageously sweet. We walked out of the shop that night not only with a bottle of the very same port he sampled to us – Graham’s 2012 Late Bottled Vintage Port – but with a new found respect and appreciation for fortified wine. There’s so much depth of flavour there, it feels criminal that we had neglected to try it for so long.
Now I implore you: don’t make the same mistake we did. Get on this port bandwagon now, and ride the flavour-train with us.
Going back to the cocktail that this novel was original about, the Lady Macbeth, the combination of port and champagne is unexpectedly refreshing, given the sweet nature of the port, although there is only an ounce of it in the cocktail. It enhances the tart nature of the champagne and elevates the drink as a whole to feel much more ‘special’ and interesting. It would honestly be a shame to miss out on trying this.
♦ 3 to 5 ounces chilled champagne
♦ 1 ounce ruby port
Pour the champagne into a chilled champagne flute and then slowly pour in the port. Do not stir. Enjoy!