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Pink Port – and a Perfect Summer Cocktail.
If you had consigned your port to the back of your drinks cupboard, ready for Christmas, here’s something completely different to try. I was delighted to receive a sample bottle of Croft Pink Port to play with. Pink Port is a drink like no other that I’ve tried and perfect for making a pink port cocktail. Croft Pink is an innovative Rosé style of port, made by a relatively new technique in the Port Wine world where red grapes skins are allowed limited contact for a maximum of 12 hours with the initial pressing, to create a subtle and delicate pink colour. Croft Pink is still made with classic port grape varieties from the Douro Valley (Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cao, Touriga Franca and Tinta Amarela which are the varieties used for Croft’s traditional ruby ports). Once pressed, the juice undergoes a 7-day cold fermentation. It’s fortified with grape neutral spirits to an ABV of 19.5% just like more traditional ports, but the result is a much lighter, fresh and vibrant drink which is full of summer berry flavours. It’s relatively sweet and delicate with lower acidity than most Rosé wines.
I started off by sipping a little as an aperitif. It’s delicious and perfect chilled for those hot spells we’ve been having. I thought I’d try adding tonic to make a pink port and tonic, but although I love a porta tonico made with white port, I found the bitterness of the tonic didn’t really complement the berry notes in the pink port.
A better mix for me was from making a pink port cocktail with sparkling wine (in this case Hattingley Valley Grand Duchess, which is a mix of 60% Bacchus and 40% Pinot Gris). We sipped contentedly in the garden and I’ll definitely be making this one again. In fact, one of the best things about pink port for me is how versatile it is – the Croft Pink website has a whole section on pink port cocktails to try.
A simple pink port cocktail with sparkling wine
- 50 ml Pink Port Chilled
- 75 ml Sparkling Wine Chilled
- Ice Optional
- Red Berries Optional
Pour the port into a Champagne flute
Top up with sparkling wine
For a longer serve, fill a highball with ice and pour over the port. Top with sparkling wine
Garnish with red berries if desired