The Versatility of Sandeman Founders Reserve Port

foundersA couple of years ago I was in Portugal and it’s fair to say I encountered a great surprise. There was no question that there would be excellent Port to sample in both Oporto and the Douro. What I didn’t expect was the flexibility of some Ports as a blending component in cocktails. Towards that end I took place in a class with a Mixologist and was pleasantly surprised with the results. I tend to think of Port more in the winter months and with the weather getting nippy it’s high time to drink more Port. With that in mind I tried my hand making a couple of drinks using Sandeman Founders Reserve Port. The first drink is from Sandemans own recipe.

Sandeman Harvest Sour

3/4 parts raspberry syrup*

3/4 parts fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 parts Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto

1/2 part apple brandy

Top with 2-3 parts dry apple cider

Pour all ingredients in a shaker, except cider. Shake quickly and strain into a Collins glass. Top with cider, garnish with raspberries and dust with nutmeg.

*In a medium saucepan combine 4 cups sugar and 1 quart water. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. In another saucepan, muddle a small container of raspberries (about 6 ounces), and combine the syrup and raspberries. Let rest for a day, then strain.

I really enjoyed this drink and all of the diverse ingredients come together to make a well balanced cocktail that has sweet, fruity elements, solid acid characteristics to keep it from going over the top and a nice wallop.

Sometimes I want to throw some ingredients together quickly and a very simple two ingredient cocktail is in order. I found that mixing Sandeman Founders Reserve with Sparkling Wine worked really well. I played with the proportions a lot as a slight change makes a pretty significant difference when you’re only dealing with two ingredients. In the end I settled on 2 parts of Sparkling Wine to one part Port. I used a dry Sparkling Rosé which helped lend to a brilliant color.

1 part Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto

2 parts Sparkling Rosé*

Pour the Port into a Champagne flute first and top with the Sparkling Wine.

* I’m a sucker for dry Rosé whether they’re sparkling or still and this worked really well for me. However a dry white Sparkling wine will certainly get the job done here.

These are just a couple of ideas. Grab a bottle of Sandeman Founders Reserve and play around with your own drink recipes; who knows you may create a new favorite. Founders Reserve most often sells for around $15 in most US markets. It’s also a delicious entry level Port that can certainly be enjoyed on its own, where it can be dessert all by itself.