TDN Sandeman Port Wrap-Up

Thursday Drink Night - two lovely people sharing drink and conversation over the net

Upcoming TDN – The Float

Every drink created at this week’s TDN must include a float. It can be anything from flaming Chartreuse to an orange saffron-scented cream… or something simpler, like overproof rum. The winning cocktail this week will receive a copy of The Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks: A Bon Vivant’s Companion by Jerry Thomas, courtesy of Mud Puddle Books. Join us this Thursday at 7pm EST in the chatroom.

TDN Sandeman Port

The last Thursday Drink Night of 2008 couldn’t have been more appropriately themed. Imagine sitting by the fire, pooch at the foot of the chair, a delicate snow falling out the window, and a properly clad but assertive butler bringing you one new cocktail after another. Each cocktail contains port in varying quantities and not one is without merit. As you sip each libation in turn, you turn to your pen and paper and continue to write the thank you note to Sandeman port for sponsoring such a picturesque event.

A Wealth of Port Knowledge

Ted Emerson, brand director for Sandeman, was on hand to answer more than his share of questions; from classification to storage, no one left without a new tidbit of knowledge about port. But beyond that, it was a treat to have Ted join us and we welcome him back any Thursday for a good time. Here are some interesting points taken from the chat (Note: most of these are quotes that I’ve cleaned up).

  • Tawnies, especially aged tawnies, are great chilled, they mix well, and they keep open in the fridge for 6-8 weeks, so they’re great for cocktails.
  • What does the term “rainwater madeira” mean? There is a debate on that, one story is that the vines were grown on hillsides that were impossible to irrigate so growers relied on rainwater. The better story is that some casks got diluted with rain on the voyage to Boston but the American buyers loved it and wanted more.
  • Vintage Port absolutely matures and improves in bottle. Tawny Ports do not. Vintages are only released in particularly good years. This decade we have released 2000 and 2003. So it has been a lean decade for vintage Port.
  • Ruby is not as stable as Tawny but much more stable than Vintage. Drink Vintage in 24 hours. Ruby is good 4 weeks or more. Aged tawny up to 8 weeks. Store Tawny in the fridge; it comes with a T-type stopper so easy to reseal. If you drink half then transfer to a half bottle size to minimize air contact.

The Cocktails

Armed with both Sandeman Founders Reserve and 10 Year Tawny Port, a whole squadron of cocktail writers, bartenders, and enthusiasts invented new cocktails late into the night (32 of them to be exact). Though there is only a selection of them below, you can find the whole list on Twitter.

The Winner

The winning cocktail of the evening was not decided easily, and what one might call “rigorous testing” was needed to secure a result. In the end, Michele proved to be the winner, and her cocktail will find itself in the pages of the Big Bartender’s Book being publishing by Mud Puddle Books.

Mr. Wardle

  • 4oz Sandeman Founders Reserve Port
  • 1t pimento dram
  • 1oz pineapple juice
  • 1oz Aperol
  • 1 slice orange

Muddle orange in a Christmas mug, heat the rest of the ingredients in pan or microwave, pour over orange slice. Or for a different take, and a surprisingly good one, serve it over ice with no heating at all.


Featured Cocktails

Logan’s Harbor

  • 2oz Sandeman Founders Reserve port
  • 1 1/2oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 1/2oz lemon Juice
  • club soda, to top
  • lemon peel, for garnish

Shake like the dickens and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with soda and garnish with a well-played lemon twist.


Port of Byzantium

  • 1/2 orange, cut into quarters
  • 1/2oz cinnamon syrup
  • 2oz Sandeman Founders Reserve port
  • 3/4oz absinthe
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 whole orange peel, for “garnish”

Delicately drop 6 cloves into a rocks glass and coil in an entire orange peel. Pour the absinthe over the peel and cloves, and light on fire. Let it burn down about half way while you prepare the rest of the cocktail. Muddle the orange and cinnamon syrup in a mixing glass. Add the port, fill with cracked ice, shake with vigorous intensity, and strain into an ice-filled glass. With flair and all the garish power you can muster, pour the flaming absinthe brew into your drink, where it might extinguish.

Gabe from cocktailnerd and Rick from Kaiser Penguin

Don’s Nightcap

  • 2oz Sandeman 10-year port
  • 1oz Apfelkorn
  • 1/2oz grenadine

Shake with hand-cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Craig from Dr. Bamboo


  • 1oz dark Jamaican rum
  • 1oz Sandeman port
  • 1/4oz Santa Teresa Orange
  • ginger ale, to top
  • orange peel, for garnish

Stir with frigid ice, strain into a happy cocktail glass, fill with ice, and top with luscious ginger ale and a righteously squeezed orange peel.

Tiare from A Mountain of Crushed Ice


  • 1 1/2oz Firefly sweet tea vodka
  • 1 1/2oz Sandeman 10-year Tawny port
  • 1oz lemon juice
  • 1/2oz orgeat
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

Shake with cracked ice and donate to a tin cup.

Rick from Kaiser Penguin

KP Question

  • Are you more likely to use port in cocktails after this event? And if so, what have you tried?

4 Responses to “TDN Sandeman Port Wrap-Up”

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4 Comments to “ TDN Sandeman Port Wrap-Up”
  1. […] and, I must say, I was surprised at both the volume of turn-out and the general quality of the drinks offered up throughout the […]

  2. I will. In fact, I pulled the Tawny out of the fridge last night for a pretty successful something I’m working on.

    ‘Course, I just like Tawny Port by itself. The Ruby was pretty good too.

  3. BonzoGalNo Gravatar says:

    I would because I have a special interest in historical drinks and punches, and port fits right in there.

  4. OuroborosNo Gravatar says:

    I truly love the Coffee Cocktail, and made a half-gallon for the 08-09 NYE.

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Kaiser Penguin is a cocktail blog featuring original recipes, homemade ingredients, classic cocktails, and tiki drinks.

Why on Earth did you name your blog “Kaiser Penguin?”

It is a well-known fact that penguins are members of high society and enjoy fine cocktails. Our very own kaiser penguin would like me to mention that he also enjoys various treats from the sea.

Contact: rick@kaiserpenguin.com