The Aperol Spritz, a cocktail made with semi-bitter orange liqueur, prosecco and club soda, is the subject of great debate in the cocktail world. All of a sudden, the whole world started drinking them, and then came the backlash: The New York Times published a story earlier this year claiming “the Aperol Spritz is not a good drink,” and the next day, New York Magazine responded with their article, “Entire Internet Agrees Aperol Spritz Is, In Fact, Good.”
No matter which side of the debate you’re on, we can all agree on one thing – that cocktail has reached maximum saturation. It’s time to find a new spritz for a summer fling. Mine, 100%, will be a Rosé Port Spritz.
Recently, I met Belinda Chang, a James Beard Award-winning wine and cocktail expert, at a Port tasting, and she totally opened my eyes to what that wine could do. I walked in, and Belinda handed me this cocktail: a Portonic, made with Fonseca Siroco White Port, tonic water and fresh garnishes. I couldn’t believe I was sipping Port in a cocktail that tasted this fresh and modern.
The other cocktails that followed were equally beautiful, and equally delicious. She made a frozé with Croft Pink Rosé Port, and a ruby punch with Fonseca Bin 27 Ruby Port. I left the tasting totally inspired to get creative with Port Wine in cocktails, and a bottle of Rosé Port in hand.
Rosé Port Spritz
4oz. Rose Port Wine
1oz. Hendricks Gin
2oz. club soda
4oz. Champagne or sparkling wine
Fruit, flowers or herbs as garnish
Combine all liquids in a balloon wine glass over ice, adding the bubbles last, then garnish. I used basil, strawberries and cucumber to complement the cucumber notes in the gin. Use whatever you like! The fresher (and therefore more summery) the better.