I’m going to show you a drink I created called Port of Call. I wanted this drink to evoke the holiday season, but also be something really refreshing and easy to drink, because I feel like during the colder months people tend to reach for really stiff brown liquor and I didn’t think that that had to necessarily had to be the way all the time. So I thought I would start with some ingredients that often are used in cooking on the holidays. The first one I went for was cranberries. Instead of using cranberry juice, I went with cranberry preserves or cranberry jam. So it’ll give the drinks a nice viscosity, but also still get that really rich cranberry flavor in there.
Then we’re going to add half an ounce of cinnamon simple syrup. Cinnamon simple syrup is really easy to make. It’s just your regular simple syrup, one part sugar to one part water, and then you want to crush up some cinnamon sticks and maybe simmer on the stove for 10 minutes or something. You don’t even want to reduce, just something to get that cinnamon flavor in there, and believe me it will get in there. Cinnamon is really potent. So you’re going to balance out that cranberry sweetness and the cinnamon sweetness with lemon juice, three-quarters of an ounce of that. Just a simple sour template. And now I’m going to add one ounce of gin to give it some backbone, and finally we’ve got our gin there.
Some ruby port, because I didn’t call it the Port of Call for nothing. I was very proud of myself when I came up with that pun. I probably shouldn’t have been though. One ounce of port and we’re ready to shake. Okay, let’s actually put some ice in our glass first, so we can strain it right away. That cinnamon really comes through. I love how the fruit from the cranberry and the spice in the juniper, the spice from the cinnamon just really mix so well together. That’s the ideal thing you’re looking for in a cocktail. You want it to be greater than the sum of its parts, and I definitely think that this drink achieves that. And just for fun, let’s give this a nice, lavish garnish of a little bit of mint, maybe a couple raspberries for a real festive look. And that is how you make a Port of Call.