Although brandy is added during port's fermentation process, this Portuguese fortified wine, also known as Vinho do Porto or Porto, is not a standard cocktail bar fixture. It's usually enjoyed as a dessert wine, as it pairs well with chocolate and cheese. But port's smooth sweetness can be nicely tempered in cocktails with a splash of citrus, while it enhances fruit flavors, adds complexity and rounds out spirits with a richness.
While we won't be getting our hands on that beauty (only 1,400 bottles were produced at $3,200 each), we can enjoy the next generation of port. Jim Meehan, a founder of PDT -- the New York City speakeasy with a famously quirky entrance -- was inspired by Noval BLACK's complexity and balance, which lend it perfectly to blending, to create these three cocktails.
The idea for the BLACK Cup sprang from the Pimm’s Cup, and makes for a refreshing drink emphasizing citrus, fresh fruit, and a lovely, complex herbal component.
2 oz Noval BLACK
½ oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
Muddle the strawberry with the simple syrup, then add the rest of the ingredients. Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with 2 oz Club Soda and garnish with a cucumber wheel and a strawberry.
BLACK ‘n’ Stormy
Noval BLACK mellows out the rum in this timeless cocktail, making it richer and smoother, adding more complexity and spice, and lending a sense of pitch-perfect balance.
1 oz Noval BLACK
1 oz Goslings Black Seal Rum
1 oz House Ginger Beer
½ oz Lime Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
Shake with ice and garnish with a lime wheel skewered to a piece of candied ginger and a blackberry. Serve in a Collins or Old fashioned glass.
The Betsy Ross is a specific type of Sangaree (Sangria), and BLACK blends perfectly with the luxurious Cognac and Champagne. For the most sophisticated drinkers.
1½ oz Noval BLACK
¾ oz Cognac
½ oz Grand Marnier
2 Dashes of Orange Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Top with 1½ oz Bruno Paillard Champagne. Garnish with an orange twist.
Recipes by Jim Meehan