White Port and Tonic (Porto Tonico)

The best way to drink white port? Try the White Port and Tonic, aka Porto Tonico! It’s a refreshing Portuguese…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

The best way to drink white port? Try the White Port and Tonic, aka Porto Tonico! It’s a refreshing Portuguese spin on the gin and tonic.

White Port and Tonic

Here’s a drink we have on repeat over here that we think should start trending: the White Port and Tonic! Otherwise known as the Porto Tónico, this Portuguese spin on the classic G&T might be even better than the original. White port is a style of fortified wine made in Portugal, sweet and light with notes of vanilla, caramel, honey, and orange peel. Add to that bubbly tonic water and it’s intensely refreshing, with aromas that linger after each sip. This one’s so impressive, we’re vying for it to catch on in the States…stat.

Help us do it: make one at home and tag us on Instagram!

Ingredients in a White Port and Tonic (Porto Tónico)

The White Port and Tonic is a popular drink in Portugal, a spin on the classic Gin and Tonic using white port wine. The Portuguese cocktail is an aperitif, or drink for before a meal. White port is a unique style of port made in the Douro region of Portugal that tastes lighter than the more traditional red variety. It makes for a deliciously refreshing cocktail that’s ideal in summer when you’re looking for a refreshing drink, but it works in any season. The ingredients you’ll need for a Porto Tonico are:

  • White port
  • Tonic water
  • Orange slices
White port

What’s white port?

What is white port, anyway? Port is a sweet fortified wine from Portugal, usually served as a dessert wine. Port is most often red, so the white variety is a unique style. Here are a few more particulars on this unique type of wine:

  • White Port is a sweet white fortified wine made in a region of Portugal called the Douro Valley, where port has been made since the 1600’s. It made with a blend of different white wine grape varieties, such as Esgana Cão and Malvasia Fina. It’s similar to French Lillet Blanc, but the flavor is sweeter.
  • What does it taste like? White port tastes sweet, with honeyed fruit flavors and notes of vanilla, caramel, and citrus on the finish. It has a lighter character than most dessert wines.
  • How to drink it? You can drink white port straight as an aperitif, but we think it’s at its best in the Porto Tonico, paired with tonic water. It’s aromatic, bubbly, and refreshing in any season!

Don’t forget the orange squeeze

White port and tonic tastes great with just the two ingredients in its name. But to give it just that bit of edge, make sure to add a squeeze of fresh orange before enjoying. We’ve tried it with lemon as well, but orange is the clear winner here. It mimics the citrus notes in the port and gives a zesty nose to the glass. Don’t go without it!

Porto tonico

Favorite brand of tonic water

Tonic water is a carbonated water that contains quinine and is lightly sweetened. Don’t go about substituting Club Soda here, because it’s got a lot of flavor! It’s bubbly, bitter, sweet and sour, and it’s a popular cocktail mixer going back hundreds of years.

Quinine was historically prescribed as a medicine to fight malaria, and mixing it with carbonated water and sugar helped to mask its bitter flavor. Today, the level of quinine is much lower than historical tonic water and is safe to consume. Our favorite brand is Q Tonic: it has great flavor and is sold in small cans, just enough for a few drinks.

More tonic water drinks

You can make a “blank and tonic” with just about any spirit! And trust us: we’ve tried. None of them are quite as special as the White Port and Tonic. But here are a few more tasty tonic water cocktails:

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White Port and Tonic

White Port and Tonic


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces* white port
  • 4 ounces tonic water
  • 1 orange slice
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)

Instructions

  1. Add lots of ice to a large cocktail or wine glass and stir to chill the glass. Drain any melted water.
  2. Pour in the white port. Pour the tonic water onto a bar spoon into the glass (to increase the bubbles). Squeeze in the orange slice and stir once. Garnish and serve.

Notes

*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: White port and tonic

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Strawberry Spritz

Recently I started reaching for my bottle of Vermouth Blanc more and more. I had opened it to make an El Presidente cocktail, but during an interview on my IG Live channel with Pierre-Olivier Rousseaux, owner of Dolin distillery in France, he remarked that their Chambéryzette apéritif, made in the French alps, could be made at home, anywhere, with fresh strawberries and white vermouth. So…

Recently I started reaching for my bottle of Vermouth Blanc more and more. I had opened it to make an El Presidente cocktail, but during an interview on my IG Live channel with Pierre-Olivier Rousseaux, owner of Dolin distillery in France, he remarked that their Chambéryzette apéritif, made in the French alps, could be made at home, anywhere, with fresh strawberries and white vermouth. So I took the plunge and made a batch myself.

Continue Reading Strawberry Spritz...

Virgin Margarita

This virgin margarita tastes just as good as the real thing! This mocktail is tangy and lightly sweet, with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top. Craving a margarita but can’t drink? Or serving a crowd and need a non-alcoholic option? Enter this virgin margarita! It’s tangy and refreshing, punctuated by that classic salt rim. Even better, it’s got a surprise that brings a bit of “funk” to the flavor that’s reminiscent of tequila. With a focus on tart flavors and balanced with just enough sweet, it’s truly the mocktail version of our Classic Margarita! (Side benefit: it’s lower calorie too!) Here are all our secrets. What’s in this virgin margarita? Here’s how to make everyone’s favorite cocktail into a margarita mocktail! The margarita is a classic alcoholic drink on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. This means that there’s an “official” definition of the margarita: tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. But how to make that taste as intriguing…with no alcohol at all? (A zero-proof margarita, if you will?) Here’s what we used did: Lime juice: Always. Lemon juice: Using lemon as well as lime brings nuance to the citrus. Tonic water: Bubbles add a sparkle! […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This virgin margarita tastes just as good as the real thing! This mocktail is tangy and lightly sweet, with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top.

Margarita mocktail

Craving a margarita but can’t drink? Or serving a crowd and need a non-alcoholic option? Enter this virgin margarita! It’s tangy and refreshing, punctuated by that classic salt rim. Even better, it’s got a surprise that brings a bit of “funk” to the flavor that’s reminiscent of tequila. With a focus on tart flavors and balanced with just enough sweet, it’s truly the mocktail version of our Classic Margarita! (Side benefit: it’s lower calorie too!) Here are all our secrets.

What’s in this virgin margarita?

Here’s how to make everyone’s favorite cocktail into a margarita mocktail! The margarita is a classic alcoholic drink on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. This means that there’s an “official” definition of the margarita: tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. But how to make that taste as intriguing…with no alcohol at all? (A zero-proof margarita, if you will?) Here’s what we used did:

  • Lime juice: Always.
  • Lemon juice: Using lemon as well as lime brings nuance to the citrus.
  • Tonic water: Bubbles add a sparkle!
  • Maple syrup or simple syrup: Just a drizzle balances the tartness.
  • Pickle juice: Yes, pickle juice adds that tequila “funk”! Keep reading for why…
Virgin margarita

The secret? Pickle juice.

The secret to making this virgin margarita taste over the top delicious? Pickle juice. Adding intrigue to the flavor of a mocktail is essential to making them more than just fruit juice. It’s customary to experiment with all sorts of things, including non-alcoholic spirits. But we didn’t want to add a special ingredient you’d have to purchase specially.

That’s where pickle juice comes in! It brings a briny funk to this virgin margarita that makes you feel like there’s a little alcohol in it. But it’s not so much that it’s noticeable! It’s also totally optional, so you don’t have to do it if it weirds you out. But after multiple taste tests, pickle juice in a virgin margarita was the clear winner!

Less sugar than the standard virgin margarita!

We love our cocktails crisp and tart around here. So just like our Classic Margarita, there’s barely any added sugar in this margarita. This stands out from the standard margarita mocktail, which is usually so sickly sweet it’s barely a margarita at all! This shouldn’t taste like sweet syrupy juice: it should be crisp and tart. The sugar comes from two sources:

  • Only 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup or simple syrup (use whichever you’d like: maple syrup is a great natural sweetener with no refined sugar)
  • A hint of sugar in the tonic water
Virgin margarita

What is tonic water? Can I use sparkling water?

Tonic water is a carbonated water that also contains quinine and is lightly sweetened. It was originally was used against malaria, but these days the quinine levels are much lower. Quinine adds a slightly bitter flavor, but its not as detectable with today’s lower levels. Even so, if you taste tonic water there’s something about the nuance of bitter and sweet which is hard to replace.

True cocktails and mocktails use tonic water, so we’d recommend finding some if you can! Sparkling water adds only bubbles, but doesn’t have the nuance in flavor. We buy a brand that comes in small cans, which is nice since you’ll only use a little in this virgin margarita.

Virgin margarita

More margarita variations

If you also drink alcohol (or have friends who do), we’ve got lots more variations on this classic drink! Here are some of our favorites:

Margarita mocktail

When to serve a virgin margarita

Anytime works for a virgin margarita! This one is perfect as a:

  • Zero proof margarita for guests who don’t drink alcohol
  • Mocktail for pregnant women
  • Baby shower drink (make one for mom, then classic margaritas for guests)
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Virgin margarita

Virgin Margarita


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This virgin margarita tastes just as good as the real thing! This mocktail is tangy and lightly sweet, with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top.


Ingredients

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup or simple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon pickle juice (optional but recommended!)
  • 3 ounces tonic water
  • For the garnish: Lime wheel

Instructions

  1. Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of flaky sea salt (or for a festive look, use Margarita Salt).
  2. In the serving glass, stir together the lime juice, lemon juice, maple syrup, and pickle juice (adds just the right funky flavor to mimic tequila). Add the tonic water and ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve.

  • Category: Mocktail
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Virgin Margarita, Margarita Mocktail, Zero Proof Margarita

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes