Port and Tonic Cocktail Drink

White Port and Tonic

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

You’re in for a treat with this White Port and Tonic recipe! It’s a tasty drink you can whip up easily using simple ingredients.

White Port and Tonic Recipe

Relax with our straightforward White Port and Tonic recipe! You’ll just need port wine and tonic to make this refreshing fall drink.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

151 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz White Port
  • 6 oz Tonic Water, to top up
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon wheel and mint sprig, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Bar spoon or long stirrer

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Port: Pour 2 oz White Port over the ice.
  • Add Tonic: Fill the glass with 6 oz Tonic Water.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently.
  • Garnish: Place a lemon wheel and/or mint sprig into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • White Port: If you don't have a white port, use a vermouth or a dry rosé wine instead. It won't be the same, but it will give you a similar refreshing and slightly sweet cocktail.
  • Tonic Water: If you're not a fan of tonic water's bitter taste, you can substitute it with soda water or ginger ale for a sweeter twist.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • White Port Substitute: Use non-alcoholic white grape juice as an alternative to white port; it will provide a similar sweetness and body to the cocktail.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Check Your Ingredients: Most white port and tonic waters are already vegan. However, it's always a good idea to check the labels or do a quick online search to make sure no animal products are used in their production.
  • Proceed As Usual: After confirming your vegan-friendly ingredients, follow the original steps and enjoy your vegan Port and Tonic.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
151
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
27
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
24
g
8
%
Sugar
 
20
g
22
%
Potassium
 
52
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Calcium
 
5
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

Port and Tonic Cocktail Drink

White Port and Tonic Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Relax with our straightforward White Port and Tonic recipe! You’ll just need port wine and tonic to make this refreshing fall drink.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 151

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz White Port
  • 6 oz Tonic Water - to top up
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon wheel and mint sprig - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Bar spoon or long stirrer

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Add Port: Pour 2 oz White Port over the ice.
  • Add Tonic: Fill the glass with 6 oz Tonic Water.
  • Stir Gently: Use a bar spoon to stir the ingredients gently.
  • Garnish: Place a lemon wheel and/or mint sprig into the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • White Port: If you don't have a white port, use a vermouth or a dry rosé wine instead. It won't be the same, but it will give you a similar refreshing and slightly sweet cocktail.
  • Tonic Water: If you're not a fan of tonic water's bitter taste, you can substitute it with soda water or ginger ale for a sweeter twist.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • White Port Substitute: Use non-alcoholic white grape juice as an alternative to white port; it will provide a similar sweetness and body to the cocktail.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

  • Check Your Ingredients: Most white port and tonic waters are already vegan. However, it's always a good idea to check the labels or do a quick online search to make sure no animal products are used in their production.
  • Proceed As Usual: After confirming your vegan-friendly ingredients, follow the original steps and enjoy your vegan Port and Tonic.

What is a White Port and Tonic?

A White Port and Tonic is a fortified wine-type cocktail made of white port and tonic water. This drink is relatively easy to make, as it only requires mixing these two ingredients in appropriate proportions, typically garnished with a slice of lemon for added flavor. It’s not considered a variant of any well-known cocktail but stands independently due to its unique taste profile that combines the sweetness from the port with the bitterness from the tonic water. An exciting aspect about this cocktail is that it originated in Portugal where white port is produced, making it an authentic representation of Portuguese culture and their love for simple yet flavorful drinks.

A side shot of a Port and Tonic cocktail in a highball glass on a coaster placed on a yellow surface surrounded by a jigger, a bar spoon, and a yellow bowl with lemon pieces inside.

What is a White Port and Tonic made of – The ingredients

These are the ingredients you’ll need for a White Port and Tonic:

  • White Port: This is the base of your cocktail. It provides a sweet, fruity, and slightly nutty flavor that forms the backbone of the drink.
  • Tonic Water: Adds effervescence to the cocktail. Its bitterness balances out the sweetness of the port, giving the drink a refreshing edge.
  • Lemon wheel: It brightens up the color and adds a citrusy note.
  • Mint Leaves: Used as garnish. They add an aromatic freshness that complements the other ingredients and enhances the drinking experience.

White Prot and tonic water laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a White Port and Tonic?

Use our step-by-step guide to prepare a White Port and Tonic easily:

1
<p>Start by filling a highball glass with a generous amount of ice cubes. The ice will not only chill your drink but also slow down the dilution of the alcohol.</p>

Start by filling a highball glass with a generous amount of ice cubes. The ice will not only chill your drink but also slow down the dilution of the alcohol.

2
<p>Pour 2 ounces of white port over the ice. White port is a lighter, drier version of the traditional red port, and it pairs beautifully with the tonic water.</p>

Pour 2 ounces of white port over the ice. White port is a lighter, drier version of the traditional red port, and it pairs beautifully with the tonic water.

3
<p>Add 4 to 6 ounces of tonic water to the glass. The amount of tonic water can be adjusted according to your taste preference. If you prefer a more potent drink, use less tonic water.</p>

Add 4 to 6 ounces of tonic water to the glass. The amount of tonic water can be adjusted according to your taste preference. If you prefer a more potent drink, use less tonic water.

4
<p>Stir the mixture gently with a cocktail spoon or a long spoon. This will help to combine the port and tonic water without losing the fizziness of the tonic.</p>

Stir the mixture gently with a cocktail spoon or a long spoon. This will help to combine the port and tonic water without losing the fizziness of the tonic.

5
<p>Finally, garnish your drink adding a lemon wheel.</p>

Finally, garnish your drink adding a lemon wheel.

6
<p>You can also add a sprig of fresh mint for an extra touch of freshness.</p>

You can also add a sprig of fresh mint for an extra touch of freshness.

History and Origin

The White Port and Tonic cocktail is an excellent cocktail from Portugal. Its story starts in the 19th century, in the Douro Valley region, famous for making port wine.

The British loved port wine back in the 1700s. They fought with France then so that they couldn’t get French wines. So, they started buying wine from Portugal. But there was a problem – the wine often needed to be better on the long sea journey. To stop this from happening, they added brandy to the wine. This stronger wine is what we now call port.

In the 19th century, people started using tonic water. At first, it was a malaria medicine. Tonic water has quinine in it, which comes from the bark of the cinchona tree. It doesn’t taste enjoyable by itself, so British officers in India began mixing it with gin to make it taste better. That’s how the classic Gin and Tonic came about.

In Portugal, people liked drinking their white port straight or over ice when it was hot outside. Then, someone had a great idea to mix white port with tonic water. The result was an excellent, slightly sweet drink perfect for hot days.

A Port and Tonic, shot from above, in a highball glass on a beige surface surrounded by White Port and tonic water

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FAQ

How many calories are in a White Port and Tonic?
A standard serving contains approximately 150-200 calories. However, this can vary depending on the specific brands of port and tonic used, as well as the size of the serving.
What is the alcohol content of a White Port and Tonic?
The alcohol content typically ranges from 10% ABV (Alcohol By Volume), which translates to 20 proof. This is because port wine has an ABV of around 20%, and the addition of tonic water dilutes this slightly.
What type of alcohol is used in a White Port and Tonic?
As the name suggests uses port wine as its primary alcoholic ingredient. This is then mixed with tonic water to create a refreshing drink.
In what type of glass should a White Port and Tonic be served?
Traditionally, the drink is served in a highball glass. This tall, straight-sided glass allows plenty of ice and mixers, making it perfect for this long drink.
What does a White Port and Tonic taste like?
The drink offers a unique blend of flavors. The port wine's sweetness balances out the tonic water's bitterness, resulting in a refreshing, slightly sweet yet tangy taste.
What are the ratios in a White Port and Tonic?
The typical ratio is one part port to two parts tonic water. However, you can adjust this to taste - some prefer a stronger port flavor, while others prefer more tonic.
How is a White Port and Tonic served with ice?
It's usually served over ice; the drink is poured over ice cubes in the glass. This helps to keep the drink cool and adds a little extra water as the ice melts, which can help to soften the flavors.

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