2022 Let’s Get Blitzen: Cocktail Advent Calendar – Day 9 – Port in a Snowstorm. If you enjoy Manhattans, you’ll probably fall for this twist on the classic made with St-Rémy Signature brandy and tawny port.
This post is sponsored by St-Rémy Signature.
A classic Manhattan is made with two ounces of rye, one ounce of sweet vermouth, a few dashes of bitters, and a cherry for garnish. In this version, I let St-Rémy Signature set the stage, and use a different style of fortified wine – tawny port – in place of sweet vermouth. I reached for a spiced demerara syrup to add a touch more sweetness and bring the baking spice flavour you would typically glean from Angostura bitters. The finished product is a polished, spirit-forward cocktail.
You’ve likely enjoyed a St-Rémy brandy before but you may not be familiar with the distiller’s rich history. St-Rémy brandy was born of necessity and creative problem-solving. In 1886, the Rémy Martin vineyards in the Charente region of France were badly damaged by phylloxera. In search of raw materials, the very entrepreneurial Paul-Emile Rémy Martin II identified Machecoul where the “Gros Plant” grapes were similar to “Folle Blanche.” The same year, he set up a distillery to produce high-quality brandy. And so St-Rémy was born!
St-Rémy Signature is the latest creation from St-Rémy Master Blender Cécile Roudaut. With this blend, she wanted to shape a new face for brandy by exploring new production processes and new aromas, while continuing to respect St-Rémy traditions and its historically smooth profile. To do so, she opted to introduce a double maturation process.
The first maturation takes place in new oak casks using medium and high heat. These casks deliver spicy notes, indulgence, and vivacity. The second maturation takes place in traditional casks using high heat only. These casks round and soften the brandy, adding balance and sweetness, and assert the classic personality of St-Rémy Brandy.
On the palate, St-Rémy Signature is subtle and smooth like a Frank Sinatra song. Virgin woody notes are enriched with honey, nut and butter flavours. Fruity notes start fresh, and then become candied. Sweet spices create roundness and balance and make it ideal for holiday mixing.
Join me on my Instagram stories tonight at 5 pm Eastern for step-by-step instruction on how to make this tasty concoction.
Port in a Snowstorm
If you enjoy Manhattans, you’ll probably fall for this twist on the classic made with St-Rémy Signature brandy and tawny port.
- 1½ oz St-Rémy Signature
- ¾ oz tawny port
- ½ tsp spiced demerara syrup
- Garnish: brandied cherry
- 2 cups demerara sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 star anise
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir over ice until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Garnish with a brandied cherry.
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently.
Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for about 15 minutes until syrup is slightly thickened.
Cool to room temperature.
Carefully strain the whole ingredients out of the syrup. Once cool enough to handle, store the gingerbread syrup in a swing top bottle or mason jar and keep in the fridge. Syrup will keep for about a month.