Around the World in 60 Cocktails: First Pour

Some people love the summertime, others love the cold of the winter. Spring is always a wonderful time, as magical cities reawaken after their winter hibernation. And then there is autumn. The chill in the air is always welcome after the heat of summer, the pyrotechnics of the trees a fabulous sight. The natural world plunges into a frenzy of preparation for the short days and long nights ahead.

Whatever your favorite season, there is something to be said for autumn. The Portuguese celebrate the season every year on 11th November, by gathering around bonfires and fireplaces to drink, talk, laugh, eat chestnuts and celebrate the bountiful harvest and coming winter rest. The date marks St. Martin’s day, the French saint who was said to “work miracles” so that upcoming harvests would be plentiful.

Underscored by a wealth of autumnal flavors – not to mention a very holy spirit – this signature cocktail makes the most of the season’s generous tastes. Roasted chestnuts or castanhas assadas are one of Portugal’s favorite treats, and pair beautifully with the rich berry and plum flavors of Ruby port. Distilled from Trebbaiano grapes, Vecchia Romagna is an Italian brandy which has an unmistakable flavor that is aromatic, complex and perfect for warming up on cold nights.


  • 2 dash Angostura bitters
  • 3/4 oz. Briottet Chestnut  
  • 3/4 oz. Ruby Port
  • 1 1/2 oz. Vecchia Romagna
  • 1 bsp. Peated whisky

How to Prepare:

  1. Prepare an orange twist garnish
  2. Chill an old fashioned & put to one side
  3. Collect a mixing glass & fill with cubed ice
  4. Add all the ingredients – except the peated whisky
  5. Stir for 15-20 seconds & dip taste
  6. Drain excess water from the old fashioned glass
  7. Pour
  8. Layer a bar spoon of peated whisky on top 
  9. Express the orange zest over the top & position