new year

Smoking Bishop: A Great Way To Use Up Leftover Port

Christmas and New Year are now but a distant memory… but you’ve still got some Port left. If at this point you are thinking:

“No I haven’t, I drank it all”

then you can skim read the rest of this post!

If by some miracle you do have some port left, here is a great idea on how to use it up.

Smoking Bishop

If you’ve never seen a Smoking Bishop then the good news is you can make one with relatively few ingredients. It’s basically a mulled wine recipe using Port, red wine and some spices.

Whilst researching this recipe I was surprised to learn that it was mentioned in arguably the first cookbook written for ordinary people. Eliza Acton, an English poet and cook, wrote Modern Cookery for Private Families which was published in 1845. Apparently, the cookbook set the standard for listing ingredients and suggesting cooking times for each recipe. Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management was apparently inspired by it.

Eliza’s recipe is a bit elaborate, for example saying:

Boil one bottle of port wine, burn a portion of the spirit out of it by applying a lighted paper to the saucepan…

At that point the thought of using a whole bottle and possibly losing our eyebrows turned us off this recipe, so here is the one we made instead.

Ingredients

  • 150ml of Port – we used Ruby but any will do
  • 150ml of red wine – we used Rioja, buy again any will do
  • 100ml of orange juice – we used fresh, smooth without bits, use your judgment!
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 medium sized orange
  • some whole cloves

Optional (if you have it)

  • 1 pinch of allspice
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of ginger

Putting it together

Cut the orange into quarters then cut the quarters in half or into three to make eight or twelves wedges. Stud each of the wedges with three or four cloves.

Put all the ingredients together in a saucepan on a low heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. This should allow the honey to dissolve and the spices to infuse. Ladle into heat proof glasses and you’re done!

(Note, push those cloves in, ours all fell out in the pan!)

Celebrate With A Champagne & Port Cocktail

Here at Charles Rose Wines we love Champagne and we love Port. IF you struggle to choose between them then thankfully, there’s a celebration drink which uses both!

Nelson’s Blood Champagne Cocktail is so named for the bitter-sweet victory of the British fleet over the Franco-Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21st 1805. Sweet as this prevented Napoleon Bonepart’s ships from breaking the British naval blockade. Bitter as it cost Admiral Horatio Nelson, who commanded the British fleet, his life.

It’s up to you whether or not you acknowledge the history behind this particular cocktail, although if you had no reason to celebrate on the 21st of October, now you do! Either way, its a great drink, and here is our spin on how to make it.

Ingredients

Optional – for frosting:

  • fruit juice or syrup
  • fine white sugar, brown sugar or icing sugar
  • tea plate or small shallow bowl (larger than the glass you want to use)
  • flat plate for the sugar

Frosting Preparation (Optional)

Rinse a glass of your choice in cold water and put it in a freezer for half an hour.

Whist your glass is cooling prep your frosting by cutting a slice of fruit if you are using fruit, and putting your chosen sugar onto a flat plate so you can press your glass into it when it is ready.

When the glass has frosted moisten the rim of it so that the sugar will stick. If you are using an actual fruit you can gentry run some cut fruit around the edge. If you are using actual juice of syrup then pour or squeeze a little onto a tea plate and gently place the glass into the liquid. Then press the glass into the sugar.

To twist or not to twist… often debated, do what you think works best. Twisting will add more coating.

Your glass is now frosted!

Drink Mixing

Carefully pour a shot (40ml or so) of Port into your glass. Top this off with Champagne and gently stir to mix but not release too much of the fizz. Pour carefully so as not to disturb your beautiful frosting!

That’s it! A perfect celebratory drink combining two of our favourites!

If you have a favourite cocktail then get in touch and let us know what it is!