Friday Night Cocktail: Port Light

With summer now in full swing, I decided to whip up another batch of passion fruit syrup. While I could never truly tire of Hurricanes, sometimes I’m in the mood for something other than rum.

Fortunately, my husband – a confirmed rum-lover – has recently discovered the merits of bourbon as well. I’m thrilled that he’s finally become a convert to at least one kind of whisky, so I’ve been taking every opportunity to foist new bourbon-based drinks on him.

Rum may be the stronghold of Tiki drinks, but there are also gin, tequila and bourbon outposts. The Port Light is a refreshing variation on the basic Bourbon Sour that replaces the standard simple syrup with a mix of passion fruit syrup and grenadine.

How to make a Port Light cocktail

Adapted from Beachbum Berry Remixed

  • 1/4 oz. grenadine (or increase to 1/2 oz. if you find the drink too tart)
  • 1/2 oz. passion fruit syrup
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 oz. bourbon

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, and shake hard for 15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice, and garnish with a cherry.

The Port Light is presumably so named because the grenadine should tint  the drink, like the navigation light on the port side of a vessel, red. (Though some references suggest that it was merely served in a red glass, with a corresponding Starboard Light in a green one.) I used homemade grenadine, which is sometimes a little lacking in the colour department, unless you add something to deepen it, such as hibiscus flowers. Although the colour may have been timid, the flavour was anything but!

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