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Porto Tonico – Portugal’s White Port and Tonic Cocktail

Drinking a white port and tonic cocktail is popular in Portugal all year but especially during the warm summer months. You can follow our easy white port tonic recipe and make a Porto Tonico at home with just five ingredients.

White Port and Tonic Cocktail on Lisbon Street

Check out 10 great summer sippers you can make at home. Our easy cocktail recipes will keep you cool until it’s time for winter warmers.

Known as a Porto Tonico, white port tonic is a refreshing wine cocktail with twice as much tonic as white port. With the addition of a sprig of mint and an orange wedge, the two main ingredients come together to create a refreshing port drink that rivals the world’s best summer sippers.

White Port and Tonic Cocktail and Tram
We don’t recommend drinking a white port cocktail when you ride the famous Lisbon Tram 28 due to potential spillage.

Though we first experienced the popular Portuguese cocktail in Porto during our honeymoon, we now drink the summer sipper at Lisbon restaurants and bars. We even found Porto Tonicos at Lisbon’s Time Out Market.

Usually, though, we craft and drink the Port and Tonic cocktails at home. Not only is this port tonic cocktail refreshing to drink, but it’s also super simple to prepare.

What is White Port?

Making a White Port and Tonic Cocktail
Porto has several port houses including Ferreira. This particular port house has produced port since the 18th century.

Honeymooning in Porto solidified our passion for ruby and tawny port while introducing us to white port, a lighter version made with white grapes grown in the Douro Valley and fortified with brandy.

Sweet and not too high in alcohol (16.5-20% abv), white port makes for a satisfying after-dinner aperitif. It’s also a fun ingredient to add to Portuguese cocktails.

Port Tasting in Porto
We enjoyed drinking port during our honeymoon in 2007.

Winemakers around the world fortify wine with neutral grape spirits but only producers in Portugal’s Douro Valley can call the end result port. Located in the north of the country, this region has been a protected wine region since the 18th century.

Mindi Enjoys a White Port and Tonic Cocktail
We still enjoy drinking port today – especially when it’s in a white port tonic.

Name variations for port include Porto and Vinho do Porto. The Portuguese translation of white port is Porta Branca. No matter what you choose to call it, Portugal’s fortified wine is addictive to people like us who enjoy dessert wine and, in this case, tasty cocktails.

How to Serve White Port and Tonic Cocktails at Home

White Port and Tonic Cocktail in Lisbon
We drank this white port tonic drink at home in our Lisbon apartment.

In Portugal, people drink Porto Tonicos as an aperitif, similar to the way people in Italy drink Aperol spritzes. However, in our opinion, the Portuguese cocktail tastes way better than its slightly bitter Italian counterpart.

White Port and Tonic Cocktail on Ledge
We whipped this port cocktail drink up in under 10 minutes and then spent just as much time photographing it.

Refreshingly simple, this white port cocktail drinks like a daiquiri or other summer sipper. However, you’ll notice similarities to more sophisticated cocktails as you savor the sips.

Mindi likens the flavor to Jack and Ginger. Daryl just enjoys its summery, fresh flavor.

White Port and Tonic Cocktail Through Windo
We promise we drank this cocktail before the ice melted.

We recommend pairing white port tonics with nibbles like olives and nuts before dinner if you’re entertaining friends. As for us, we typically drink the cocktail while enjoying the view through our Lisbon apartment window.

Port and Tonic Ingredients

White Port and Tonic Cocktail Ingredients
You can count the ingredients of a white port and tonic cocktail on one hand. Pictured here are an orange, white port, tonic and fresh mint. The ice is in the freezer.

The ingredients in our port and tonic cocktail recipe can be counted on one hand – white port, tonic, fresh mint, orange and ice. If you’re located in Europe or North America, you should be able to find white port wine at better liquor stores and the other ingredients at your local market.

White Port and Tonic Cocktail and Mint on Ledge
Fresh mint and an orange wedge add a splash of color as well as bright flavors.

In Lisbon, we can buy decent bottles of white port wine at the grocery store for well under €10. Shoppers in other countries should expect to pay a bit more for port brands like Sandeman and Graham’s.

White Port and Tonic Cocktail from Above
You’ll want to drink this cocktail all summer long. It’s a keeper.

We purchased a bottle of Ferreira white port to make the cocktail featured in the photos here. We also used Fever Tree Indian tonic infused with Mexican bitter orange oil. However, you can use whatever white port and tonic you have on hand.

How to Make Porto Tonico Cocktails

Cutting an Orange Wedge
Slicing an orange wedge is the most difficult step in the white port tonic recipe.

You’ll love making this recipe at home because it’s quick, easy and inexpensive to follow. Most importantly, the refreshing cocktail tastes good and can be enjoyed in moderation.

Pro Tip

Follow the recipe at least once to see how and if you want to modify it later.

White Port and Tonic Cocktail with Mint and Orange on Lisbon Ledge
Plan to make multiple cocktails with the mint and orange so you don’t waste any food.

You can modify this recipe based on your personal preferences as well as what you have in your pantry and fridge. One potential variation is to use a lemon or lime wedge instead of an orange wedge. You can also use a sugar-free or light tonic if you’re watching your calories.

White Port and Tonic Cocktail and Mint on Ledge

White Port and Tonic Cocktail

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

You can make this refreshing summer sipper at home with just five ingredients - white port, tonic, fresh mint, orange and ice.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz white port (1 jigger)
  • 3 oz tonic (2 jiggers)
  • 1 fresh mint sprig
  • 1 orange wedge
  • ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Add ice to a low ball glass. You can use several small ice cubes or one large cube.
  2. Pour white port and tonic into the glass.
  3. Gently stir.
  4. Add orange wedge and fresh mint as garnish.

Notes

  • You can replace the orange wedge with lemon or lime.
  • You can reduce calories by replacing the tonic with light or sugar-free tonic.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 288mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 21gProtein: 2g

Nutrition Disclosure: We used an online calculator to calculate this information. Though 2foodtrippers.com has attempted to secure accurate data, these nutritional figures are estimates.

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Thirsty for More?

Drink around the world with cocktails like the Bee’s Knees, Caipirinha, Clover Club, Daiquiri, French 75, G+T, Mauresque, Mojito, Negroni and Spicy Margarita.

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About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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