Port of Call Cocktail | January 5, 2017

Happy New Year Tovolo Friends!

I love a good cocktail.  Don’t you?  I don’t order them very often even though the craft cocktail movement is alive and well in Seattle.  Recently, my friend and co-worker invited my over to his house on Thanksgiving before dinner and since his house is a hop-skip from mine, I made my way over there.

It was a small affair, just a few people all of whom were playing a game when I arrived.  His lovely and very hip wife was pouring this beautiful ruby colored elixir into double old fashioned glasses.  I had one sip and my life was changed!  It was hands down one of the best cocktails I have ever had!  It was like all the things I love about the holiday season were all in this one little glass.  It was sweet but tart.  Cold but scented with warm spices.  It is aromatic but not overpowering with a depth of flavor that was so familiar but still unidentifiable.  I know I am seriously building this up but I was in love.

She sent me the recipe which I of course will share.  Since Thanksgiving, I have served it at my own holiday party, Christmas Day to my family, New Years Eve, and a few practice runs in between.  It is so very drinkable.  I was unfamiliar with “Old Tom Gin” but it was easy to find both Ransom and Hayman’s in the liquor store.  I did a little research and Old Tom Gin is a pre-prohibition entity that has been brought back by the craft cocktail boom.  It is a little sweeter than London Dry style gin.  It can be clear or is sometimes aged in red wine barrels and therefore has a light hay color.  (I read that it has a “hay” color in my research and I thought “How pretentious to call it Hay colored” but when I began to describe the color that is the only word that seemed appropriate.  Damn pretension!)  Anyway as a gin drinker, it is delicious and pairs really nicely with both fruity mixers as well as gingery mixers.

With the Tovolo Cocktail Shaker, you can even juice the fresh lemon right into the shaker itself.  I love that feature.  The lid doubles as a jigger so measuring is a snap and then I can shake with one hand which I didn’t know was a thing I wanted but I love it.

I am also thrilled to announce that Cook’s Illustrated chose the Tovolo Cocktail Shaker as it’s most recommended Shaker AND one of the best products of 2016!  What?  Thanks so much!  We are very honored.  Now you don’t just have to take my word for it – the is the BEST Shaker!

Port of Call Cocktail



1 oz Old Tom Gin

1 oz Ruby Port

½ oz cinnamon syrup (recipe to follow)

½ oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp cranberry preserves (or cranberry sauce)

Add all components to the Tovolo Cocktail Shaker over ice and shake.  Strain over perfect cubes in a double old fashioned glass.  Also looks very pretty in a martini glass, straight up.

Cinnamon Simple Syrup:

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

5 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces

Add water and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil stirring occasionally so that the sugar doesn’t burn. Add broken cinnamon sticks.  At a boil, cover, then reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and keep covered.  Let this sit as long as you can.  When it cooled, I transferred it to a glass jar and put it in the refrigerator overnight. The recipe says to strain the cinnamon sticks but I left them in the jar.  Syrup will last about 1 month in the fridge.  (After a few days, you really should take the cinnamon stick pieces out to avoid bacteria.)