Montana – Recipes from Old Waldorf Bar Days + Embury


Another interesting cocktail that is one of the very few in which port is used…..

4 brandy

1 French

1 port

Old Waldorf Bar Days

A compliment to the field of operations of many early patrons of the Bar. 

One-third Brandy 

One-third French Vermuth 

One-third Port Wine 

Stir; strain

I’m not sure of the relevance of the name for this drink, Montana, right at the top on the border with Canada doesn’t have quite the same climate as Washington State to the west and is difficult to think of it as a state synonymous with Port. That being said at least one winemaker based there today does make a Port style fortified wine, maybe there was a vineyard from there supplying the Waldorf at one stage. It’s also another one of those annoying Americanisms where in order to call yourself a Port it must come from Porto in Portugal for everyone in the world, except the United States, which has a similar rule for Champagne.

This is a perfect example of how tastes have changed over time. The Waldorf recipes all seem a little too sweet, was this to hide bad prohibition era booze? And Embury’s drinks often look too dry on paper, but often surprise to be fair.

I decided to make this somewhere in the middle, with a 2-1-1 ratio, and found this ok. The French vermouth doesn’t seem to work as well with the port as I think Italian vermouth would, using this would make a drink similar to a Delmonico (20-02), essentially a Brandy Manhattan, only with the complexity cut down a little with Port. I’d try this with the Italian vermouth, but I think I’ll pass on the classic recipe in future.