The Perfect Summer Cocktail: White Port and Tonic

Summer cocktail

Summer cocktail

It’s really hot in Santa Barbara right now. Not that I’m complaining — we were socked in with June gloom since May and it actually feels like summer, finally. To wake up with the sun’s rays shimmering through your window is such a treat. We can finally go to the beach and not freeze — hurrah!

At the risk of offending red wine devotees, I’m just not too keen on drinking reds when it’s this hot outside. For those of you who frequent our residence you know that we are fully committed to starting our happy hour with New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. We call it “fine chugging wine.” One in particular, Matua, Paretai is delicious and complements so much of the summer food we like to eat. But sometimes I do like to change it up and when the weather turns really hot, like now, I head to the bar for an iced white port and tonic.

I love serving it to friends when I entertain outside in the summertime because it’s so fresh, bubbly, light and delicious. It’s just different enough to prompt guests to ask, “Valerie, what is this?” as they help themselves to another. Of course, for every mixed drink or glass of wine, I always accompany it with water. Don’t want to get too dehydrated with the summer heat.

The Perfect Summer Cocktail: White Port and Tonic

White Port and Tonic

For this recipe I prefer Q organic tonic. It’s made with “hand picked quinine and organic agave.” Schweppes contains modified high fructose corn syrup — your choice. The white port is Warre’s, which I buy at our local bottle shop for $16.99.


Makes 1 serving

1 ounce white port

3 ounces organic tonic


Serve in a tall glass over ice and garnish with seasonal fruit (citrus slices or peaches are yummy, too). Cheers!