Enchantress

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Cocktail History

The Enchantress is a classic cocktail was first published in a cocktail guide written by bartender Charles B. Campbell in 1867. It pairs Cognac with the robust taste of ruby port wine, the sweetness of orange liqueur, and the sourness of lemon to create a dark, deep dessert drink that’s worthy of rediscovery in the modern age.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Cognac: This is one of the base spirits. We used Courvoisier VSOP Cognac because it has a rich mouthfeel, adds notes of peach, almond, and cinnamon, and brings a delightful brandy spice at the end.

Ruby Port: This is the other base spirit. It’s a fortified wine made in Portugal that is dark red in color and has a fruity berry flavor.

Orange Curaçao: This is an orange liqueur made with a brandy base. We used Grand Marnier because it’s a well-known brand that offers Cognac’s richness as well as notes of hazelnut and toffee.

Lemon Juice: This adds sweet and sour citrus flavors. We prefer to use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Lemon Peel: This is the garnish. It adds more fresh lemon aroma and flavor.

Tasting Notes

The Enchantress features aromas of deep port wine and a dark and brooding grape flavor initially, which turns into a lighter citrus and orange note towards the swallow.

(Updated in 2022) Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We first tried this drink with slightly different specifications in 2020 and thought it was too bitter at the time. Fast forward a couple of years and 200+ tastings, and we both found the Enchantress to be a deep and absolutely delicious dessert cocktail the second time around. Apparently we just needed more developed palates to truly enjoy this beverage.

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Having tried the Enchantress once before and not really being crazy about it, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this one the second time. The mix of ruby port and Cognac is a perfect match as both grape profiles work well together to create a deep flavor; meanwhile, the lemon and orange liqueur lighten it on the palate a bit towards the swallow. While it’s impossible to say something tastes like a color, each sip of this reminded me of sipping on the color ruby itself.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Alex tweaked the specs listed in the book so this drink would be more balanced, and I’m glad he did. Paring down the amount of brandy and ruby port made for one delicious drink that’s deep in not only color but taste too. If you’re in the mood for a wine-based dessert cocktail, I would give this one a try. It’s a classic for a reason.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Art of Vintage Cocktails by Stephanie Rosenbaum.

AuthorThe Art of Vintage CocktailsPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Cognac
 1 ½ oz Ruby Port
 ½ oz Orange Curaçao
 ½ oz Lemon Juice
 1 Lemon Peel

Method
1

Add brandy, wine, orange curaçao, lemon juice, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a chilled cocktail or wine glass.

4

Garnish with lemon peel.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Cognac
 1 ½ oz Ruby Port
 ½ oz Orange Curaçao
 ½ oz Lemon Juice
 1 Lemon Peel

Directions

Method
1

Add brandy, wine, orange curaçao, lemon juice, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a chilled cocktail or wine glass.

4

Garnish with lemon peel.

Enchantress

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More Wine Cocktails

If you like this wine-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

American Beauty: A brandy and wine cocktail made with dry vermouth, orange juice, grenadine, white crème de menthe, and rose petals

Coronation: A sherry cocktail made with dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, orange bitters, and an orange peel

 Stout Sangaree: A Irish stout beer and port wine cocktail made with nutmeg

 Cranberry Cobbler: A sherry cocktail made with cranberry syrup, orange slices, an orange wedge, mint, and cranberries

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