Porter Cup

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Cocktail History

The Porter Cup is a vintage cocktail that was created by Jerry Thomas and was first published in his 1862 book The Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks. The recipe combines a unique mixture of French brandy, ginger, cucumber, and lemon with rich porter beer and tops it all with a sprinkling of grated nutmeg.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Porter: This is a type of beer made in England with malted barley, hops, yeast, and water. We used Stevens Point Brewery Point Milkshake Malt Porter because it has a creamy mouthfeel and rich porter-style flavor with chocolate notes. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Surreal Brewing Company Non-Alcoholic 17 Mile Porter in place of the beer.

Cognac: This is a type of brandy made in Cognac, France with distilled white wine. We used Courvoisier VSOP Cognac because it has a rich mouthfeel and a delightful brandy spice with notes of peach, almond, and cinnamon. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy.

Ginger Syrup: This is a sweetener made with ginger, white sugar, gum Arabic powder, and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s sous vide recipe.

Cucumber Slice: This is a cucumber slice that has been thinly cut into wheel shape.

Lemon Twist: This is the peel of a lemon that has been twisted into a corkscrew shape.

Grated Nutmeg: This is a spice made from the seed of a nutmeg tree. We used whole nutmeg from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

Bartending Tools

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

Bottle Opener: This is used to open bottles. We used the OXO Steel Bottle Opener.

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Muddler: This is used to muddle ingredients. We used the HQY Stainless Steel Cocktail Muddler.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Peeler: This is used to remove the garnish peel from the citrus. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

Grater: This is used to grate spices or citrus peel. We used the OXO Good Grips Grater.

Tasting Notes

The Porter Cup has aromas of nutmeg, malt, and slight citrus and starts with a dark, chocolatey taste offset with fresh cucumber and a touch of ginger heat, and the finish leaves behind lingering flavors of malty chocolate.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Although the origin of its name remain a mystery, we both found the Porter Cup to be incredibly complex and interesting. It presents a wide variety of unique flavor combinations that somehow blend quite well.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“While we weren’t quite sure what the inspiration behind this was, the word ‘cup’ in the name and inclusion of cucumber led me to think of the Pimm’s Cup, the Summer Cup, and other light-bodied beverages meant for garden party sipping. The porter and ginger, however, are the wildcards in that thesis, and they make for a pretty different drink. That said, it isn’t bad by any means as it features plenty of complexity, and fans and naysayers of porter alike may enjoy it. I personally found the juxtaposition of flavors to be a bit on the odd side, but it absolutely has its merits as a decent cocktail.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“I wish I knew the story behind the drinks in the book The Ultimate Guide to Beer Cocktails, this one especially. Descriptions aren’t listed for the recipes, but its name implied it was originally made by Jerry Thomas, which turned out to be true. That aside, I liked this beer cocktail quite a bit. The beer is a bit bitter, but the brandy, ginger, and cucumber sweeten it up and give it a refreshing spring vibe. If I could drink beer, I might ask for this again as an after-dinner treat.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Ultimate Guide to Beer Cocktails: 50 Creative Recipes for Combining Beer & Booze by on and Lindsay Yeager.

The Ultimate Guide to Beer Cocktails: 50 Creative Recipes for Combining Beer and Booze
The Ultimate Guide to Beer Cocktails: 50 Creative Recipes for Combining Beer and Booze
Hardcover Book; Yeager, Jon (Author); English (Publication Language); 136 Pages – 06/05/2018 (Publication Date) – Skyhorse (Publisher)
$16.99 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Ultimate Guide to Beer Cocktails

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 3 oz Porter
 1 oz Cognac
 1 Cucumber Slice
 1 Lemon Twist
 Grated Nutmeg

Method
1

Add ginger syrup and cucumber to a shaker.

2

Muddle gently for 5-7 seconds.

3

Add brandy and cubed ice to shaker.

4

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

5

Strain into a lowball glass over fresh cracked ice.

6

Top with beer.

7

Express lemon twist over top.

8

Garnish with lemon twist and grated nutmeg.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 3 oz Porter
 1 oz Cognac
 1 Cucumber Slice
 1 Lemon Twist
 Grated Nutmeg

Directions

Method
1

Add ginger syrup and cucumber to a shaker.

2

Muddle gently for 5-7 seconds.

3

Add brandy and cubed ice to shaker.

4

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

5

Strain into a lowball glass over fresh cracked ice.

6

Top with beer.

7

Express lemon twist over top.

8

Garnish with lemon twist and grated nutmeg.

Porter Cup

Make It a Mocktail: Use Surreal Brewing Company Non-Alcoholic 17 Mile Porter in place of the beer and Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

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Luigi Bormioli Bach 16.25 oz. Beverage/Hiball/Glass, Set of 4, 4 Count (Pack of 1), Clear
Luigi Bormioli Bach 16.25 oz. Beverage/Hiball/Glass, Set of 4, 4 Count (Pack of 1), Clear
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Lorren Home Trends RCR Timeless HighBall Tumbler - Set of 6
Lorren Home Trends RCR Timeless HighBall Tumbler – Set of 6
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Barski Highball - Glass - Set of 6 - Hiball Glasses - Glass Crystal - Beautiful Designed - Drinking Tumblers - for Water, Juice, Wine, Beer and Cocktails - 13 oz Made in Europe
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Barski Highball - Glass - Set of 6 - Hiball Glasses - Glass Crystal - Beautiful Designed - Drinking Tumblers - for Water, Juice, Wine, Beer and Cocktails - 13 oz Made in Europe
Barski Highball – Glass – Set of 6 – Hiball Glasses – Glass Crystal – Beautiful Designed – Drinking Tumblers – for Water, Juice, Wine, Beer and Cocktails – 13 oz Made in Europe
Superb lead free crystal for outstanding clarity; Set of 6 in pretty box; 5.8″ H x 2.6″ D; Dishwasher Safe for added convenience
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OXO SteeL Bottle Opener
OXO SteeL Bottle Opener
For use with metal-capped bottles only; do not use with plastic bottle caps; Strong, durable die-cast construction
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OXO SteeL Muddler with Non-Scratch Nylon Head and Soft Non-Slip Grip, Silver, 9-Inch
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OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set - Swivel and Julienne
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NEW OXO Good Grips Grater, Stainless Steel, Black
NEW OXO Good Grips Grater, Stainless Steel, Black
Sharp, bi-directional, stainless steel grating surface for fast, easy grating; Non-slip foot provides control while grating
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More Beer Cocktails

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

Oatmeal Stout Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

Oatmeal Stout Old Fashioned: An oatmeal stout and bourbon cocktail made with simple syrup, black walnut bitters, and an orange twist

Calico Tea Cocktail Recipe

Calico Tea: A barleywine ale and apple brandy cocktail made with lemon juice, sage black tea syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, and sage leaves

Sicilian Pour Over Cocktail Recipe

Sicilian Pour Over: A coffee stout beer cocktail made with Amaro Montenegro, cardamom bitters, and an orange peel

The Rosenthal Cocktail Recipe

The Rosenthal: A barleywine ale and cachaça cocktail made with simple syrup, lime, and a lime slice

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-04-25.

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