The Crimson Cocktail is unusually sweet for a gin-based cocktail. This recipe features gin and either lemon or lime juice, but adds to those a combined ounce of grenadine and port.
This is one of those drink recipes you can tweak to your own taste, or your guests’ taste. A little more grenadine makes it sweeter. Lime makes the tartness more apparent, while lemon brings out the bright citrus notes and doesn’t seem to cut the sweetness as much.
The layering effect on this drink is gorgeous. If you’re scared by the call to float the port on top, you can check out my tutorial on layering cocktails, with a video and photos. But it’s really simple in this case because the port floats easily: just pour it slowly up against the side of the glass. In fact, you don’t even need to use a spoon – just pour the port into a jigger or similar small container, so you’re not pouring straight out of the big bottle. Pour slowly from the jigger, close to the side of the glass, and even if some of the port sinks, it’ll float right back up to the top in a few seconds.
Another option is to put one of these pourers on your port bottle. They make it pour slow and smooth, which is so easy to work with. (They’re great to have around for salad dressings, oils, anything that can chug when you’re pouring from a full bottle.)
The flavor here is all citrus, herb and sweet cherry and grape. The gin comes through pretty clearly, so choose a brand you like.
Crimson Cocktail Recipe
Fill a shaker halfway with ice cubes. Pour in all ingredients except the port, and shake well until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Float the port on top.