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How to Make Cary Grant’s Favorite Cocktail

Max Tucci recalls the family stories of actor Cary Grant and his favorite cocktail when he came to Delmonico's.

A Port Wine Sangaree at Delmonico's.

A Port Wine Sangaree at Delmonico’s.

It was at "Villa I Pini," our family villa in Firenze, that Zia Mary would bring me to her "Hollywood Regency"-designed bedroom to introduce me to all of her favorite films, The Bishop's Wife starring Cary Grant being one of them. Zia Mary Tucci (the iron fist with the lace glove of Delmonico’s) loved sharing stories with me of the actors and actresses who dined at Delmonico’s. Along with my mother, my Zia Mary's all-time favorite actor was the dashingly handsome Cary Grant.

My mother, Gina Tucci, recalls, "Every time Cary Grant walked into Delmonico’s, there was a regal energy that accompanied him!" My mother first met Cary Grant when she was the head model at Ritter Brothers, where later in her fashion career she became executive vice president. In 1963, Mr. Grant came into Ritter Brothers to order a fur coat for his mother and a mink coat for his wife-to-be, Dyan Cannon. "The same regal energy that accompanied Mr. Grant at Delmonico’s was with him at Ritter Brothers!" my mother exclaimed.

Delmonico’s was a stage. It was where Hollywood's elite would dine in pure elegance and glamour. Zia Mary knew that when Cary Grant would grace Delmonico’s with his presence, his preferred drink of choice was a "Port Wine Sangaree." The cocktail features port, rum, brandy, bitters, and maple syrup, making it a wonderful holiday libation. Pour yourself a Port Wine Sangaree and turn on The Bishop's Wife — remembring this line from the film: "Loving kindness, warm hearts and the stretched out hand of tolerance are all the shining gifts that make peace on earth."

Here's the recipe for Port Wine Sangaree, and please scroll down for more information about Delmonico's, including special holidays bookings for the 2023 season!

Cary Grant's Port Wine Sangaree

Cary Grant's Port Wine Sangaree

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Max Tucci
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

2

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce 1 ruby port

  • 1 ounce 1 dark rum

  • 1 ounce 1 applejack brandy

  • 1 tablespoon 1 maple syrup

  • 2 dashes 2 Angostura bitters

  • Ice cubes

  • 1 1 apple for decorations

  • Freshly grated nutmeg for a dash of flavor

Directions

  • Pour the port, rum, brandy, maple syrup, and bitters into a mixing glass filled with large ice cubes.
  • Stir well with a long spoon and strain into a frosted coupette glass or frosted
  • sour glass using a julep strainer.
  • Stand the apple on a cutting board and cut off a slice about 1/8 inch from the core.
  • Turn the apple piece sideways so the stem and core are facing left and right. Thinly and evenly slice the piece of apple into 5 to 7 slices.
  • Fan the slices, spear them with a toothpick, and use them to decorate the drink.
  • Finish off with a sprinkle of nutmeg and serve.

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The Delmonico Way: Sublime Entertaining and Legendary Recipes from the Restaurant that Made New York! (Rizzoli) is a perfect Holiday gift! www.thedelmonicoway.com

Delmonico's Restaurant decorated for the holidays.
Delmonico's Restaurant decorated for the holidays.

From my family and the entire Delmonico’s Restaurant family we wish you and yours a Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo. 

Join us at Delmonico’s for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve. For more information, please visit: www.theoriginaldelmonicos.com

Christmas Eve from 2 - 10 PM

Delmonico's will be offering a three-course menu selection by Executive Chef Eddie Hong.

$145* per person 

Christmas Day 2 - 10 PM

Delmonico's will be offering a three-course menu selection by Executive Chef Eddie Hong.

$145* per person 

New Year's Eve

Delmonico's will be offering three seatings on New Year's Eve. The first two seatings, from 5-7 pm & 7-9 pm, guests will have the option of ordering à la carte or from the four-course menu. During the final seating from 9 pm onward, guests will enjoy the four-course menu.

For our New Year’s Eve celebration in the restaurant, we will be having three separate dinner seatings:

The first à la carte seating may be booked between 5PM and 7PM.

The second a la carte seating may be booked between 7PM and 9PM.

Our final seating, starting at 9 pm, will be for guests looking to join us through the New Year and will feature a $195* prix fixe menu per person! New Years Eve menu can be found here.

Featuring a 4-Course Menu selection by Executive Chef Eddie Hong. Guests dining during the first or second seating can enjoy the prix fixe menu or order from the la carte menu.

*Menu does not include beverages & tax | A 20% gratuity will be added to all checks

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