Cary Grant's Favorite Sangaree Cocktail Had A Unique Twist

Cary Grant
Cary Grant - Bettmann/Getty Images

Cary Grant knew how to bring the smolder, on and off screen. The "To Catch A Thief" movie star was the epitome of old-school Hollywood, including engaging in the heavy drinking synonymous with Tinseltown in the 1940s and 1950s. To wit, actors of this golden era had an affinity for boozy drinks. Betty White credited vodka as the key to her long life and Sammy Davis Jr.'s favorite drink was a highball teeming with Japanese whisky. Grant was no different. The elegant leading man with a je ne sais quoi that made his fans swoon loved himself a good sangaree cocktail but with a twist. Grant's port sangaree cocktail included rum and maple syrup.

This is quite different from the modern version of this drink which generally uses port wine, brandy, water, sugar, and nutmeg. In fact, Grant's version of this drink has a completely different vibe. Per Appetito Magazine, when the actor wasn't filming one of the many Alfred Hitchcock movies he starred in, he might be caught dining at one of New York's most famous steakhouses, Delmonico's, where he would order this favored drink comprised of port, rum, brandy, bitters, and maple syrup. This combination of ingredients creates a sweet taste that is velvety and smooth on the tongue.

Read more: The 40 Absolute Best Cocktails That Feature Only 2 Ingredients

Brandy Options

A sangaree cocktail
A sangaree cocktail - Valery_Volkov/Shutterstock

Grant's version of this cocktail seems a little more complex with rum, brandy, and port having to blend and work together. The modern version is more in line with Sangaree's original ingredients. According to Sur in English, this punchy drink was first made in 1694 in Martinique where Madeira wine, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and clove were mixed. Depending on where you would drink it, it might involve rum. Today this cocktail's recipe generally features port wine or rum, but rarely both. That said, the two pair perfectly as they are bases of winter drinks like a warm Tom and Jerry and the Any Port in a Storm cocktail.

Adding brandy to this cocktail came about a little later, but the type of brandy you add can change the overall drinking experience. Brandy de jerez which is aged in sherry casks complements the port wine's sweet, full-bodied, and fruity taste, while pisco is going to give it more of a South American vibe, with herby notes and undertones of mango and papaya. And don't forget all those beautiful fruit-flavored brandies. Pear, blackberry, or applejack brandy will each add their crisp and distinct flavor to this cocktail, working hand-in-hand with the other elements to create a perfect blend of dry, sweet, and floral notes.

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