Porrons Are the New Pitchers

© Anna Greenberg

By Justine Sterling Posted April 27, 2016

The new way to drink this summer.

George Orwell was not a fan of the porron. In Homage to Catalonia he referred to the traditional Spanish watering can-esque glass vessel as a “dreadful thing…with a pointed spout from which a thin jet of wine spurts out whenever you tip it up.” We, on the other had, love a porron. It turns any occasion into a party; just try not to have fun when you're spouting wine or cider into your mouth from arms' length. Now, one sommelier has taken that party to the next level with a special cocktail designed specifically to be drunk from a porron.

All of the locations of Barcelona Wine Bar throughout Washington DC, Connecticut, Georgia and Massachusetts, are kicking of the summer early with the Basque in the Sun, a lightly spritzy cider cocktail, conceived of by Wine and Spirits Director Gretchen Thomas. While the drink might harken back to your college days of funneling drinks, the cocktail itself is not so dangerous. Thomas made it relatively low in alcohol so people wouldn’t be streaming straight booze directly down their throats.

To make the cocktail, Thomas mixes Isastegi, a funky, dry Basque cider, with lemon juice, Luxardo orange liqueur and an artisanal grenadine syrup. She stirs the ingredients with ice in a separate pitcher, then strains the drink into the porron. For those who would rather not drink directly from the serving vessel, Thomas offers glasses filled with ice, a lemon wedge and freeze-dried strawberries. “They bring this summery berry flavor without flavoring the cocktail,” she says. “They’re sort of like the strawberries in your cereal.” But a lot more fun.

For those who are willing to take the risk and drink directly from the porron, Thomas has a few tips. “If it’s your first time or you’re timid, go ahead and put your hand under your chin to guard your neck and shirt—just in case,” she says. “The porron is a slow pour—it’s not like dumpling liquid into your mouth. All you have to do aim the spout at your mouth (don’t put it to your lips) and go for it. It gets easier after a couple of times, but even people that have done a hundred times spill on their faces. Spilling is acceptable.”

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