1680 - The Porter

Spirit Aperitif

With a “mixed bag” of goods on board for delivery to Poland sometime in 1680, five deckhands whiled away the long hours below deck over a pack of cards and some Polish vodka. 

No one is quite sure how it all started…

It could have been boredom, or perhaps a burst of inspiration. Either way, each deckhand went off and collected a portion of each of the various commodities aboard the ship.

These ingredients – a generous splash of milk stout, a bit of coffee, a few raisins and a touch of honey – were added to the Polish spirits they were drinking.

The dark, somewhat sweet, somewhat tangy drink that came of it soon became a staple among British and Polish seafaring folk, and the accidental recipe was passed on for generations.  

It was dubbed “porter” because of its deep, dark colour. And it soon made its way to land too, so that you could enjoy it today.