One of my favorite cocktail creations has to be a drink I named for my grandfather (a Navy man) called the Starguide. Although he owned a bar for most of his life, the strong stuff has never quite agreed with him. On special occasions, however, he will have a small glass of port wine after an exceptionally satisfying meal. This habit of his was always something I found endearing, not least because he would usually let me have a taste.

Because of this, I’ve always wanted to create a great after-dinner drink featuring port. Port wine cocktails are few and far between, and usually for good reason. The density of the wine can envelop the rest of the ingredients, and while the sweetness seems strong alone, when combined with more intensely flavored liqueurs it tends to produce a somewhat vapid cocktail. There are some notable exceptions, one being the delicious Suburban cocktail, which features rum and rye whiskey.

The Starguide is the perfect drink to have after a big meal, and pairs particularly well with the smoky flavors of summer barbeque. It also features some of my personal favorite ingredients: rye whiskey, Pernod, orange juice, and of course my grandfather’s port. To enhance the experience I’ve included rosemary-lavender bitters from the Wigle Distillery in Pittsburgh, as well as a twist of orange peel and a star anise for garnish.

Enjoy this cocktail with friends and family at your next summer get-together, and look up to the night’s sky as your guide.

The Starguide


2 ½ oz Michter’s Rye Whiskey
1oz fresh-queezed orange juice
½ oz port
¼ oz Pernod Anise
1 dash rosemary-lavender bitters
Orange twist and star anise for garnish


Add all of the ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange rind and a star anise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *