Bishop Recipe

Flickr: meggle

As I wrote on Wednesday, it's cold out there. But unless you live in Florida or Southern California and have been so distracted by the sunshine and clear skies, you probably already knew that. Fortunately for this frigid time of year, there are hot drinks to help you through. Here's a warming cup that's not too boozy, but still flavorful and just strong enough to correct your posture after an hour spent shoveling snow: the Bishop.

This recipe was printed in January's issue of Esquire , where cocktail historian David Wondrich noted that Dickens was particularly fond of this variety of Bishop. It's easy to see why: it's not too difficult to prepare (assuming you don't mind baking an orange), it's thoroughly warming, and absolutely delicious.

Better yet, it makes plenty for a crowd, which provides an even better way to beat the winter blahs.

Use a decent-ish port without going overboard; Six Grapes works well. Serve the Bishop in small cups so it can be drunk before getting cold, and if you need a little more octane, feel free to give the mix a good slug or three of cognac.

Recipe Details

Bishop Recipe

Active 15 mins
Total 2 hrs
Serves 8 servings


  • 1 bottle ruby port
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium orange
  • 20 whole cloves
  • 2 ounces sugar
  • Pinch each of fresh grated ginger, fresh ground nutmeg and fresh ground allspice
  • 4 to 6 ounces cognac (optional)


  1. Wash the orange and pierce the skin with the cloves, leaving the buds protruding from the orange skin. Continue until the orange is well studded with cloves.

  2. Place the orange on a baking dish and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until the skin is lightly toasted, 60 to 90 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

  3. Heat port and water in a saucepan until gently simmering. Stir in sugar and spices.

  4. Cut the orange into slices and add it and its juice to the pan of port (or you can get fancy and put it all in a warmed bowl) along with cognac, if using. Stir and serve.

Special equipment

baking sheet, saucepan, knife, fine grater