A Gentleman’s Portion is a free pouring of liquor, usually Scotch or Cognac, where the server does not use a measure. It may not amount to as much as a double, but it seems generous. The Victorian phrase was only used occasionally in the 20th Century, but has been enjoying a resurgence with millenials.
Bartenders, such as Josh Prout, at The Oxley in Toronto’s fashionable Yorkville area, have recently created eponymous cocktails.
Applied to food, it refers to a good helping, but not a greedy one, suitable for a gentleman about to engage in some vigorous endeavour and needing the calories.
Restaurants sometimes use the descriptor to differentiate a full plate, from the presumably smaller “Ladies’ Portion.”
The phrase was first documented in The New Monthly Magazine, published in London in 1857.
Nigel Napier-Andrews brings a passion for life, food and Scotch whisky to the stories of his travel, culinary adventures and a lifetime of good living.
He has been writing the whole of his career: as a young journalist in Kenya, then in advertising, PR and at BBC in London, at CBC in Toronto as the producer, director and writer of hundreds of television shows, as the author of three published books, including the bachelor cook book How to eat well and stay single, and many newspaper and magazine articles, and as the creator of thousands of television shows and corporate videos.
In the spring of 2014 he became the host of the television series Escapes with Nigel, by his count, his ninth career.
After two seasons he’s hosting a new series with a stronger food theme — Market to Table — to launch in the spring of 2016.
Gentleman’s Portion on Instagram
Casting our social media net even wider, in January 2016 we joined Instagram under the gentlemansportion banner. Check out our images.