Sherry Cobbler or a Wine-Fruity-Drink-Thing

Fall is my favorite. Lindsay and I love everything about it. It’s when we met, when we got married, when coffee begins to taste even better and alas, cocktails become richer. Every fall, as companies and individuals get geared up for the holidays, we get asked to teach holiday inspired drinks, customize holiday appropriate classics and more. And I find myself, every year, always submitting the Sherry Cobbler as an option. As one of my favorite classics of all time, this 1830’s libation is a simple shaken drink of sherry with a little sugar and fruit (most typically orange). As is, and right out of the books, it’s awesome. Assuming you have a good brand of sherry, this icy cold mixture was originally intended for summer and was very much a cool-down kind of drink before fans and air conditioning made its way. THE cocktail historian David Wondrich even points out that this one drink was the worlds platform for using a straw for the first time! Seems funny now but back then, revolutionary. We see this cocktail popping up all over the place, from Central America, Europe to even Australia. But this American invention can go for miles when we step back and think about the ways we can make it our drink. In essence, this cocktail is a fortified wine, sugar and fruit. Sounds familiar, yes? Sangria anyone? Though traditional sangrias are made with true wine, hovering anywhere from 12-18% alcohol, the cobbler’s fortified wine (sherry) gives the imbiber a bit more chest hair at around 25% alcohol, but still with fruit and a touch of sweetness. Sherry (and ports, Madeiras and vermouths) give cocktails in this wine-based family tree some maturity and some sense of epicurean nobility but remain equally refreshing and easy. When we step back and again analyze what this cocktail is, sherry, sugar and fruit, we can really begin to have fun. The kind of fruit you use, or supplementing a fruit brandy instead could really take this in a whole new direction. Instead of plain simple syrup, what if the sweetening agent was ginger or cardamom? Now we’re taking fall time! Nutmeg on top? Mint? Top the whole thing with champagne? Oh….and then there’s the amaro family. The intentionally bittered Italian liquors that often take a great cocktail into the “amazing” category. We love the Sherry Cobbler because it can be to your delight. This was a summer drink when invented, and could be considered a great step up from a typical sangria, but we love what the fortified wine profiles bring to the holiday times, giving us fruit, spice and wood notes all in one sip.

Sherry Cobbler: Traditional
3-4oz light sherry
1/2oz simple syrup
Orange slice
In shaking tin, muddle orange slice into simple syrup. Add sherry and shake with ice for 10 seconds. Strain over fresh ice. Serve with straw and any assortment of fresh fruit as garnish

Sherry Cobbler: PourTaste Style
2oz cream Sherry
3/4oz CioCiaro amaro
3/4oz lemon juice
1/2oz Rothman & Winter apricot
1/2oz simple syrup
2 dashes ango
4-5 Seasonal berries

In shaking tin, muddle berries into simple syrup. Add all other ingredients and shake, with ice, for 15 seconds. Strain over fresh ice. Serve with straw and expressed mint as garnish.

substituting black currant or blackberry liquor instead of apricot is equally delicious. Topping the whole thing with sparkling wine is a sell out crowd pleaser