The perfect summer sipper – great for parties!

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The best place to begin is always the beginning and the Sherry Cobbler is part of the venerable Cobbler family which are some of the oldest cocktails ever made. Like the Mint Julep, their rise in popularity was closely linked to the spread of commercial ice, and there’s more on that subject in a video here. With the base being wine though these drinks are a much more sensible choice on a hot afternoon than whiskey. One of the first Sherry Cobbler recipes to be printed is in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 The Bartender’s Guide and the recipe was simply two wine glasses of sherry, a tablespoon full of sugar and two or three slices of orange and you were to shake that and serve it over crushed ice. It’s actually widely accepted that the Sherry Cobbler was the first ever shaken cocktail, and it’s where the cobbler shaker gets its name.

As always we’re gonna get our garnish ready first. Anyone who makes a lot of cocktails will know the pain of having a lot of peeled fruit that you’ve used for twists and then nothing to do with it. At least lemon you do use the juice but for oranges unless you happen to drink a lot for your breakfast there’s not really much to do with it. So this is a good cocktail to actually use up that kind of fruit and because you want to get a couple of actual big wedges out of your orange here. These ones are just going straight in your drink so they don’t have to be particularly pretty but i just like to take a bit of the white off anyway because it is quite bitter.

Same with your lemon and with the lemon you just want to make sure there’s not any pips because obviously we’re not going to strain this drink and you don’t want them getting stuck in your straw. Part of the reason that this drink was so popular way back in the 1800s was that it looked so pretty it was always garnished with mint and fresh berries, just whatever you have to hand is good. We have some strawberries and some cherries so I’m just going to cut those up as well for a little bit of rearranging at the end. Now we’re going to pop our sherries into the shaker tins. So we’ll start with the amontillado 45 mils of that. The original recipe calls for sugar syrup and that completely works here, as do honestly most kind of really quite sweet liqueurs and things, since we’re having a shady extravaganza I thought why not use the sugar syrup of the sherry world and add a nice raisiny dimension. Remember crushed ice does need a little bit of extra sweetness so don’t be afraid to be fairly heavy-handed with whatever you’re using.

I’m gonna go with some Pedro Ximenez sherry, 15 ml of that. A cobbler actually works with basically any sherry it would just be drier or sweeter accordingly. But I do love to use amontillado as the star of the show because of its depth and nuttiness rather than splitting it 50/50 like fino and amontillado. It also goes well with pretty much every fruit as well, so orange is traditional but using something seasonal like raspberries or peaches is a really fun twist. I do also like to have some lemon in there to balance. The original recipe doesn’t call for it but there is an argument in the oranges in the 1800s would have be much less sweet than those that we tend to get today, so it does just balance it out with a bit of extra acid there. I tend to find muddling a bit of a pain and it can extract bitterness so I just stick to squeezing the fruit but if you’re using a non-squeezable fruit per se then just try giving it a little gentle press with your bar spoon. Now that is all you need to make a Sherry Cobbler, but I’ve just decided to take it up a little notch and add another extra layer of flavor by adding some bitters.

Don’t go with Angostura, it’s going to be too much but if you have something fun like these Miracle Mile toasted pecan bitters would you really good for bringing out those awesome nutty notes in the amontillado. The one that I’m going with is the local Mr Bitters honeyed apricot and smoked hickory. Just one dash of that. Now fill up your tin with some ice. Pop your tins together and shake. Once your tin’s all nice and frosty that’s ready. So summery. That one can actually do with a little bit more PX, I’m just going to add a little dash more. Now grab your glass out of the fridge or freezer. This is called a shake and dump. You don’t have to strain at all and that gives sort of the effect of the crushed cobbles of ice, because after all cobblers were invented before machines produced really fine and snowy ice so they were kind of named after the small cobbles of ice that they were served on, so I think shaking or just sort of hand bashed crushed ice are absolutely the best options here. And then I like to keep the fruit in there.

Just give it a little mix in. Now as we said it’s very important to serve this cocktail with a straw, it’s pretty impossible to drink a crushed iced drink without one and also this was considered the cutting edge of modernity in its time because it was one of the very first drinks to be served with a straw. So pop that in. Grab a nice pretty mint sprig and give it a little smack to release the aromatics, and make sure that’s in right beside the straw so that every time you take a sip you’re going to get all of that up your nose as well. And then garnish with whatever berries you have so little strawberry and a little cherry. The Sherry Cobbler, so now you know. So before I get to tasting this, if sherry is your thing then have we got a playlist for you. It’s my deep dive on the hows and the whats of sherry plus all of the sherry cocktails I’ve made so far, so you can check it out up here it’s really very close to my heart.

Now it’s pretty awesome how frosty this still is I don’t want to ruin the magic of television but this has actually been photographed for about five minutes and it’s still absolutely freezing cold. So lovely and refreshing obviously, you know, despite how much a joke about it, drinking a lot of alcohol early in the day is like not actually always that pleasant but this just kind of tastes like a really lovely breakfast juice because you’ve got the the orange and the lemon in there and then just like a really nice kind of like dried fruit and nuts from the sherry and obviously all really elevated by a big whiff of mint. One of your five a day! I definitely just want to be on a rocking chair on a veranda in the south of America somewhere the big fan and one of these constantly being replenished.


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As found on YouTube