Friday Happy Hour: A Trio of Cobblers

No, this is not a pie, but it does involve fruit – lots of fruit.  The results can be fantastically complex, but this is one of the simplest to make and best drinks for improvising on a hot summer night.  Throw together some spirits, a little sugar, and a ton of fruit and ice, and you have: The Cobbler.  Here are three basic recipes to get you started, but play around with this one.  It’s hard to go wrong!

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Read below for the recipes!

Sherry Cobbler

4 oz Dry or Amontillado Sherry
1/4 oz Sugar
2-4 Slices of Orange

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Blackberry-Bourbon Cobbler

2 oz Bourbon
1/4 oz Sugar
1 Handful of Blackberries

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Brandy Cobbler

2 oz Brandy
1/4 oz Raspberry Syrup or Raspberry Liqueur
Handful of Slices of Orange, Lemon, and Pineapple

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Combine the spirits, sugar, and fruit, then shake really well with ice.  (You can muddle the fruit first, but I find shaking gets plenty of flavor out of the fruit by itself.)  Strain into a highball glass filled with lots of crushed ice, then garnish with lots and lots of fresh fruit.  Plunk in a straw and enjoy.

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If you prefer a cleaner-looking drink, strain before you garnish.  This is easiest with a 3-part shaker called (what else?) a Cobbler Shaker, with a separate cap and strainer.  Though it’s not traditional, I’m a big fan of just pouring the whole thing, fruit and all, into the glass.  Garnish with whatever fits the drink or, better yet, whatever’s in season – blackberries and raspberries are usually a good bet.

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Here’s what you’ll get: a smooth, refreshing drink with lots of outstanding fruit flavors that don’t overwhelm your choice of spirit.  A Bourbon Cobbler is definitely a Bourbon drink, and a Sherry Cobbler is very much a Sherry drink.

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The Cobbler is an old drink, dating back at least to the 1830s, and was once one of the most popular in America – David Wondrich writes in Imbibe that, in an 1840 in New World article, one author called the Sherry Cobbler “the greatest ‘liquorary’ invention of the day.”  And not just America – Wondrich adds that French customers at the 1867 Exposition Universelle de Paris were going through 500 bottles of Sherry, most in the form of Sherry Cobblers served up at the Exposition’s American Bar.  I don’t know why this fantastic, easy-to-make drink went out of fashion, but I implore you to do your part in reviving the Cobbler.

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Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

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