The sherry cobbler is reported to have been the most popular drink in America around 1888 (according to David Wondrich's book, "Imbibe!"). It was also a hit elsewhere in the world and spawned a number of similar wine cobblers made with a variety of wines that are, for the most part, extinct today.
The cobbler style of cocktails can be made with any base—commonly brandy or whiskey are used in place of the sherry. The keys to any cobbler are crushed ice, sugar, and a heaping of fresh fruit for the garnish. It's a brilliant classic cocktail with a taste the misrepresents its simplicity and, with such a rich and long history, you know it's worth your time to mix it up.
- 4 ounces sherry
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 3 orange slices
- Garnish: fresh seasonal berries
Gather the ingredients.
Place the sherry, orange slices, and syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes.
Pour into a tall glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with a pile of fresh berries
Serve with a straw and enjoy!
- The original cobbler recipes use 1 tablespoon of raw sugar, typically dissolved in water prior to mixing to avoid granules in the drink. In order to avoid this, just use simple syrup in the recipe.
- In Jerry Thomas' "The Bar-Tender's Guide" (printed in 1862), the sherry cobbler was shaken with the crushed ice it was served with. Shaking with ice cubes is a modern adaptation that most drinkers today will prefer. Try it both ways and see what you think.
- It's also fun to note that in Thomas' illustration for the cobbler, the straws are over twice as long as the glass is tall. According to Wondrich, this cocktail is what put the drinking straw "into common use," though at the time they were simply a "straw" of rye or long hollow pasta.
- There are eight types of sherry, but two dominate the market: Fino and Oloroso. Fino is drier would do well with the amount of simple syrup suggested in the recipe. For the slightly richer Oloroso, it is recommended to use half that amount. Adjust this to fit your personal taste.
- Some modern variations of the sherry cobbler muddle the orange slices before adding the other ingredients. A lemon or lime slice may also be added. This is a fine option if you want to enhance the citrus flavor of the cobbler.
- Alternatively, a few sherry cobbler recipes skip the sliced citrus entirely and add about 1/4 ounce of orange juice (though fresh-squeezed is best).
- Explore how different types of wine work in the cobbler. One popular variation is the Rhine wine cobbler, which features white wine from Germany's Rhine Valley (often Riesling). While some recipes mix it much in the same way as the sherry cobbler, others feature a muddle of green grapes and pineapple chunks with about 1/2 ounce of orange juice.
How Strong Is a Sherry Cobbler?
The alcohol content of sherry tends to fall between 15 percent and 19 percent and what you pour will affect the cobbler's strength. Taking the average, the cocktail should mix up to about 13 percent ABV, or slightly weaker than the wine itself.