Here’s the drink of the moment, the Sherry Cobbler, showcased in the top craft-cocktail bars around Seattle and yet easy enough to make at home, even without any bar tools.
It’s part sangria, part mint julep and best enjoyed sipping through a straw while lounging on an Adirondack chair alfresco.
It’s just sherry, sugar and fruit, poured over a mound of crushed ice. Essentially a spiked snow cone. You just let that nutty, citrusy and creaminess soak into the ice. It will taste even better in warmer weathers and sunnier days to come.
If you’ve never heard of it, you will in the coming months. It’s already the most-talked-about drink in Seattle and the mercury hasn’t even hit 70 degrees. Brave Horse Tavern, Canon and Aragona, among others, have already put it on their menus. But any craft-cocktail bar can make you one upon request.
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A lost classic, the Sherry Cobbler has been revived in the past two years at speak-easy- style bars and drink dens in New York City and in the South. The trend is slowly making its way to the Northwest. (Two years ago, if you tried ordering a Sherry Cobbler in Seattle like I did, the waitress might have given you the dessert menu.)
Popular during the mid- to late-19th century, the Sherry Cobbler “was the Cosmo of its day — light and refreshing, an accessible drink,” said Joaquín Simo, one of the most acclaimed bartenders in America who works in New York City’s East Village. “It was the iconic cocktail of its time, the one that took everyone by storm. It was the cool, trendy and delicious thing to have. Everyone knew you had it across the room — the frosted glass filled with crushed or shaved ice topped with the aromatic, seasonal fruits and with the straw popping up.”
Canon makes a sophisticated variation with oloroso sherry, patxaran, maraschino, Angostura bitters, mint and fruit. But most bars use just three ingredients.
I’ll also let you in on a little secret: Many bar owners love this cocktail because it’s a high-profit drink. A decent bottle of sherry can cost around $20 and it’s excluded from the high liquor state tax since it’s fortified wine. The other two ingredients are just fruit and sugar. Bars charge around $10 for a Sherry Cobbler.
You can make it just as good at home.
You can check out our food blog, All You Can Eat, for the famous Sherry Cobbler recipe from Bellocq in New Orleans, the bar partly responsible for the cobbler renaissance.
To show you how easy it is, I once made this drink at a friend’s house without any bar tools. I just put some orange slices, sherry and simple syrup (one part sugar mixed with one part water) and crushed ice in a Tupperware container and shook it, like your cubby mate does in the office kitchen with the salad dressing. Then I just poured it in a glass, topped with orange slices and berries, the better mojito.
In a real pinch, I even made this cobbler with just dry sherry, jam and a couple dashes of Angostura bitters, though you can omit that last ingredient.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle