The cobbler may have hit its peak in the 1800s, but as modern bartenders continue to expand on the original template, it’s arguably living its best life today.
In line with the sessionable quality of the original Sherry Cobbler, Leo Robitschek’s Ma Cherie sticks with the Spanish fortified wine as a base, but adds both a tropical and savory note; pineapple gum syrup and muddled celery come together in an unlikely combination complemented by a small measure of green Chartreuse. Likewise relying on low-proof ingredients, Greg Best’s Suppressor #1 centers around equal parts dry vermouth, Cocchi Americano and PX sherry, alongside lemon juice and grapefruit bitters for a compelling layering of flavors.
The cobbler blueprint jibes well with higher proof spirits, too. Trick Dog’s I Am … I Said, for example, began as a mashup of the Mint Julep and Sherry Cobbler, resulting in a more booze-forward rendition of the crushed-ice drink. Bar manager Morgan Schick builds on the amontillado base with an unconventional menthol tincture (consisting of menthol crystals dissolved in vodka), malty genever and orange Curaçao in a nod to the accoutrements that the cobbler picked up toward the end of the 19th century. Sean Kenyon’s Mexican Gentleman likewise augments the sherry base, this time with both tequila and mezcal, finishing the whole thing off with the traditional medley of seasonal fruit.
Finally, Chantal Tseng sticks to the original formula of sherry, sweetener and garnish over crushed ice, but kicks things up with a seasonal syrup. In her Autumn Cobbler she build on the rich, nutty flavor of oloroso with an easy-to-make maple-chai syrup. It adds a subtle spice to the drink, which is crowned with seasonal fruit, nutmeg and a mint bouquet.