In many ways, the Cobbler is the epitome of an old-fashioned cocktail. It uses very few ingredients – wine, fruit, sugar and ice – and is incredibly flexible. You can use whatever wine you like or substitute the wine with your choice of spirit. Any type of fruit will do, you can sweeten it with simple sugar syrup, oleo saccharum or even honey, and drink it (always through a straw) from any glass that will hold a good quantity of crushed ice.
In short, it’s a relaxed, unassuming and well-behaved cocktail that can change with the seasons. Here are a few suggestions using different wine and spirit bases.
The original Cobbler, favoured by Charles Dickens, this classic cocktail blends sherry, sugar and an orange slice to make a surprisingly moreish drink. You can select your favourite sherry for this one – a nutty Amontillado will need more sugar than will a Ximénez or Oloroso. Shake the mixture vigorously to muddle the orange and be sure to serve with an extra slice.
You can either use a fino sherry to bring acidity to this cocktail or opt for a good gin instead. Either way, add the sherry or spirit to a shaker with a measure of Chambord, together with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some seasonal berries. Strain over crushed ice and garnish with extra berries. Alternatively, shake a bottle of ready-to-serve Edmunds Chambord Bramble with ice and berries instead – instant gratification!
A Cobbler for summer. Blend rosato vermouth or Lillet Rose aromatised wine with a shot of Aperol for its subtle bitter-herbaceous flavours and a dollop of sweetened strawberry or rhubarb puree to create a wonderfully fruity-floral cocktail. Strain over ice and garnish with berries, mint and icing sugar.
The Champagne Cobbler is a brunch-to-supper option that fits into any type of celebration – think of it as an alternative to a Bellini, Mimosa or Buck’s Fizz. Mix fresh pineapple juice with maraschino liqueur in a goblet, then add ice and top with champagne or sparkling wine. You can drink it from the mixing glass – garnished with extra cherries and pineapple – or strain into a flute to serve, if you prefer.
A much lighter version of the bourbon-based Mint Julep, this Cobbler blends good-quality Spanish white wine such as white Rioja or Albarino in an ice-filled glass with a dash of peach liqueur and a slug of peach nectar. Stir and garnish with a sprig of mint. Sip on the veranda of a Louisiana villa for a more authentic experience.