Dave Wondrich, the most respected cocktail authority on the planet, once called the sherry cobbler “the air conditioning of the 19th-century” — and we’ve never forgotten it. In its simplest form, the cobbler is nothing but sherry, sugar, a little fruit, and tons of ice. Since sherry is so low-proof, just a little boozier than wine, it’s possible to drink these ice-cold drinks all day. And in an era long before frozen strawberry daiquiris, drinkers of the era knew just as well as we did that fruit + booze + crushed ice is as refreshing as it gets.
Though it’s hard to imagine now, ice was in short supply in the 19th century, and straws almost unheard of. It was, in fact, the sherry cobbler that popularized the straw, and Americans have loved it ever since. So this summer, salute history with a genuine sherry cobbler. We promise you’ll find it just as thirst-quenching and irresistible as our forefathers did.
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Here’s the absolute key to a great cobbler: Cobbled ice, also known as nugget ice or pellet ice. Crushed ice can work here, but it’ll melt more quickly. The whole idea of a cobbler is that you can nurse one, sipping slowly as the drink stays ice-cold but doesn’t immediately get watered-down.