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Back in the early 19th century when straws and ice were novelties, Americans flipped for Cobblers. Not the dessert; a libation made with a base spirit (traditionally wine fortified or no), sugar, and fresh fruit. As David Wondrich describes in Imbibe!, the Sherry Cobbler had become America's most popular libation by 1888.
Among the countless updates on the classic Sherry Cobber is the Cranberry Cobbler, PDT owner Jim Meehan and mixologist Michael Madrusan's blush tribute to the last fruit of the season.
"The spices from gin in this one are great for the holidays," notes PDT bar manager Jeff Bell. "There's juniper and ginger, plus a little bit of orange and lemon from the muddled fruit."
While many cobblers are loaded with berries, the Cranberry Cobbler's a little more restrained. Just four macerated cranberries, plus a few for garnish, give the drink a subtle tartness. It goes down smooth and mellow, with a long gin-heavy finish. "We use a medium-rich East India sherry," notes Bell, "which the cranberries accent nicely."
With a bit of citrus for brightness and a mint garnish for aroma, this drink's a refreshing, festive way to start the evening. But imbiber beware: It can be dangerous on an empty stomach. Not because it's the strongest drink at the party, but because it's best when sipped quickly, before fast-melting pebble ice dilutes it. "I cringe when people go out for a cigarette right after I serve them one of these," says Bell. "It'll be too watered down in fifteen minutes."
With this balanced blend and two straws on your side, that shouldn't be a problem.
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About the author: Jaclyn Einis is a Boston-bred, Brooklyn-based writer. No matter where she wanders, it always comes back to food and drink. It's been that way since the day she was born (some got pilgrim hats; she was a turkey baby). You can find her cleaning plates here.
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