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Sherry cobblers have been around since the mid-19th century. Modern recipes for the cocktail tend to stick to dry sherry, simple syrup or bar sugar, and a slice of citrus (usually lemon, sometimes orange), but Victorian manuals on domesticity, pharmaceutical guides, and gentlemen's table guides from the mid-to-late 1800s include muddled berries in their instructions and often use powdered sugar in lieu of syrup.
That's all well and good, but the name "cobbler" still always makes me think of a summery, baked fruit dessert that makes a perfectly acceptable breakfast on a lazy morning.
Drinking sherry in a sprightly cocktail is much more closely aligned to the Spanish style (where sherry comes from) than the stodgy, British inclination to drink it warm, from a dusty bottle. Fino or manzanilla sherries are usually preferred for classic iterations of the cocktail, and I used the pale, crisp-minerally La Gitana manzanilla.
To make a traditional cobbler, shake the sherry, sugar and a few raspberries with ice until the berries are well-macerated and serve over ice in a highball glass. To make this cobbler extra cobbler-y, I add a muddled vanilla bean and add a bit of cinnamon to the sugar. Other soft berries like blackberries, sylvanberries, loganberries or marionberries may be used as well.
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About the Author: Portland, Oregon native Heather Arndt Anderson is the author of the food blog Voodoo & Sauce. She was recently published in the Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia, for which she penned the Pacific Northwest chapter.
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