Things usually slow down during late summer. It seems like everyone's on vacation--at least mentally, if not physically. At this point in the season, the powerful, refreshing mojitos and juleps may be growing old, but it's too soon to start breaking out autumn's comforting brown-spirit drinks. Right now, go for something gentle and quiet, a sort of liquid hammock that's comfortable in the glass and not caught up on priming you for a party. This time of year is made for the Sherry Cobbler.
This gentle cooler is as old as the transcontinental railroad (if not older) and quite easy to make. A simple combination of good dry sherry--think of the rich nuttiness of amontillado or oloroso--touched with a little sugar and citrus, then stretched out with ice and adorned with late summer fruits. Lower in alcohol than the average cocktail, the sherry cobbler is something you can enjoy at your leisure without it taking over the evening.
- 4 ounces dry sherry (amontillado or oloroso work best)
- 2 teaspoons sugar or 1/4 ounce simple syrup, to taste
- 2 orange slices, cut in half
- Orange slice and fresh berries, for garnish
Combine sherry, sugar and orange slices in a cocktail shaker (if using sugar, stir to dissolve before proceeding). Fill shaker with ice, and shake well. Strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. (You may wish to double-strain through a tea strainer if you’re averse to orange pulp in your drink.) Garnish with a slice of orange and fresh blackberries, raspberries or what have you. Poke it with a straw and take it easy.