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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Old Fashioned Cocktail

Cocktail of the Week: the Sherry Cobbler

This week we’re going way back, we’re talking old school, with a drink that makes an Old Fashioned look positively modern: it’s the Sherry Cobbler! Earlier this month, Nate Brown…

This week we’re going way back, we’re talking old school, with a drink that makes an Old Fashioned look positively modern: it’s the Sherry Cobbler!

Earlier this month, Nate Brown told us that sherry was a bartender’s secret weapon, adding complexity and seasoning to cocktails. But what about if you use sherry as the main ingredient? Before the word cocktail was even invented, people on both sides of the Atlantic were making mixed drinks out of fortified wine.

Such drinks would have been familiar to Shakespeare. Falstaff calls for a sort of sherry cocktail in The Merry Wives of Windsor: “Go fetch me a quart of sack (sherry); put a toast in’t.” The Elizabethans would have drunk much of their sherry laced with sugar, spices and, er, toast. It was a good way of disguising the poor quality of the wine. They would also have served these drinks hot to create a sort of mulled sherry.

What the Americans brought to the party was ice. The Cobbler unites a traditional English way of serving sherry with the American love of cold drinks. It’s just sherry with sugar and served with crushed ice and fruit. Long before freezers were invented, Americans would harvest huge blocks of ice in the winter months from the Great Lakes and keep it in special insulated chests so they could have cold drinks throughout the winter. An article in 1838 from a New York newspaper said that an ice box “is now considered as much an article of necessity as a carpet or dining table.”

Charles Dickens picked up the taste for chilled drinks on his American reading tours. He liked the Sherry Cobbler so much that in his novel Martin Chuzzlewit, the eponymous hero refers to it as a “wonderful invention.” Dickens didn’t just limit himself to Cobblers. Apparently, on the gruelling 1867 tour of America, he took most of his nutrition from sherry flips: made with a mixture of sherry, eggs, sugar and nutmeg.

sherry cobbler

Sherry cobbler, don’t forget the garnish

While the Flip requires a bit of skill, the Cobbler could not be simpler. If you don’t have an ice crusher, just bash some ice cubes in a bag with a rolling pin. I would recommend using a reasonable quality amontillado sherry, you want that nutty taste to come through, though don’t use anything too pricey. The González Byass Viña AB Amontillado Seco fits the bill perfectly. You could also use an oloroso, or a sweetened sherry like Harvey’s Bristol Cream in which case cut back on the sugar. But you don’t have to limit yourself to sherry: there are all kinds of other cobbles: Champagne, Port, claret and even Sauternes. Finally don’t stint on the garnish: orange and lemon slices are essential, as is mint, but you could also sling in a strawberry or maraschino cherry. Think of the Cobbler as a distant ancestor of Pimm’s. It’s the perfect drink for a hot lazy summer’s day. 

150 ml González Byass Viña AB
2 teaspoons of sugar syrup
Dash of Angostura Orange Bitters
Orange and lemon slices
Mint to garnish 

In a highball glass (or you can use a Hurricane, Sling or Old Fashioned glass), add the sherry and the sugar syrup. Stir and taste, you might want to add more sweetness. Fill up with crushed ice, add a dash of bitters and stir. Garnish with a lemon and an orange slice, and a sprig of mint.

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The Old Fashioned: The original cocktail

With Old Fashioned Week (1 – 10 November) on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to take a closer look at a cocktail so good that they named a glass…

With Old Fashioned Week (1 – 10 November) on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to take a closer look at a cocktail so good that they named a glass after it.

After years when it was thought, well, a bit old fashioned, the Old Fashioned is now decidedly hip. A week devoted to its pleasures was started in 2015 by two Frenchmen, Michael Landart from Maria Loca bar in Paris, and Cyrille Hugon, founder of Paris Rumfest. The first year there were 50 participating bars, all in France; this November they are expecting over 1000 participants on every continent. So to get you in the mood, find a comfy chair, pour yourself a drink (recipe at the end), and we will take a journey back in time…

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Toast the royal wedding! We reimagine the Royal Family as cocktails

Charge your glasses and ready your bunting, folks – the royal wedding is officially upon us! To mark the occasion in the only way we know how, we’ve reimagined 10…

Charge your glasses and ready your bunting, folks – the royal wedding is officially upon us! To mark the occasion in the only way we know how, we’ve reimagined 10 of the royal family as cocktail serves. Enjoy!

For anyone who hasn’t been paying attention (and apologies if you’ve been hiding from it all), tomorrow Prince Harry, sixth in line to the British throne, and Meghan Markle, actor and activist, will wed at Windsor Castle in what promises to be one of the most quintessentially British shindigs of the entire year.

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Mixing spoons at the ready! Our guide to crafting a cracking Old Fashioned

Whether you’re an accomplished at-home bartender or tend to leave it to the professionals, we’re sure you’ll agree the Old Fashioned is a no-nonsense cocktail staple. Coinciding with Old Fashioned…

Whether you’re an accomplished at-home bartender or tend to leave it to the professionals, we’re sure you’ll agree the Old Fashioned is a no-nonsense cocktail staple. Coinciding with Old Fashioned Week, running from 2 November, here’s our take on how to perfect the historic serve…

Of all the classic cocktails, the Old Fashioned is as classic as they come; a serve entrenched in the very beginnings of cocktail history. The first written recipe record of spirit, sugar and bitters dates back to 1802, with the world’s first celebrity bartender, Jerry Thomas, proclaiming it the ‘Whiskey Cocktail’ in 1862. A little over 30 years later, Manhattan bartender George J. Kappeler lists that tried and trusted trio of ingredients as a Brandy Old Fashioned in his book Modern American Drinks, coining the term on paper.

It’s now officially the best-selling classic cocktail in the world – its recent resurgence is often attributed to Mad Men’s Don Draper, who swaggers through the sixties with a tumbler in-hand – and also, unofficially, the most contentious. Sugar cube or simple syrup? Lemon or orange garnish? One big chunk of ice, or a cluster of smaller cubes? How many times should it be stirred? Bourbon, rye, or another spirit altogether? I started making it three hours ago, and it’s still not ready? Good lord, are you muddling cherries? It goes on.

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New 50cl Cocktails from The Handmade Cocktail Company!

The Handmade Cocktail Company‘s range of Pre-Bottled Cocktails has had a bit of a shake-up! From today, the entire 2015 selection will be available in 50cl bottles alongside the award-winning…

50cl Handmade Cocktail Company 2015

The Handmade Cocktail Company‘s range of Pre-Bottled Cocktails has had a bit of a shake-up! From today, the entire 2015 selection will be available in 50cl bottles alongside the award-winning 70cl editions that were first launched over four years ago.

As well as updated recipes, there’s also a brand new addition for 2015 – another graduate from the Experimental Series: The Boulevardier! Do you enjoy a delicious Negroni? How about a classic Manhattan? Well if you answered yes to either or both of those questions then you’ll love The Boulevardier, made with top quality bourbon with a very high rye content, a blend of sweet vermouths and classic bitter apéritif. That said, if you like a Negroni or Manhattan, they’re available from The Handmade Cocktail Company too!

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Master of Cocktails – Salted Caramel Old-Fashioned

Right then, cocktail fans. For this week’s #MasterofCocktails, we’re going to be making a Salted Caramel Old-Fashioned recipe. Yum yum. If you’re planning on making along with this week’s #MasterofCocktails,…

Master of Cocktails Salted Caramel Old Fashioned

Right then, cocktail fans. For this week’s #MasterofCocktails, we’re going to be making a Salted Caramel Old-Fashioned recipe. Yum yum.

If you’re planning on making along with this week’s #MasterofCocktails, you’re going to need to do a bit of prep a day or so in advance. This includes making the Salted Caramel, dissolving the sugar and salt (as well as fat-washing the whisky), filtering it and adding the bitters.

This will leave you with very little left to do when the time comes to actually serve your Salted Caramel Old-Fashioned, which is quite handy indeed.

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Callooh Callay – Bar Review

The streets of Shoreditch are roamed by tight-chino’d packs of hip London youth, gyring and gimbling in the wabe like those slithy toves in Lewis Caroll’s brilliant work of nonsense,…

Callooh Callay

The streets of Shoreditch are roamed by tight-chino’d packs of hip London youth, gyring and gimbling in the wabe like those slithy toves in Lewis Caroll’s brilliant work of nonsense, Jabberwocky. Fitting, it will transpire, that cobbly little Rivington Street’s Callooh Callay should be named after the poem. I must confess I remember little of my first visit (an ill-fated absinthe tasting some years ago), and thinking up preconceptions at Callooh Callay is nigh-on impossible.

In the main bar there’s that kind of Victorian chic thing that a lot of cocktail bars go in for, only, not quite. And then you walk through the wardrobe at the far end (I promised myself I wouldn’t use the term “Narnia-esque”), and you’ll find a hidden secondary lounge area, replete with gaudy Vegas-style leafy centrepiece, barbershop sign, and bathroom bedecked with old tape cassettes. And then there’s the Oyster Card-themed menu, which is something else entirely.

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The Whip – Bar Review

The Whip at The Running Horse Pub 50 Davies Street, London, W1K 5JE Tel: 020 7493 1275 Nearest Tube: Bond Street Monday to Saturday, 12-11pm Hunter S Thompson’s famous Kentucky…

The Whip bar

The Whip at The Running Horse Pub
50 Davies Street, London, W1K 5JE
Tel: 020 7493 1275
Nearest Tube: Bond Street
Monday to Saturday, 12-11pm

Hunter S Thompson’s famous Kentucky Derby inkings were in my mind last Saturday as I climbed the stairs to The Whip in Mayfair – a newly opened bar which carries on the equestrian theme of partner operation, The Running Horse (located downstairs). Brandishing some serious bourbons, the menu is a mouthwatering selection of Derby classics – Mint Juleps were in order, and The Whip’s elegantly styled confines were a suitable location.

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The Old Fashioned Cocktail

New product announcements! Hurrah! Yes, today we are announcing a terrific addition to the Handmade Cocktail Company’s sterling range of ready-made bottled cocktails. Many of you cocktail enthusiasts have already…

New product announcements! Hurrah!

Yes, today we are announcing a terrific addition to the Handmade Cocktail Company’s sterling range of ready-made bottled cocktails. Many of you cocktail enthusiasts have already been asking us for one particular cocktail – a classic that was left out of the original range. It’s the ultimate zesty, spicy bourbon cocktail, and the favourite tipple of none other than Don Draper, Harry S Truman and Cole Porter. That’s right… The Old Fashioned.

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