If you’re in search of a cocktail tailor-made for the dog days of summer, Bar d’Eau (246 Spring Street; 212-842-5500) beverage director Benjamin Wood has a suggestion: Kick back on an outdoor terrace with a Champagne cobbler. Wood was introduced to the concoction by industry veteran Willie Shine. The drink’s history can be traced to the 1830s, and it holds the dubious distinction of being the first popular drink to incorporate ice as well as a straw.
The original version included sherry, but by the time “professor” Jerry Thomas’s Bartender’s Guide came out in 1862, Champagne was already being used in cobbler-style cocktails. Wood models his version on the latter, mostly because Champagne is a celebratory drink and, come summertime, people enjoy the quick refreshment it affords. The drink is a good choice as an aperitif and low enough in alcohol that it can be enjoyed throughout the day. “It’s a great way to start off day-drinking on the weekends,” according to Wood.
Though most serious cocktail bars would be able to execute it without breaking a sweat, Wood suggests enjoying a cobbler in an outdoor setting such as the Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar — or wherever the closest porch or patio might be. For those interested in drinking amid the comfort of their own rooftop or fire escape, or just sipping while gazing out the window, check out Wood’s recipe:
Champagne Cobbler by Benjamin Wood
One lemon peel
One orange peel
One highball or Collins-style glass
1/2 oz. simple syrup
Ice (Wood recommends pebble-style ice)
Bottle of Champagne (Wood recommends Gruet as well as prosecco)
Fresh seasonal berries
One mint leaf
Squeeze the oil from the rind of a lemon peel into the glass, then drop the lemon peel into the glass. Repeat the process with an orange peel. Add the simple syrup. Fill the cup with ice. Pour Champagne into the glass until 3/4 full. Stir with a long-stemmed cocktail spoon held between the palms of your hands, moving up and down the ice until the sugar and oils are mixed. Top off with a quick pour of Champagne but do not fill the glass. Add four or five dashes of bitters on top of the ice, which will create a new visual layer for the cocktail. Insert the straw slowly, making sure not to break up the bitters. Add fresh berries and a mint sprig. Enjoy.