One could argue that the oft-ignored sherry cobbler is the most important mixed drink in American history. For much of the 1800s, it was the most popular drink in the country, and its novel requirements – that it be served cold in a tall glass with muddled fruit – brought about the popularity of the drinking straw, the cocktail shaker, and the iced drink. It's also sweet, highly drinkable, and, if made with any skill, delicious.
"It was the Cosmopolitan of its day," McGarry says. "It's a beautifully light drink for brunch-style cocktails, and I always like starting off lighter and moving to the heavier stuff later in the day." At the Dead Rabbit, McGarry makes an updated version of the drink that includes Jasmine tincture, grated nutmeg, and Cremant di limoux, but it still hues to the fantastically straightforward outline of the drink: sherry, a little bit of sugar, some muddled fruit, and crushed ice. McGarry uses Barbadillo Fino sherry, but any dry fino sherry should do.
• 3 oz dry fino sherry
• 2 muddled lemon wedges
• 1/2 oz simple syrup or Demerara sugar
Strain over crushed ice in a Collins glass. Garnish lavishly with fruit – a lemon wheel, cherries, a pineapple stick, and an orange slice are good options.