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Cobblers are not just for dessert. They’re a class of cocktails that are made with a base spirit or fortified wine and fresh fruit. The fruit in many recipes takes the form of orange slices, since that was what was called for in many of the “original” cobblers, though you can see them made with all kinds of berries, pineapple and other fruits. In this Autumn Whiskey Cobbler, I stuck with classic orange slices because they meld extremely well with the slight spice from the rye whiskey and give the drink a sense of fall without having to add a bunch of actual spices to it. The cocktail also contains calvados, which adds a layer of apple flavor without having to water down the drink with a lot of juice, and a bit of maple syrup to highlight those apple notes. It’s a drink that evokes brisk fall breezes and leaves changing color, exactly the kind of drink you want to serve in October or November.
The cocktail is delicious on its own and can actually be batched very easily to serve at a party. You can make a pitcher full by muddling your orange slices at the bottom of a pitcher and simply leaving them in place. Although I prefer to shake the individual cocktails, the maple syrup will dissolve readily in a larger mix without shaking. If you do go this route, however, consider using a very large block of ice in your pitcher or punch bowl so that it doesn’t water down the drink too quickly.
Garnish each drink with an apple slice rubbed with the side of a cut orange. This will give the drink a nice orange aroma and it will also help prevent the fruit from turning brown as it sits on the side of the glass.
Glassware: Old Fashioned
2 small Orange Slices
1 1/2 oz. Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz. Calvados
1/2 oz. Orange Curacao
1/4 oz. Maple Syrup
Place orange slices in a mixing glass and muddle. Add the rest of the ingredients, fill with ice and shake. Double strain into a glass over ice and garnish with an apple slice.