Stewards of Spirits: California Cobbler

Stewards of Spirits: California Cobbler

Woo-hoo! It's here!

For the last year I've been hard at work putting together an e-cookbook called, Stewards of Spirits: A Collection of Sacramento Cocktails and the People Who Make Them and it is now finally available for you to read!

Teaming up with epic photographer and co-author, Callista Polhemus, we interviewed 26 of Sacramento's bartender elite. We collected their stories, asked them about their passions, and begged for their favorite cocktails that best represented either their personality or the Sacramento region. They delivered more than a FedEx guy hopped up on espresso and speed.

This collection is beautifully photographed, packed with unique cocktail recipes, and bundled with plenty of appendices to help you up your cocktail game.

The book is free for download as many times as you'd like with your donation of $10 to the Food Literacy Center, an epic nonprofit organization teaching nutrition, gardening, and cooking to children in inner city schools. For the cost of a cocktail you'll get the ability to make 26 amazing cocktails. Quite. A. Deal.

Of course, I'm going to tempt you a bit with a taste. Below is an excerpt from the book, our interview with Karina Martinez and her exquisite cocktail, the California Cobbler.

Be sure to download, Stewards of Spirits and get your drink on!


Karina Martinez and her drink, the California Cobbler.

Karina Martinez and her drink, the California Cobbler.

California Cobbler, by Karina Martine

Karina Martinez’s approach to both bartending and hospitality has been cultivated through a number of experiences.

She grew up in the restaurant world with a father who owned a small joint outside of Redding, CA, instilling in her a desire to connect with people and sparking her initial love of the industry. Over time, she would work all aspects of the bar.

Karina pursued an eclectic double major in Kinesiology & Exercise Science and World History with an emphasis on Modern Europe and the World Wars, both of which nurtured her fascination with history and medicine.

“I was planning on medical school for a time, but having worked in the hospitality industry for so long, I didn’t want to leave,” she says. That, as well as moral dilemmas about the state of the American healthcare system, prompted her to pack her bags.

By 29, she had traveled to thirteen countries, including teaching English in Spain and a long stint bar consulting in Cambodia for high-end establishments. It was during these travels that she developed an appreciation for different cultures, their foods and beverages, what flavors were the building blocks of a cuisine’s palate, and how language connected individuals.

Homesickness would bring her back to Sacramento, where she began working at establishments such as Bottle & Barlow, Block Butcher Bar, and Lowbrau. (She is currently the Bar Manager at Saddle Rock.) Behind these bars she merged her knowledges of world cuisines, medicine, and history into a personal, yet worldly approach to cocktail culture and art of hospitality.

A cobbler is one of the first truly original American cocktails ever created, and references to the drink go back to 1828. It’s essentially a mix of sherry, sugar, and citrus juice. The drink has a long history as a popular afternoon tipple, which was prescribed not only for refreshment but also as a panacea for frazzled nerves.

Martinez’s recipe modernizes it a bit and focuses it on flavors popular to the Golden State, such as blood orange, California bay laurel, and St. George Terroir (a gin produced by St. George Spirits in Alameda that uses native botanicals such as Douglas fir and, naturally, California bay laurel). For Martinez, the presence of sherry harks back to her time in Spain. The result is a fruity cocktail with hints of berry and an herbaceous aroma that leaves the drinker feeling vivacious in body and spirit.

What You'll Need:

  • 1 ounce Amontillado sherry
  • ½ ounce St. George Terroir gin (or other gin)
  • ½ ounce blood orange syrup (recipe follows)
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon allspice dram
  • Crushed ice
  • 1 fresh California bay laurel leaf

What You'll Do:

Place the sherry, gin, blood orange syrup, lemon juice, and allspice dram into a rocks glass. Fill partially with crushed ice and stir together for just a second or two. Top with more crushed ice.

Take a bay laurel leaf and fold it once or twice, then rub it along a microplane grater over the top of the ice until you have a nice, aromatic dusting of the bay leaf. Discard any of the leaf not used. Serve immediately.


Blood Orange Syrup

This is a simple syrup that requires no heating. Citric and berry-like in flavor, it’s a novel and easy syrup to keep on hand.

Place 1 cup of fresh squeezed and strained blood orange juice and 1 ½ cups of sugar into a blender or food processor. Mix together for about 30 seconds, or until the sugar has dissolved. Will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Makes about 1 ½ cups.

Stewards of Spirits: Black Sand Cooler

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Bad Audience: Contessa

Bad Audience: Contessa