The Jack Rose is a classic cocktail that strikes the perfect balance between sweetness and fruity notes. This easy-to-make cocktail has been a favorite for nearly a century, thanks to its refreshing taste and timeless appeal.
The Jack Rose is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time. Made with applejack, grenadine, and lemon or lime juice, this drink is both sweet and tart, with a fruity flavor that is sure to please. Whether you’re a fan of classic cocktails or just looking for something new to try, the Jack Rose is a must-try drink that won’t disappoint. So why not mix one up today and see for yourself why this cocktail has been a favorite for generations?
The Jack Rose cocktail is a classic American drink that has been around since the early 1900s. Its origins are somewhat murky, but it is generally believed to have been created in either New York or New Jersey. The drink’s base spirit is Laird’s Applejack, an apple brandy made in New Jersey at the oldest licensed distillery in the U.S.
One theory about the drink’s name is that it was named after a notorious gangster named “Bald Jack” Rose, who was involved in an infamous mob hit in 1912.
The Jack Rose cocktail was popular in the 1920s and 1930s, particularly during Prohibition. It was famously mentioned in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 classic, The Sun Also Rises, in which Jake Barnes drinks a Jack Rose in the Crillon Paris hotel bar while awaiting the arrival of Lady Brett Ashley. It was also a favorite drink of author John Steinbeck.
In his 1948 book, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, David A. Embury describes the Jack Rose as “nothing but a Pink Apple Car” when made with just calvados, lemon juice, and one-dimensional sweet grenadine. However, popular recipes today typically include Laird’s Applejack, lemon or lime juice, and grenadine.
The Jack Rose fell out of favor in the mid-20th century but has recently made a comeback thanks to the resurgence of classic cocktails. It is often included on menus at cocktail bars and is a staple of the Vieux Carré cocktail, a New Orleans classic.
How to Make It
- 2 oz. applejack or apple brandy
- ¾ oz. fresh lemon or lime juice
- ½ oz. grenadine syrup
- Cocktail shaker
- Coupe glass
- Fill the cocktail shaker with ice.
- Add the applejack, lemon or lime juice, and grenadine syrup to the shaker.
- Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously for about 15 seconds to combine the ingredients and chill the cocktail.
- Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
- Garnish the cocktail with a lemon twist or a slice of apple.
The Jack Rose cocktail is a classic drink that has been enjoyed for over a century. While the original recipe calls for apple brandy or applejack, lemon juice, grenadine, and a dash of Angostura bitters, there are many variations of this cocktail that you can try to switch up the flavor.
One popular variation of the Jack Rose is the Sidecar. This variation swaps out the apple brandy for cognac or brandy and adds Cointreau or triple sec to the mix. The result is a more sophisticated and complex cocktail that is perfect for sipping.
Frank J. May Variation
Another variation of the Jack Rose is the Frank J. May. This variation replaces the grenadine with raspberry syrup and adds a splash of lime juice. The result is a sweet and tangy cocktail that is perfect for those who enjoy fruity drinks.
Sweet and Strong Variations
If you prefer your cocktails on the sweeter side, you can try adding more grenadine to the mix. This will give your drink a sweeter flavor and a deeper red color. Alternatively, if you prefer your cocktails on the stronger side, you can add more apple brandy or applejack to the mix.
For those who prefer vodka over brandy, you can substitute the apple brandy with vodka to create a unique and refreshing twist on the classic Jack Rose.
Old Fashioned and Manhattan Variations
If you enjoy classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned and Manhattan, you can try adding a splash of bitters to your Jack Rose. This will give your drink a more complex flavor profile and a hint of spice.
Whiskey Sour and Daisy Variations
If you enjoy whiskey sours or daisies, you can try swapping out the apple brandy for whiskey to create a unique and flavorful variation of the Jack Rose.
New York Variation
Finally, if you want to pay homage to the city where the Jack Rose was first created, you can try adding a splash of New York apple cider to your cocktail. This will give your drink a distinctly New York flavor and a touch of sweetness.