It’s been unseasonably warm this month. This weekend the weather got into the high eighties! That isn’t very hot, it’s downright pleasant, but it isn’t the weather I normally associate with March but with the May or June. With the weather as warm as its been I didn’t see any reason to wait until the Summer to start making summer drinks. I also happened to have some bananas that were getting ripe and so I started looking for something that would be cool, refreshing, and have some bananas in it. I found Anna’s Banana
- 1/2 banana
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1 tsp. honey
Slice banana and put into blender. Add vodka, lime juice, and honey to blender. Add cracked ice to blender and blend on medium for about 10-15 seconds. Serve in a chilled white wine glass. Garnish with lime wedge.
Anna’s Banana was cool and refreshing. It was also very smooth. There isn’t much more I can say about it though. It hardly had any taste at all. I might have put in too much ice or not enough honey? I did notice that when I pored the drink out of the blender there was honey below the blender blade. In the future I think I will use honey simple syrup instead of pure honey; I think it would blend better. For my first blended drink this was kind of a bust. I’m hoping future cocktails will be more noteworthy!
I’ve never been much for sours. This might be because I’ve never found a reason to order one? Or maybe I have and the bartender wasn’t any good at making it? I don’t know. The drink is a classic though and quite simple to make. Apparently, there is a method to making sours (see tip two) that I was unaware of. I was also unaware that margaritas are considered sours. The more you know… Anyway, the big decision to make with a Whiskey Sour is what type of whiskey to use? bourbons, ryes, Irish or Scotchs all have their own unique flavor profiles and alter the taste of the cocktail considerably!
- 2 oz. Whiskey
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice and shake. Strain into a chilled, ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. I didn’t have one so I used a raspberry.
I made two whiskey sours, one with Jameson and the other with Bulleit rye. They were surprisingly different from each other! The rye was so sweet that it almost overpowered the lemon juice, the Jameson had hints of vanilla and spice. I enjoyed both but preferred the one with Jameson on this night.
After last week’s cocktail, the Jack Rose, a couple of friends recommended other drinks they enjoy that have grenadine in them. The one that I found most intriguing was the Scofflaw: a combination of Rye whiskey, lemon juice, grenadine, and dry vermouth. The Scofflaw’s name come from the era of Prohibition here in the United States. The actual word “scofflaw” came into being through a contest to create a word to describe “a lawless drinker of illegally made or illegally obtained liquor.” This drink was created in Paris during Prohibition and named “Scofflaw” to honor those in the United States who continued to drink. Or so the story goes…
- 2 oz. rye whiskey
- 1 oz. dry vermouth
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. grenadine
- 2 dashes orange bitters
Add all ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The Scofflaw is a delicious cocktail that seems to have a perfect balance between sweet and sour and it has a lovely, rich red color. I like to imagine drinking this cocktail in some quiet out of the way speakeasy with jazz music playing in the background. Prohibition may be dead but its drinks live on, eh?
One of the things I’ve come to appreciate doing these cocktails of the week is the incredible depth that there is in the world of mixed drinks. I often will sit down Sunday morning, look over my bar to see what I have, and then just type random combinations of my inventory into Google and see what comes up. Another thing that I’ve enjoyed is the history and drama that comes with so many of these drinks. Take for instance this week’s cocktail: the Jack Rose. Where does that name come from? Well, it could be a lot of things:
There are various theories as to the origin of the drink. One theory has the drink being named after, or even invented by, the infamous gambler Bald Jack Rose. Albert Stevens Crockett (Old Waldorf Bar Days, 1931) states that it is named after the pink “Jacquemot” (also known as Jacqueminot or Jacque) rose. It has also been posited that the Jack Rose was invented by Joseph P. Rose, a Newark, New Jersey restaurateur, and named by him “in honor” of a defendant in a trial then being held at the courthouse in that city. (Joseph P. Rose once held the title of “World’s Champion Mixologist.”) However, the most likely explanation of the name is the fact that it is made with applejack and is rose colored from the grenadine. Harvey’s Famous Restaurant in Washington, D.C. claimed to be the originator of cocktail.
I found all of this, and more, out just by typing “Laird’s and grenadine” into Google!
- 2 oz. Applejack (Laird’s)
- 3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice (I used lemon)
- 3/4 oz. Grenadine (home made)
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice and shake thoroughly. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. No garnish, though you could use an apple slice.
So, the Jack Rose is a nice cocktail. But, nothing about it really sticks out. Maybe that is because I used lemon juice instead if lime juice? It’s not bad, it just seems to lack the little something that makes you remember a drink? Pleasant but unmemorable. This is a real shame too because you’d think a drink with Applejack, Grenadine, and lemon juice would be something worth sharing. I’m going to try it again with lime and maybe that will help…