Cocktail of the Week: Jack Rose

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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!

Jack Rose

The ingredients

Jack Rose

  • 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.

Jack Rose

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…

Cocktail of the Week: Americano

Americano Cocktail

I was going to do the Negroni for this week’s cocktail but while researching the history of the drink I cam upon the Americano. I thought an Americano was just watered down espresso, which it is, it’s also though the direct predecessor of the Negroni. While the Negroni is a mixture of gin, campari, and sweet vermouth the Americano uses club soda instead of gin.

Americano Cocktail

The ingredients

Americano

  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • splash of soda water

Pour Campari and vermouth over ice in an old fashioned glass, add a splash of soda water. Garnish with an orange slice.

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The Americano is interesting. It’s not sweet, it’s not sour, it has a little bit of savory. The Campari, an herbal liquor, and it’s flavor profile skews heavily to bitter. This is slightly offset by the sweetness of the vermouth but the drink remains bitter. It does take a while to get used to though. Bitter really isn’t a taste that the American palate appreciates or enjoys. I wonder if the gin in a Negroni helps smooth the edges off the Campari at all?

I’ll find out soon! Next week I’ll try the Negroni!