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…
It’s supposed to be fall right now, the produce department of our local Co-op certainly reflects the change of the season even if the weather outside stubbornly refuses to. I’m looking at you 95° weekend weather! With the transition to fall I’ve got to say goodbye to all the chilled drinks full of citrus and fruit! That’s okay though, because I’m looking forward to some hot drinks.
This cocktail was inspired by one D saw over on another blog (here), that called for a homemade brandy and quite a bit of alcohol in it. I took the recipe and tweaked it a little bit and ended up with a delicious cocktail with an herbal undercurrent, that wouldn’t knock D out. I replaced the brandy with applejack and balanced out the proportions.
1 oz bourbon
1 oz applejack
1 oz thyme simple syrup
1/2 – 1 oz lemon juice
Combine ingredients into an ice filled shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain onto ice in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with apple slice and thyme twig.
I didn’t have any expectations with this cocktail. I’d never considered using bourbon and applejack together and I’d never thought to infuse simple syrup with thyme. It turned out really well though! The lemon and thyme go together quite well and blend wonderfully with the bourbon and applejack. Depending on how much lemon juice you have a flavor that goes anywhere from an apple-y bourbon with hints of lime, and thyme to a whiskey sour with hints of apple. I heartily recommend this for relaxing on a cool fall evening.
I’ve said here before that the Moscow Mule is one of, if not, my favorite cocktail. It was a Moscow Mule I had at Seattle Underground that served as half of the inspiration for this entire series of posts. So, when I see variants on the recipe, I’m developing my own right now, I’m excited to try them. This variant swaps out vodka for Applejack, as a cider fan I was excited to give it a shot.
1 1/2 oz. of Applejack
1/2 oz. of fresh lime juice
Dash of Angostura bitters
Combine applejack, lime juice, and bitters in a shaker full of ice. Shake. Strain into an ice filled glass (or go traditional with a copper mug!), top with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wedge.
Oh, wow, that is nice! The Applejack is so smooth and crisp. The ginger beer is so sharp and spicy. The bitters bring it all together. This is good. I don’t know if it’s Moscow Mule good, I’ll have to have a few more of both of them to decide that, but it is good. Washington’s Mule is also fairly light and I think it would make a good apertif or digestif. Or drink it on a hot day or warm evening out on the patio, that’s what I plan on doing…