In this post, we asked a few of our favorite local bartenders if they ever get requests for the once nearly-extinct Jack Rose cocktail, and if so, how do they make it?
The Roaring 20s was a decade reminiscent of classic cocktails, many we reinvent and revive on the trendiest of cocktail menus today. The Jack Rose cocktail is an old classic, simple in composition: applejack brandy, lemon juice and grenadine served up in a coupe. Its name stems from the particular type of brandy and the rose hue it takes on from the grenadine. It is a fruity, citrus-forward cocktail that has a special place in Maine’s heart.
In Oakland, ME Karen Heck owns and operates Tree Spirits Winery and Distillery. Here they produce Maine-made applejack. Karen explains that applejack production ground to a near halt when molasses and rum flooded New England ports. Her method stems from a long tradition of New England applejack and is double-distilled from Tree Spirits apple wine and aged in rum barrels to give it a golden color and smooth finish. When I get a customer (it isn’t often) who asks me if I know how to make a Jack Rose, I smile and pull Tree Spirits Applejack from the shelf.
A simple and delicious but yes, nearly dead cocktail. Lairds Apple Jack brandy is the "OG" of American spirits. As the first licensed distillery in the US, they create a product that has a brandy boozy feel with an untouched crisp apple flavor. The only spirit to use in a Jack Rose! I would use 2.5oz of the brandy with 1oz fresh squeezed lime juice and a .5 oz of Luxardo cherry syrup instead of grenadine. Shake until chilled and strain in a coop glass and garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel.
Laird’s 86 Apple Jack is a great backbone for this drink, and it is imperative that you use fresh lemon juice and real grenadine, Liber & Co. and Stirrings are great options, but it is also pretty easy to make your own.
How I make a Jack Rose cocktail:
Combine ingredients with ice, and shake in a mixing tin, strain into a chilled coupe with no garnish.
Make your own Grenadine:
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, and heat on low while stirring until all ingredients are incorporated completely.