Modern Jack Rose Cocktail
Posted: January 15, 2020

Straight Up: The Modern Jack Rose

How do modern bartenders mix up this classic cocktail?

We hope you have learned a few things about the almost forgotten classic cocktail, the Jack Rose. We have covered the History of the Jack Rose and helped you really Understand the Jack Rose.

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?

Meagan Kaarto - Nonantum Resort

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. 

Brittney Salisbury - Salt & Steel

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.

Mark Hibbard - The Black Cow

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:

  • 2oz. Laird’s 86 Apple Jack
  • .75oz. Grenadine
  • .75oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

Combine ingredients with ice, and shake in a mixing tin, strain into a chilled coupe with no garnish. 

Make your own Grenadine:

  • 8oz. Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 2 oz. Pomegranate Molasses
  • 1 tsp. Orange Flower Water
  • 1 oz. Vodka (for stability, optional)

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, and heat on low while stirring until all ingredients are incorporated completely. 


A photo of a delicious looking adult beverage as seen from above.
The Maine Spirits App

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