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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jack Rose

As I was scanning the cocktail tweets on Twitter today, I saw a reference to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (love her show) from @ethanethan.  In the video (embedded below), Rachel is shaking a Jack Rose.  I had to laugh out loud.  I used to order Jacks at the Playboy Club in Chicago back when I was in my twenties.  I hate to date myself, but cocktails and the all-you-can-eat buffet in the Living Room, where Oscar Peterson performed live, could each be had for under three dollars.  Usually, the Bunnies had never heard of Jack Rose, but the bartenders had.  So Rachel is into Sazeracs and Jack Roses?  I wonder how old the crowd she hangs with is.  At least they love classic cocktails, so they can’t be all bad.

The Jack Rose is a “classic American cocktail” that is at least 80 years old.  I had read its name in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (a good book to read in your twenties) and decided to give it a try.  (Actually, Hemingway got me into wine, too, but that’s another story…)  It’s a great drink that’s easy to make, but you might not have everything you need, since the key ingredient is apple jack.  Real apple jack is 100 proof.  I dug around in my bar and managed to locate a bottle of Calvados (French apple brandy that’s a little more expensive than AJ) from Normandie, which will do in a pinch, as will any apple brandy.  Don’t go too cheap on the apple brandy, though – it is the main ingredient.

Jack Rose

2 oz Laird® Apple Jack or Calvados

½ oz Grenadine syrup

fresh squeezed juice of ½ Lime (½ oz )

Add the Apple Jack and Grenadine to a shaker full of ice.  Squeeze in the lime juice.  Rachel says to shake it until your hands are so cold they hurt, and then shake it some more.  Who am I to argue? (This can, however, be tiring if you have an insulated shaker.)  Pour into a pre-chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a maraschino cherry, a slice of apple, or even a lime wheel.


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