You Don’t Know Jack

The crispness in the night air and the abundance of apples at the farm market are what inspired me to make a Jack Rose.

There is some speculation on how the drink got its colorful name. The most believable is from the Applejack liquor and the rose color of the cocktail. Nicknamed “Jersey Lightening” Applejack is our countries original whiskey. It’s a hard apple cider that was commonly made in colonial America, specifically in New Jersey (one of the greatest states ever!).


Although the schools did not include Applejack production in the education of our states history; I found some interesting facts.  For instance, in the late 1780’s Applejack was used as currency to pay state workers for building roads, whatever wasn’t consumed could be used to barter for goods. Applejack was also supplied to troops during the Revolutionary War, brrrrrrr, it was a long cold winter, crossing the Delaware and all. At one point George Washington requested the recipe from the Laird family, producers of the liquor. An apple rich state, New Jersey had more than 400 small, farm-based Applejack distilleries, Laird’s is now the only one still in operation.

Even though the cocktail was created in the late 1800’s at Harvey’s Oyster Saloon in Washington D.C., it didn’t gain popularity until the 1920’s. It’s named as one of the six basic cocktails in David A. Embury’s “Fine Art of Mixing Drinks”, the Jack Rose is probably the least known but equally as delicious.

Sometimes difficult to find, Applejack is available on-line.

Sometimes difficult to find, Applejack is available on-line.

The Jack Rose Cocktail

This recipe serves 1, and takes about 5 minutes to prepare.

2 ounces applejack (apple brandy)
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
½ ounce grenadine
lime wedge or apple slice for garnish

Place all ingredients (except for garnish) in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the shaker is frosted and the drink is thoroughly chilled (about 20 seconds).
Strain the contents of the shaker into a cocktail glass, preferably one that’s been chilled. Garnish with a lime slice or apple wedge if you wish, and serve.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lilly Sue says:

    Love the history behind the cocktail! And this sounds very delicious- I do not think I have ever tried one.


    1. It’s quite smooth. I actually prefer it with a bit less lime juice. Easy to drink. Thanks for reading.


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