A tasty applejack sour, the jack rose is one of the popular cocktails from the 1920s and '30s. Its name is likely derived from the jack of the applejack and the cocktail's light rose coloring from the grenadine.
Applejack is similar to apple brandy. It is often made with a blend apple brandy and neutral grain spirits; Laird's is the most popular brand today and it uses the blending process. The result is strong liquor (often bottled at 80 proof) with a rich apple flavor that's perfect for cocktails like this.
In true classic cocktail fashion, the jack rose has a nice balance of sweet and sour to accent the base liquor. You can adjust the lemon juice and grenadine to suit your personal taste, just like countless drinkers before you.
- 2 1/2 ounces applejack
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice (fresh)
- 1/2 ounce grenadine (or to taste)
- Garnish: lemon twist
Gather the ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the applejack, lemon juice, and grenadine.
Garnish with a lemon twist.
Serve and enjoy!
- Pour as little or as much grenadine as you like. Some drinkers prefer the hint of sweetness from adding just a splash. If you like your drinks sweet, however, you might want to pour as much as 3/4 ounce.
- Consider making your own grenadine. It's easy to do, either from pomegranate juice or the fresh fruit. It will offer the freshest taste and is useful in many mixed drink recipes.
- You will also find that the jack rose is best with fresh-squeezed lemon juice. The average lemon yields 1 3/4 ounces of juice, which is more than enough for a few drinks.
- Maximize the use of a single lemon by cutting the lemon twist while it's still whole and before juicing the fruit.
- If you can't find applejack, a regular apple brandy will do just fine. Do read the labels carefully because some of these flavored brandies are sweetened into liqueurs, in which case you'll want to back off a bit on the grenadine.
- You can adjust the flavor slightly without disturbing the jack rose's lovely color by substituting cherry brandy, crème de noyaux, Chambord, or any other red liqueur for the grenadine.
How Strong Is a Jack Rose?
Since applejack is typically a full-strength liquor, the jack rose is not going to be a light cocktail. When made according to the recipe with Laird's Applejack, it should have an alcohol content in the 24 percent ABV (48 proof) range. That will vary with any customizations you make and is just slightly weaker than the brandy metropolitan.