Jack Rose Cocktail Recipe

Crafting the Perfect Jack Rose Cocktail Recipe

When it comes to classic cocktails, the Jack Rose is often overlooked. However, this drink has been a favorite of many notable figures throughout history. Its origins are somewhat mysterious, but one thing is for sure – it’s a delicious and refreshing cocktail that everyone should try at least once.


Servers: 1

  • 2 oz applejack brandy
  • 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz grenadine syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wheel or twist, (garnish-optional)

Taster’s Guide Tip 241: Jack Rose Cocktail Recipe

The Jack Rose cocktail is believed to have originated in the early 20th century and gained popularity during the Prohibition era in the United States. It was a favorite among the fashionable elite and became associated with speakeasies and underground cocktail culture. The drink’s rosy color and balanced flavors made it a classic choice for cocktail enthusiasts, and it continues to be enjoyed today as a timeless classic.


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Add the applejack brandy, freshly squeezed lime juice, and grenadine syrup to the shaker.
  3. Shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds to ensure proper mixing and chilling.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Optionally, garnish with a lime wheel or twist for added visual appeal.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Brief History of Jack Rose Cocktail

The Jack Rose cocktail has long been associated with the Prohibition era in the United States. It was a popular drink among gangsters and speakeasy patrons during this time.

However, the origins of the drink can be traced back even further. Some say it was first created in New Jersey in the early 1900s, while others claim it was invented in New York City around 1910.

Regardless of its exact origin, the Jack Rose gained popularity quickly and has remained a classic cocktail ever since. It’s said that author Ernest Hemingway was particularly fond of this drink and would often order it when he visited his favorite haunts in Paris.

Explanation of the Name and Its Origin

The name “Jack Rose” comes from two different sources depending on who you ask. Some people believe that it’s named after “Bald” Jack Rose, an infamous New York City gangster who was involved in extortion and murder during Prohibition. Others think that the name actually refers to a type of apple brandy called “Jersey Lightning” or “Applejack.” The “Jack” part of the name could be referencing this spirit, while “Rose” may refer to either rose water (a common ingredient in many cocktails at the time) or to rosé wine (which can be used instead of grenadine syrup).

Regardless of its true origin, the Jack Rose cocktail remains a classic drink that everyone should try at least once. Let’s dive into the recipe and learn how to make it.

Jack Rose Cocktail Recipe

Information about Ingredients

Applejack Brandy: The Star of the Show

The key ingredient in a Jack Rose cocktail is applejack brandy, which is made from distilled apple cider. It has a distinct tart, fruity flavor that sets it apart from other types of brandy.

Some brands are aged in oak barrels, which can add notes of vanilla and spice to the spirit. When choosing a brand of applejack for your cocktail, look for one that is at least 80-proof.

Lower-proof versions may not hold up as well against the other strong flavors in the drink. If you can’t find applejack at your local liquor store, you can substitute it with Laird’s Apple Brandy or Calvados, a French apple brandy.

Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice: The Sour Factor

The next ingredient in our Jack Rose cocktail recipe is freshly squeezed lime juice. This tart citrus juice balances out the sweetness of the grenadine syrup and complements the fruity notes of the apple brandy. To get the most juice out of your limes, roll them firmly on a cutting board before slicing them open.

Use a handheld citrus juicer or reamer to extract as much juice as possible. Strain out any pulp or seeds before adding it to your shaker.

Grenadine Syrup: The Sweetness Factor

Grenadine syrup is a sweet and tangy syrup made from pomegranate juice and sugar. It adds sweetness and depth to cocktails like Jack Rose by balancing out sour flavors with its own unique sweetness. You can make grenadine at home by simmering equal parts pomegranate juice and sugar until they form a thick syrup.

However, many brands also sell bottled grenadine that works just as well if you’re short on time. Look for a high-quality brand that doesn’t contain any artificial colors or flavors for the best taste.


Shaking method vs stirring method

When it comes to making a Jack Rose cocktail, there are two main methods of preparation: shaking and stirring. The shaking method involves adding all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and vigorously shaking for about 10-15 seconds. This creates a frothy, aerated texture and nicely blends the flavors together.

The stirring method involves adding the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and gently stirring for about 20-30 seconds. This produces a smoother, more refined texture and is recommended if you prefer your cocktails less frothy.

While both methods are valid, the shaking method tends to be preferred for Jack Rose cocktails since it helps to fully incorporate all of the ingredients and create that signature frothy texture. However, if you prefer your drinks without foam or bubbles, then go ahead and stir instead!

Proper measurements and ratios

Another key factor in making the perfect Jack Rose cocktail is using proper measurements and ratios of each ingredient. As previously mentioned, the three main ingredients are applejack brandy, freshly squeezed lime juice, and grenadine syrup. The classic ratio for a Jack Rose is 2:1:1 – two parts applejack brandy, one part lime juice, one part grenadine syrup.

However, some bartenders may adjust these ratios slightly based on personal preference or taste. When measuring out your ingredients, be sure to use jiggers or other measuring tools to ensure accuracy.

In addition, always use fresh lime juice rather than bottled juice for optimal flavor. With these key tips in mind for preparing your Jack Rose cocktail — whether you choose to shake or stir — you’ll be well on your way to creating a perfectly balanced drink that’s sure to impress anyone who tries it!


Substituting Applejack with other types of Brandy or Whiskey

One of the great things about the Jack Rose cocktail is that it’s versatile and can be adjusted to your personal taste. If you’re not a fan of applejack brandy, don’t worry, you can substitute it with other types of brandy or whiskey. Rye whiskey is commonly used as a substitute for applejack, but bourbon also works well.

Keep in mind that different spirits will alter the flavor profile of the cocktail – rye whiskey will give it a spicier kick, while bourbon will make it sweeter. Another option is to try using Calvados, which is a French distilled apple cider brandy.

It has a similar flavor profile to applejack but with more pronounced apple notes. This substitution would give your Jack Rose an extra layer of complexity.

Adding Bitters for a Different Flavor Profile

If you want to get creative with your Jack Rose cocktail recipe, consider adding bitters. Bitters can help balance out the sweetness and add depth to the drink.

Angostura bitters are commonly used in cocktails and would work well here – just add a dash or two. For something more unique, try using Peychaud’s bitters instead.

Another option is to use orange bitters, which would give your Jack Rose an orange zest aroma and flavor notes alongside its apple and lime base flavors. Experimenting with different substitutions or additions can make the classic Jack Rose cocktail even better suited for your own preferences!

Jack Rose Cocktail Recipe

Serving and Presentation:

Now that we have covered the ingredients and preparation of the Jack Rose cocktail, let’s talk about how to serve and present this delicious drink. The right glassware can enhance the drinking experience, while a beautiful garnish can make it look even more appealing.

Glassware options (coupe or rocks glass):

The traditional glassware for a Jack Rose is a coupe, which is a stemmed glass with a wide bowl and narrow rim. This type of glass was popular in the early 20th century when this cocktail was first created.

The elegant shape of the coupe allows for easy sipping and showcases the color of the cocktail beautifully. However, if you prefer something more sturdy or casual, you can also use a rocks glass instead.

A rocks glass is short and squat with thick walls, perfect for holding ice cubes without breaking easily. Either way, make sure your glassware is chilled before serving so your drink stays cool.

Garnish ideas (lime wheel, cherry, apple slice):

A garnish adds visual appeal to your drink as well as some extra flavor. For the Jack Rose cocktail, there are several options to consider. A classic garnish is a lime wheel or twist which not only looks great but also adds some citrusy aroma to complement the lime juice in the cocktail.

Another popular choice is a cherry which provides a sweet contrast to the tartness of lime juice. If you want to be more adventurous with your garnish, try adding an apple slice or spiral on top of your drink which complements its applejack brandy base.

No matter what kind of garnish you choose, make sure it’s clean and fresh before placing it on top of your cocktail. Remember that presentation matters just as much as taste, so take your time and enjoy the process of making a beautiful Jack Rose cocktail.

Fun Facts

The Jack Rose was a favorite drink of author Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway, the renowned American author, was known for his love of alcohol. He had a particular fondness for the Jack Rose cocktail and would often order it at bars and restaurants. In fact, Hemingway loved the drink so much that it even appeared in some of his writings.

In “The Sun Also Rises,” one of his main characters, Bill Gorton, orders a Jack Rose at a Parisian bar. Hemingway wasn’t the only famous figure to enjoy this classic cocktail.

Other notable fans include Al Capone and John Steinbeck. It’s no surprise that this drink gained popularity during the Prohibition era when alcohol consumption was illegal in the United States.

The cocktail gained popularity during the Prohibition era

The Jack Rose cocktail became popular during Prohibition because applejack brandy was one of the few liquors still available to purchase legally. It’s believed that bartenders started making this cocktail with applejack because it was readily available and had been produced in America since colonial times.

However, finding grenadine syrup proved to be more challenging during Prohibition as many brands contained alcohol or were difficult to come by due to supply chain disruptions. As a result, bartenders began making their own grenadine syrup using pomegranate juice and sugar.

Despite being created during Prohibition, the popularity of the Jack Rose has endured throughout history. Its sweet yet tart flavor profile has stood the test of time and remains a beloved classic cocktail enjoyed by drinkers around the world today.


Recap of Key Points

The Jack Rose cocktail is a classic drink with a rich history and unique flavor profile. Its main ingredients are applejack brandy, freshly squeezed lime juice, and grenadine syrup.

The cocktail can be prepared using either the shaking or stirring method, with precise measurements being key to achieving the perfect balance of flavors. There are also variations of this recipe that involve substituting applejack with other types of brandy or whiskey and adding bitters for an alternative flavor profile.

When it comes to serving and presentation, the Jack Rose can be served in a coupe or rocks glass with various garnish options such as a lime wheel, cherry or even an apple slice. Some fun facts about the drink include its popularity during Prohibition era and that it was a favorite of famous writer Ernest Hemingway.

Encouragement to Try Making a Jack Rose Cocktail at Home

While this cocktail may seem intimidating at first glance due to its complex composition and preparation requirements, making your own Jack Rose at home is actually quite simple. With just a few key ingredients and some basic bartending tools, you can create an impressive drink that will impress your friends and family. So why not try making one today?

Not only will you get to enjoy the delicious taste of this classic cocktail but you’ll also gain confidence in your bartending abilities. And who knows – maybe you’ll even discover your new favorite drink!

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