So I promised to begin posting some drinks perfect for the cooler Fall weather. When the weather gets cooler, one of the first drinks I pour for myself is the Jack Rose, a cocktail that is steeped in history but holds its own against most modern cocktails.
2 ounces of Laird's Applejack
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 grenadine (make your own - most bottled versions are too sweet and not flavorful)
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a coupe or lowball glass. Serve up with an apple slice for garnish.
Laird's Applejack is a blend of 35% apple brandy and 65% neutral spirits. Some like to think of it as an American version of Calvados, the French apple brandy, but if you taste it you will quickly notice they are very different. Laird's is the oldest distillery in America; it has been around since the 1600s! In fact they gave their Applejack recipe to George Washington. It's amazing that Laird's is still around, still family owned, and makes great apple brandy products at reasonable prices (if you get a chance you should try their 12 year old apple brandy - it's delicious). And to top it all off, it's still made in my home state of New Jersey!
I like to use Applejack for the recipe above. If you want, you could use Laird's bottled in bond apple brandy; both products make great drinks. The bottled in bond version is a bit tougher to find and is different from Applejack because it has not been cut with neutral spirits. So it's 100% apple brandy. And it's 100 proof as opposed to the 80 proof of Applejack. Because of it's higher alcohol content I would reduce it to 1 1/2 ounces instead of 2 ounces.
Please do not use bottled grenadine! With the exception of a few manufacturers, bottled grenadine is artificially colored (hence the neon red color) and is artificially flavored. Grenadine is essentially pomegranate syrup. It's so easy to make that there is no excuse not to, and it will make your drinks so much better. To make grenadine, combine 2 parts pomegranate juice (you can use fresh juice if available or POM) to one part white sugar in a sauce pan. Heat the mixture on low heat until it is just below a simmer. Do not let boil! Let this mixture reduce for 10 minutes or until the colors is a deep purple. Take it off the heat and let cool. If you have orange blossom water then add a few drops. I also like to add a splash of vodka, which does nothing to the flavor, but will help the grenadine stay fresh in the fridge. Enjoy!