While it may seem like pumpkin spice is everywhere during the fall, it’s not the only fall flavor out there. Apples and apple desserts are fall staples in my house and I make sure that they are included in the drink menu when I’m entertaining, not just the food side of things. This means that I make batches of apple cider, as well as apple cider pie and apple bread pudding, and a couple of apple cocktails, like the Jack Rose.
This classic cocktail dates back to the early 1900s and is known for appearing in The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemmingway. The cocktail is a simple one with just three ingredients: applejack, grenadine and lemon juice. Applejack is an American apple brandy (Laird’s is the most widely available brand) with a flavor that is somewhere between applejuice and bourbon. It is slightly sweet and has a pleasant oaky flavor to it. The brandy is combined with lemon juice, which replicates the sweet-tart flavor found in many fresh apples, and grenadine, which sweetens and colors the drink. The result is a cocktail that is very appley and quite easy to drink!
While the original recipe is delicious, I often put a small twist on it by adding a splash of cinnamon-infused simple syrup (recipe below) to the base cocktail. The syrup adds a touch of extra sweetness and a hint of cinnamon flavor to the mix, giving the cocktail a cider note that I just love. Cut some thin slices of fresh apple to serve as garnish. To prevent the apple slices from browing, rub a little lemon juice on them. The spent lemon that you just squeezed to make the cocktail is sure to have a few drops to spare, so you don’t even need to have an extra lemon on hand to get that perfect garnish.
Jack Rose Cocktail
2 oz Lairds Applejack
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a cocktail or martini glass. Garnish with a slice of apple.
Variation: For a slightly spiced up and sweeter version of this cocktail, make a simple syrup (1 cup water + 1 cup sugar) and steep 2 sticks of cinnamon in it. When cooled, strain out the cinnamon sticks. Add 1/4 oz of the cinnamon simple syrup to the above ingredients for a hint of warm fall spice.