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Dave the Cook

Jack Rose

32 posts in this topic

Inspired by this topic on applejack, especially the recent posts relating the availability of Laird's bonded in New York City, I've revived my interest in the Jack Rose. Here's the post that made it happen:

Personally, I believe that Laird's bonded spirit is far closer to what was used in all the classic applejack cocktails -- many of which are not terribly interesting when made with blended.  Try a Jack Rose using blended and Rose's grenadine.  Eh?  Not too inspiring.  Try it with Laird's bonded and homemade grenadine.  Suddenly it all makes sense.

Using Laird's blended product, I found the Jack Rose underwhelming, and went on to use applejack in other things, where I like it very much. Frankly, dipping into the single bottle of Laird's bonded I have wasn't a worthy expenditure for these drinks; it's too damn rich and apple-y to balance.

I'm happy to sip it away, but given the testimony on the applejack topic, it seems to me that the Jack Rose is worth pursuing. Here's the problem: I have only 2-1/2 ounces -- just one shot (so to speak) at a great Jack Rose.

Oh, wait. There's another problem: the recipe. If I've only got one chance, I want the odds in my favor, so I did some research. Gary Regan says:

2.5 oz applejack

0.75 oz lemon juice

grenadine to taste (Gary, can I just say that I hate "to taste"? Give me a starting point, at least.)

Paul Harrington suggests:

2.0 oz applejack

1.0 oz lime juice

0.5 oz grenadine

Cocktail DB:

1.5 oz applejack

0.5 oz lemon or lime juice (as a realtive newbie, I'm not gruntled by this uncertainty, either)

0.5 oz grenadine

DrinkBoy (essentially the same as Cocktail DB):

1.5 oz applejack

0.5 oz lime juice

0.5 oz grenadine

So we've got ratios of:

3.3 : 1 : ?

4 : 2 : 1

3: 1 : 1

And then there's the lemon vs. lime thing.

So -- who wants to risk the very last of my store of Laird's bonded on their best shot at a recipe? Need I mention -- in case I haven't made the stakes clear -- that I had to go way out of state to find this stuff, and I don't know when I'll have an opportunity to acquire more?


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Oh man this is a lot of pressure. I am not saying you should do my recipe -- especially since I am the first reply, but here is how I make my jack rose....

2.5 oz Bonded

1 oz Lime

1/2 - 3/4 oz house made grenadine

dash peychauds

I vary the amount of the grenadine since I found when making it at home the sweetness varies with the bottles of pomegranite juice I buy. While I try to bring the sweetness to roughly the same with each batch, ultimately I adjust it while making the drink by adding more or less grenadine to the drink.

Maybe I should invest in a hydrometer like Vadouvan suggests and I can bring my grenadine to a specific degee on a baume scale. :biggrin:

I also add a dash of peychauds. Phil at Pegu turned me on to that -- peychauds and applejack -- a match made in heaven.

John


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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There are many slight variations, but most all include lime juice; here's mine:

Jack Rose

1 1/2 - 2 1/2 oz apple brandy (Calvados)

1 tsp grenadine syrup

juice of 1/2 lime

Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

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. . . . . Maybe I should invest in a hydrometer like Vadouvan suggests and I can bring my grenadine to a specific degee on a baume scale.  :biggrin:  . . . . .

What do you mean, "maybe"?

Okay, I'm convinced about the lime juice. But we're not getting any closer to consensus on ratios. John is at 5:2:1, and BigboyDan is between 9:3:1 and 15:3:1.

I feel like I'm handicapping horse races. Any other jockeys out there?


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Well, you're basically dealing with personal preference in terms of ratios. I do understand, though, that you want the best possible mix for your 2 1/2 oz, hmmm... you can always buy a cheap bottle of something similar and practice. :wink: In general, don't over-do the citrus...

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So -- who wants to risk the very last of my store of Laird's bonded on their best shot at a recipe? Need I mention -- in case I haven't made the stakes clear -- that I had to go way out of state to find this stuff, and I don't know when I'll have an  opportunity to acquire more?

If you're using the 40% abv blended applejack, I'd start with:

2 oz applejack

1/2 oz grenadine (high quality, of coures)

1/2 oz lemon juice

Shake and strain. Bitters won't hurt if you find it less than inspiring. :)

Then, adjust the recipe based on your personal preferences, using more grenadine and less lemon juice if you like it sweeter and vice versa if you like it more tart (keeping the ratio of alcohol to non at 2:1). Using the bonded applejack creates a better cocktail, but you'll have to add an extra half ounce of nonalcoholic ingredients (lemon juice, grenadine, water, egg white, etc.) to keep the strength right. If you prefer your cocktails slightly stronger, you can omit the extra half ounce.

Good luck!


Edited by mbanu (log)

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Dave, a lot of it will depend on the strength and saturation of the grenadine you're using.

I use a supersaturated grenadine I made by doing a fourfold reduction of POM, melting in as much sugar as it would hold, allowing it to cool and then thinning it out with fresh POM. This makes for a very strong flavored and very sweet grenadine. So I don't need to use as much of it as others might.

My going-in formula for a Jack Rose is 2:1 Bonded Laird's to lemon or lime juice, and then (sorry!) dashing in the grenadine to taste. It shouldn't be a sweet drink, but there should be enough balance to take the bite off the acid. I'd probably start with a teaspoon and work my way from there.

Jared Brown and Anastasia Miller have some cool stuff on the Jack Rose and grenadine over at their site. Also see this interesting bit on grenadine over at The Cocktail Chronicles.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Sam --

Next time you are at Fairway you should keep you eye out for this raw pomegranite juice they have. I forget the brand name, but it is organic, %100 pure juice with no other ingredients. (They also have a quince juice which I am going to start experimenting with soon)

I used that to make my latest batch of grenadine and it was pretty awesome.

John


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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I've been making mine with a 4:2:1 ratio using the Bonded with lemon and a 1:1 Pom to sugar grenadine. Never tried one with lime... yet.

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Sam --

Next time you are at Fairway you should keep you eye out for this raw pomegranite juice they have.  I forget the brand name, but it is organic, %100 pure juice with no other ingredients.  (They also have a quince juice which I am going to start experimenting with soon)

I used that to make my latest batch of grenadine and it was pretty awesome.

John

Elite Naturel is the brand. It's excellent stuff for all purposes; I've made pomegranate molasses out of this and it's quite nice. Their juices in general are great for unusual cocktails; incidentally, I can imagine concentrating down that quince juice for a super-appley applejack cocktail! Perhaps Laird's plus a quince "molasses" plus a dash of orange brandy plus some Hess's house bitters for an apple pie cocktail when winter comes around?

I should try making grenadine according to that recipe, Sam! Good idea. I use it so rarely that I never thought of whipping it up at home, but I *do* have a superfluous bottle of POM in my fridge.


Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

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I was looking for information on the Jack Rose, and I found these two excerpts:

Washington Post, 23rd December 1912

ROSENTHAL MURDER CHANGES NAMES OF FAMOUS FLOWER AND A COCKTAIL

"The murder of Herman Rosenthal has seriously affected the business of florists in Brooklyn, and perhaps a good deal in Manhattan. The Jack rose, a pretty popular blossom, has often been left on the hands of the Brooklyn florists, just because it bears the same name as the informer in the famous trials."

Washington Post, 5th May 1914

"A Jack Rose is a cocktail which was guaranteed to cultivate a keen edge on one's appetite. However, like the florists, the bartenders decided that perhaps under another name the Jack Rose cocktail might become a good seller."

These prove that the Jack Rose Flower and the Jack Rose Cocktail were around before the murder; and they also give me the feeling that the Jack Rose flower pre-dates the Cocktail. What did the Jack Rose flower look like?

Does anyone know what the Jack Rose was re-named to? yes, I know it is still called a Jack Rose, but some people might have changed the name after the murder, but what to?

Cheers!

George


Edited by ThinkingBartender (log)

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Well, in the Savoy Cocktail Book, there is the Apple Jack (Special) Cocktail, which is nearly the same as a Jack Rose.

Apple Jack (Special) Cocktail


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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NATIONAL POLICE GAZETTE, 22nd April 1905

AN ATHLETIC MIXOLOGIST

Wise Bartenders will Get Good Tips in This Column.

Frank J. May, better known as Jack Rose, is the inventor of a very popular cocktail by that name, which has made him famous as a mixologist. He is at present looking after the managerial affairs of Gene Sullivan's Cafe, at 187 Pavonia avenue, Jersey City, N. J., one of the most popular resorts in that city. Mr. May takes an active interest in sports, and as a wrestler could give many of the professional wrestlers a warm argument.

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Here's a theory for you:

The Barman Frank J. May, better known as Jack Rose, may have been the informant in the Rosenthal Murder case.

Both the 1905 Police Gazette article and the Rosenthal Murder took place in New Jersey, right?

Laird's Applejack comes from New Jersey too. Looks like Frank was using a local product.


Edited by ThinkingBartender (log)

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Here's a theory for you:

The Barman Frank J. May, better known as Jack Rose, may have been the informant in the Rosenthal Murder case.

Both the 1905 Police Gazette article and the Rosenthal Murder took place in New Jersey, right?

Laird's Applejack comes from New Jersey too. Looks like Frank was using a local product.

Rosenthal was murdered outside the Hotel Metropole, which was at or near 43rd & Broadway in New York, not New Jersey.

Jack Rose (the gangster & informer in the Rosenthal trial) was born Jacob Rosenzweig. I have a hard time believing he would have taken a few years off from collecting gambling receipts for Charles Becker and doing other illicit work with a criminal gang on the Lower East Side to move to New Jersey, change his name to Frank May (but be widely known under his gangster nickname) and warmly argue with wrestlers while tending bar at a popular resort in Jersey City.


Paul Clarke

Seattle

The Cocktail Chronicles

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I think I got the point before you felt the need to add the last bit; but thanks anyway.

Anyway, that theory is toast.

Sorry, didn't mean to come across as snarky--


Paul Clarke

Seattle

The Cocktail Chronicles

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No offense taken.

I have looked up the word "Snarky", this being a word we don't use in English-English, is it basically Sarcastic Parody?

I saw a reference somewhere to the great-great-grand-daughter of Lairds, Applejack producer, saying that Jack Rose (the informer) was known for drinking his Applejack with lemon and grenadine.

Another source generalises by saying that every bar in New York was serving the Jack Rose Cocktail. Is this true-ish?

Also, with "every bar in New York" serving the Jack Rose, it might help to explain why so many recipes seem to combine Grenadine and Lime Juice and, of course, a spirit.

September Morn, the American version of the "Bacardi Cocktail", etc etc.

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NATIONAL POLICE GAZETTE, 22nd April 1905

AN ATHLETIC MIXOLOGIST

Wise Bartenders will Get Good Tips in This Column.

Frank J. May, better known as Jack Rose, is the inventor of a very popular cocktail by that name, which has made him famous as a mixologist. He is at present looking after the managerial affairs of Gene Sullivan's Cafe, at 187 Pavonia avenue, Jersey City, N. J., one of the most popular resorts in that city. Mr. May takes an active interest in sports, and as a wrestler could give many of the professional wrestlers a warm argument.

Damn it, George, you keep finding all my good "discoveries." Keep it up and there will be no point in me publishing a book on this stuff. :-).

Paul/limewine is right on this one--there's no connection. For what it's worth, there seem to have been at least three gents at the time calling theselves "Jack Rose." And yes, as far as I can tell the drink was a popular one around town.

It's not so strange, is it, that there would be a bunch of grenadine sours appearing on the scene at the same time? Look at all the pomegranate Cosmos/Margaritas/Daiquiris/Martinis etc. you see now. Grenadine was, over here, anyway, a hot new ingredient.


aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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Fifteen months later, I have a fairly steady supply of Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy, so I've been able to experiment. But as often happens, the solution I now prefer was the result of an accident -- not to mention presented to me by someone else. A friend was mixing a couple of Jack Roses, and asked me for the recipe. I scuffed my feet a bit (still indecisive) and ventured "Two ounces Bonded, half-ounce each lemon and grenadine."

She mixed up the drinks. They looked a tiny bit pale, but that could have been the frost on the glass. However, it didn't taste like any Jack Rose I'd ever made. It was powerful but balanced. The apple came through, with the citrus and pomegranate finally playing proper supporting roles. Of course, what had happened was that she added one drink's worth of lemon and grenadine and two's worth of brandy. After a little more experimentation, I offer my apologies to BigboyDan, whose ratios I once thought extreme.

2.5 ounces Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy

0.5 ounce lemon juice

0.5 T grenadine (1:1 sugar:Pom)


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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George Ade mentions the Jack Rose in passing in The Old-Time Saloon (1931) while discussing the encyclopedic repertoire of pre-Prohibition mixologists:

..."New cocktails were being invented and christened every week. If some genius in New Jersey thought out a combination of apple-jack, plain syrup, diced apples, and a dash of lemon juice and called it a "Jack Rose," the artist at the Palace in San Francisco would be all set, within two weeks, to take care of the smartie from the East who strolled in and casually asked for a Jack Rose."

Hmmm...Ade was a particularly astute observer of the American vernacular, so it's noteworthy that his take on the cocktail has no grenadine, but only "plain syrup."

I'm also intrigued by the "diced apples" comment. Just strewn in? Muddled? Maybe candied with a hard caramel shell and skewered to garnish just before serving? The first two are old school possibilities, but the third seems decidedly an approach the barback molecular gastronauts might take.

Me? I like it just fine without the floaters.


Matthew B. Rowley

Rowley's Whiskey Forge, a blog of drinks, food, and the making thereof

Author of Moonshine! (ISBN: 1579906486)

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Growing up in the pine barrens in NJ, applejack was a staple. I recall the old timers coming in from duck hunting or clamming and having homemade apple cider with a generous pour of applejack.

Last night I served up some Jack Roses with meyer lemon. It worked nicely, although the meyer not actually being that tart may make this another creature all together.

2 Applejack

1 meyer lemon

.25 homemade grenadine (100% pomegranate reduced 50%, add equal sugar in end, a splash orange blossom)


"Wives and such are constantly filling up any refrigerator they have a

claim on, even its ice compartment, with irrelevant rubbish like

food."" - Kingsley Amis

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Fifteen months later, I have a fairly steady supply of Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy, so I've been able to experiment. But as often happens, the solution I now prefer was the result of an accident -- not to mention presented to me by someone else. A friend was mixing a couple of Jack Roses, and asked me for the recipe. I scuffed my feet a bit (still indecisive) and ventured "Two ounces Bonded, half-ounce each lemon and grenadine."

She mixed up the drinks. They looked a tiny bit pale, but that could have been the frost on the glass. However, it didn't taste like any Jack Rose I'd ever made. It was powerful but balanced. The apple came through, with the citrus and pomegranate finally playing proper supporting roles. Of course, what had happened was that she added one drink's worth of lemon and grenadine and two's worth of brandy. After a little more experimentation, I offer my apologies to BigboyDan, whose ratios I once thought extreme.

2.5 ounces Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy

0.5 ounce lemon juice

0.5 T grenadine (1:1 sugar:Pom)

 

Last night I made this version of jack rose but sadly I was disappointed.  To my taste Laird's Bonded is too rough to be enjoyed like this.

 

However, not long ago I made a similar jack rose recipe, close to this ratio, using Laird's 12 (the 88 proof stuff) and found it rather lovely:

 

2 oz Laird's 12

1/2 oz lemon juice

1/4 oz Small Hand grenadine

 

 

Nonetheless I've found the bonded works fine in something like autumn in jersey.

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Last night I made this version of jack rose but sadly I was disappointed.  To my taste Laird's Bonded is too rough to be enjoyed like this.

 

However, not long ago I made a similar jack rose recipe, close to this ratio, using Laird's 12 (the 88 proof stuff) and found it rather lovely:

 

2 oz Laird's 12

1/2 oz lemon juice

1/4 oz Small Hand grenadine

 

 

Nonetheless I've found the bonded works fine in something like autumn in jersey.

 

Sorry to be the source of your disappointment! And to fess up, that's no longer how we make them. It's more like:

 

2 oz Laird's Bonded

0.25 (1T) oz lemon juice

0.25 (1T) grenadine

 

We will try an Autumn in Jersey -- once we've replenished the orgeat. Thanks for the tip.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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