What do you mean you've never had a Jack Rose? Today is your day. Step one is to track down some AppleJack. It will be worth it.
The internet is awash in discussions about the name of this classic cocktail (Rose color? AppleJack?) and what distinguishes AppleJack from Apple Brandy (fractional distillation?), but Eli is here to tell you how to get the most out of this straightforward sour with ingredients you have readily at hand.
The base spirit AppleJack has a long history in the United States. Something something George Washington. Something something Abraham Lincoln. (In truth, it is a fascinating history, worth a read.)
If you're buying AppleJack in the US, you're probably buying Laird's. They make several varieties. The most readily available is called simply Applejack (A Smooth Blend) and comprises 35% Apple Brandy mixed with 65% grain neutral spirits. It comes in at 80 proof and has a light apple flavor. Expect to spend $20 for 750mL.
The variety you really want is called Straight Bonded "Apple Jack" Brandy. It's bottled at 100 proof and looks like the bottle at right. You'll drop around $30 for 750mL.
But don't stress. If you can't find the fancy bonded type, the smooth blend will suffice.
Popular recipes alternate between using fresh lemon or fresh lime as the souring agent. Eli splits the difference with a bit of each but, as always, encourages you to find your own approach to this great old drink.
2 oz. AppleJack (full pour, no skimping)
.5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
.5 oz. Eli Mason Classic Grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker full of ice and shake for 10-15 seconds, straining into a chilled glass. Then toast our founding fathers and their prodigious thirst.