If you find yourself with a few minutes to spare, as I did this afternoon, here’s a thing to drink: the Jack Rose cocktail. I picked up the new Dale DeGroff book, The Essential Cocktail, on an impromptu shopping trip with Scoots last weekend (also, we ended up at the Brick for breakfast, and damn if it wasn’t quite good; more folks should check that out as the place was deserted). It’s quite a good book, with each page devoted to one recipe and often, a subsequent page to variations. The Jack Rose caught my eye for several reasons. It calls for applejack, one of my favorite liquors and for grenadine. The grenadine comes with an admonition against Rose’s and other ready-made products as little more than synthetic flavoring, sugar & preservatives and later in the book a recipe is provided for homemade grenadine.
So, this afternoon I decided to whip up a batch of grenadine. The recipe calls for whacking 3 pomegranates with a wooden spoon, lightly pressing them to release the juice and straining the juice prior to assembling the grenadine. I really wasn’t feeling an afternoon spent chasing little red bb’s around the kitchen and 409ing the subsequent stains to counter and floor, so I opted for POM Wonderful (100% pomegranate juice, pasteurized). It really couldn’t be easier: mix 1 part rich simple syrup (basically 1 part water, 2 parts sugar, heated to dissolve sugar) to 2 parts pomegranate juice.
After picking up The Husband, I assembled the first Jack Rose.
- 1.5 oz applejack (I used Laird’s 100 proof apple brandy, bottled in bond)
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 3/4 oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, heated to dissolve; it keeps in the fridge for about a week)
- 1/4 oz grenadine
- marashino cherry or apple wedge (or both) for garnish
Shake over ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish & serve.
For the first one, I followed the recipe and it was quite a lovely shade of pink and had good body. For the second, I ignored the “always shake if the recipe includes a citrus juice” rule and just mixed the cocktail in an old-fashioned glass over ice and gave it a stir. It, too, was delicious.
Next up, I’ll be making homemade maraschino cherries now that I’m seeing Luxardo’s Maraschino liqueur every damn where.
Also, I asked the guy at Gomer’s to see if he could order St. Germain’s Elderflower Cordial, Velvet Falernum, Angostura Orange Bitters and Canton Ginger Liqueur. If anybody’s seen these anywhere in the city, drop me a comment. I can order them on the internets, but would like to my part to create a demand locally.