In a discussion of Laird’s Applejack, Catherine asks if there’s a definitive recipe for the Jack Rose. I can do no better than to quote David Embury, writing in 1948:
… if you will examine a dozen books of cocktail recipes, you will find formulas varying all the way from applejack and lemon juice half and half with a few dashes of grenadine to applejack and grenadine half and half with a few drops of lemon juice.
I haven’t found quite the diversity of opinion that Embury cites — doubtless his reference library was broader than mine — but there’s nothing approaching unanimity. Embury himself favors a strong:sour:sweet ratio of 8:2:1, his standard for Sours, while Ted Haigh’s recipe in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails calls for 1.5 oz applejack, 1 oz lemon juice, and “2 or more dashes” of grenadine, yielding a far more sour ratio of something like 12:8:1. The CocktailDB recipe, on the other hand, proposes a 3:1:1 ratio. David Wondrich’s Esquire Drinks opts for 4:2:1, Trader Vic would have the Jack Rose at a startling 2:2:1, and Regan’s Joy of Mixology instructs that we mix at 10:3:x, copping out with “grenadine to taste.”
Wondrich describes his version as “…smooth and sweetish and deeply deceptive. Sipping it, you can’t tell it contains liquor of any kind, let alone applejack.” Having made one à la Wondrich, I can confirm that assessment. Unfortunately, it’s not the drink I’m looking for, and neither is Haigh’s overly-tart version. De gustibus non disputandum est, but I cast my vote for Embury’s, in which the applejack is foremost. Thus, the Slakethirstian Jack Rose is comprised of:
2 oz. applejack
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. grenadine
Shaken and strained.
An excellent embodiment of the Whiskey Sour, this is essentially Embury’s Ward Eight, though he preferred bourbon to rye. The ratios are a bit inconvenient — 1/4 ounce of orange juice is a vanishingly small portion of an orange — but it’s worth it. If you’re put off, consider the merits of a double, or even a pitcher’s worth if you have compatriots to assist with the disposition.
2 oz. Wild Turkey 101 rye
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. orange juice
1/4 oz. grenadine
shake with cracked ice and strain
For some reason I had always imagined the titular Ward Eight to be a psychiatric unit housing a straightjacketed Harvey Wallbanger, but the traditional story has it being named by a Boston politician in honor of his district. The earliest recipe on my bookshelf is found in Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book of 1930, but HotWired’s venerable (and busted) Cocktail site dated its nominal creation to 1898, from the hands of Tom Hussion at Boston’s Locke-Ober Café.
Be aware that this is, perhaps, the booziest Ward Eight of all the recipes out there — some call for equal parts! — so your mileage when ordering from unknown bartenders will definitely vary.
Use a large Mixing glass with Lump Ice.
White of an Egg.
Juice ½ Lime.
2 dashes imported Grenadine.
1 jigger Bacardi Rum.
Shake and strain into Cocktail glass.
Use a tall, thin Bar glass.
Juice of a Lime.
Three sprigs of fresh Mint.
1 dash Cusenier Grenadine.
½ pony Pineapple Juice.
½ pony Orange Juice.
1 jigger of Sir Robert Burnette’s Old Tom Gin.
Crush ingredients together; fill with Lump Ice; add Seltzer.
Stir well and serve.
(For a Party of 6—Use a small punch bowl)
1 quart of Sparkling Moselle.
1 jigger Cusenier Grenadine.
1 jigger Maraschino.
1 jigger Sir Robert Burnette’s Old Tom Gin.
1 jigger Lemon Juice.
1 jigger Orange Bitters.
1 jigger Angostura Bitters.
4 Oranges, sliced.
2 Lemons, sliced.
1 ripe Pineapple, sliced and quartered.
4 tablespoonfuls Sugar.
1 bottle Apollinaris Water.
Place large square of Ice in bowl; dress with the Fruits and serve Julep in fancy Stem glass.