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America's Early Booze - Applejack

Bottle of Laird's Applejack and a Jack Rose Cocktail

When most people think of American spirits, the first thing to pop to mind is bourbon. In fact, the United States Congress passed a resolution in 1964 that stated bourbon was identifiable as a distinctly American spirit much like Scotch is distinctly identifiable with Scotland. However, in Colonial America the hooch of choice was often a fermented beverage made with the abundance of apples left over from harvest.

Applejack is essentially an American cousin of the French Calvados. The original Applejack was made in a unique way. First the apples were juiced and allowed to ferment into a hard apple cider. This cider was placed in barrels that sat outside during the winter months. As the water content froze in the barrels it was removed, which would concentrate the flavors and increase the overall percentage of alcohol left in the liquid. This was called freeze distillation.

Applejack is a great spirit to use in the fall and winter. You get the aroma and fresh apple taste from the brandy and mixes really well with winter/baking spices such as cinnamon, nutmet and vanilla. Of course, right now, it's still a little warm to be thinking about winter drinks. But the drink below is one of the most famous drinks using Applejack, one of the tastiest drinks around and has enough fruity sweetness that it tastes good during this in-between summer and fall time. There are several stories floating around as to how the drink got it's name. These include everything from being named after a mob hitman, a racey burlesque dancer or simply that the drink used Apple jack and is rose colored.

Jack Rose
2 ounces Applejack
.75 ounce Fresh Lemon or Lime juice (Try both and see which is your favorite. I prefer lime juice.)
.75 ounce Real Pomegranite Grenadine

-Add all ingredients to an iced filled shaker and and shake vigorously for a slow 10 count. Double strain into a glass. No garnish.

As I mentioned in my last post, real pomegrante grenadine is super simple to make and tastes 100x better than anything you can buy in the store. Compare the picture below to what you find in the stores! Here's the recipe:

1 cup sugar
1 cup 100% pomegrante juice

-Mix until combined and add 1 ounce high proof vodka or grain alcohol for preservative purposes. It should last 2-3 weeks in your fridge.


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