Jack Rose


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Written By cocktailflavors.com
Jack Rose_001

Introduction to the Jack Rose Cocktail

The Jack Rose cocktail is a timeless classic that marries the robust flavor of applejack with the tangy zest of citrus and the sweet touch of grenadine. Its signature pink color is as inviting as its taste, making it a standout choice for any occasion. This pre-prohibition favorite has a storied past, rumored to be named after the infamous gambler Bald Jack Rose.

Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a cocktail enthusiast, the Jack Rose is a must-try. Its simplicity belies a complex flavor profile that’s both refreshing and sophisticated. Let’s dive into the world of this beloved cocktail and discover what makes it so special.

Key Facts About the Jack Rose

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 22% ABV (44 proof)
  • Calories: Approximately 163 kcal per serving
  • Glass Type: Chilled cocktail glass
  • Garnish: Lemon or lime twist (optional)

Interesting Facts about the Jack Rose

The Jack Rose has graced the pages of literature, notably in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises.” Its popularity soared in the early 20th century, becoming a symbol of refined taste. The cocktail’s balance of sweet and sour can be adjusted to suit any palate, making it a versatile choice for many.

Jack Rose Cocktail Preparation

Tasting Notes

The Jack Rose cocktail offers a harmonious blend of flavors that can appeal to a wide audience. Its applejack base provides a sturdy foundation, while the grenadine adds a layer of sweetness that complements the sharpness of the citrus. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a balance of fruity and tart notes.

Its refreshing nature makes it an excellent choice for summer gatherings, yet its robustness is also fitting for cooler months. The Jack Rose is versatile, suitable for casual get-togethers or more formal events.

History of the Jack Rose

The origins of the Jack Rose are as colorful as the drink itself. While its exact history is somewhat murky, it’s widely accepted that the cocktail gained popularity in the early 1900s. The name “Jack Rose” is thought to be linked to the notorious gambler, Bald Jack Rose, although other theories exist.

What’s certain is that the Jack Rose has stood the test of time, remaining a beloved choice among cocktail aficionados. Its presence during the pre-prohibition era adds to its allure, evoking images of clandestine speakeasies and the Roaring Twenties.

Jack Rose Ingredients

  • Applejack (2 oz / 60 ml): A type of apple brandy that gives the cocktail its distinctive apple undertones.
  • Grenadine (1/2 oz / 15 ml): Adds a rich sweetness and the cocktail’s signature pink hue.
  • Lemon or Lime Juice (1/2 oz / 15 ml): Provides a refreshing citrus kick that balances the sweetness.

Did you know?

“The Jack Rose is one of the few cocktails that specifically calls for applejack, a testament to its unique place in mixology.”

Jack Rose Cocktail Ingredients

Jack Rose Method


Begin by filling a cocktail shaker with ice to chill the ingredients properly. Measure out the applejack, grenadine, and fresh lemon or lime juice with precision for a balanced cocktail.


Shake the mixture vigorously for about 15-20 seconds. This not only chills the drink but also ensures that the ingredients are well combined.


Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass to remove any unwanted ice shards. The result should be a smooth, chilled beverage ready for garnishing.

Serving Suggestion

The Jack Rose is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass. This type of glassware enhances the drinking experience by maintaining the cocktail’s temperature and showcasing its vibrant color.

A twist of lemon or lime peel not only adds an aromatic element but also a touch of elegance to the presentation. Ensure the garnish is fresh for the best flavor and appearance.

Elevating the Jack Rose

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Opt for freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice and homemade grenadine for a superior taste.
  • Proper Chilling: Chill the cocktail glass beforehand to keep the drink at an optimal temperature longer.
  • Balance Flavors: Adjust the ratio of grenadine to citrus juice to find the perfect balance between sweet and tart.

Jack Rose Cocktail

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Jack Rose

If applejack is unavailable, calvados or another apple brandy can be a suitable substitute. For a non-alcoholic version, apple juice mixed with a splash of lemon-lime soda can mimic the original’s flavor profile.

Similar cocktails include the Whiskey Sour and the Sidecar, which share the Jack Rose’s citrus notes and spirit-forward character.

Add a twist

Experiment with different types of citrus, like grapefruit or blood orange, for a unique twist on the classic. Infusing the applejack with spices such as cinnamon or clove can add a warm, autumnal feel to the drink.

For a modern take, consider adding a splash of sparkling water or champagne to introduce effervescence and lighten the cocktail.

Preferred Liquors for the Jack Rose

Laird’s Applejack is a traditional choice that offers authenticity and quality. However, any high-quality apple brandy that boasts a rich apple flavor and smooth finish will complement the cocktail well.

When selecting grenadine, look for brands that use real pomegranate juice for a more genuine and less cloying sweetness.

Similar Cocktails to the Jack Rose

If you enjoy the Jack Rose, you might also appreciate the Applejack Rabbit, which features applejack, lemon juice, and orange juice. The Clover Club, with its gin base and raspberry syrup, offers a similar balance of fruit and tartness.

The Hemingway Daiquiri, another cocktail associated with the famed author, shares the Jack Rose’s citrus profile and literary connection.

Food Pairings to go with the Jack Rose

Classic pairings include savory appetizers like cheese platters or prosciutto-wrapped melon. For a more adventurous pairing, try spicy Asian dishes that will contrast nicely with the cocktail’s sweetness.

For dessert, a slice of apple pie or a citrus sorbet can complement the Jack Rose’s fruity notes.

Jack Rose FAQs

Can I use bottled lemon juice? Freshly squeezed juice is recommended for the best flavor, but bottled juice can be used in a pinch.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Jack Rose? Yes, mixing apple juice with lemon-lime soda can create a mocktail version.

What’s the best way to garnish a Jack Rose? A twist of lemon or lime peel adds both visual appeal and a zesty aroma.

Can I make a large batch of Jack Rose cocktails? Yes, simply multiply the ingredients by the number of servings needed and mix in a large pitcher.

How important is the type of glass I use? The cocktail glass helps maintain the temperature and enhances the overall experience, but any glass will suffice in a pinch.

Jack Rose_001

Jack Rose Cocktail

The Jack Rose is a classic cocktail with a smooth blend of applejack, lemon or lime juice, and grenadine. It's known for its beautiful pink hue and refreshing, fruity taste. A favorite during the early 20th century, it's rumored to have been named after the notorious gambler, Bald Jack Rose.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 163 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Ice cubes
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer
  • chilled cocktail glass


  • 2 oz applejack
  • 1/2 oz grenadine
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon or lime juice


  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Pour the applejack, grenadine, and fresh lemon or lime juice into the shaker.
  • Shake well until the mixture is thoroughly chilled, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a twist of lemon or lime peel, if desired.


The Jack Rose is often associated with the writer Ernest Hemingway, who mentioned it in his novel "The Sun Also Rises." For the best flavor, use freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice and high-quality grenadine. Adjust the ratio of lemon or lime juice to grenadine to suit your taste preference for tartness or sweetness.
Keyword Applejack, Classic Cocktail, Cocktail Recipe, Fruit Cocktail, grenadine, Home Bartending, Jack Rose, lemon juice, Lime Juice, mixology, Pre-Prohibition

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