COCKTAILS | The Jack Rose and Antoine’s Smile both delight

The SmileJerseywoman that she was, my grandmother had an abiding affection for Jack Rose cocktails. Coming of age during prohibition in the 1920s, the first liquor she might have tasted could have been “Jersey lightning,” or unaged applejack.

With this in mind, I’d been meaning to pick up a bottle of either applejack or calvados for the better part of a year. Two weeks ago, on a liquor run to Stew Leonard’s, I came across Laird’s and struck. The Laird family has been devoted to apples and their distillation since 1698, when William Laird first distilled applejack in Monmouth, N.J. In 1780, the Lairds became the first licensed distillery in America and today, they continue their family tradition at Scobeyville, N.J., a hamlet in Monmouth County’s Colts Neck Township.

With Laird’s added to the bar, we whipped up some Jack Roses with Charles Schumann’s recipe, which calls for a blend of apple jack, lime juice and grenadine. They were swell. Last night, we tried a variant, Antoine’s Smile, a specialty at Antoine’s, the New Orleans institution.

I’ve never been to Antoine’s — call me a Galatoire’s or Arnaud’s man — but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the place or its bar. After all, it’s the oldest family-run restaurant in the country. The Smile is allegedly the creation of Antoine Alcatoire, who founded the venerable restaurant on Rue St. Louis in the 1840. The Smile substitutes the Rose’s lemon juice with lime and yields a much subtler and frankly, more sophisticated result.

Still, we strongly recommend both.

2 1/2 ounces applejack
3/4 ounces lemon juice
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Dashes grenadine

Mix all ingredients over cracked ice, shake thoroughly and serve into a cocktail glass. Garnish, if you like, with a slice of MacIntosh or Empire.

For the Smile, substitute the lemon juice with lime juice and drop the sugar.


7 Responses to “COCKTAILS | The Jack Rose and Antoine’s Smile both delight”
  1. trip says:

    I was actually looking to get a bottle of calvados when I stopped at the liquor store on Friday afternoon. The $45 price tag made me shy away, though. Perhaps applejack is a cheaper alternative/steppingstone?

  2. admin says:

    I’d be curious to compare calvados and Laird’s. Let me know what you think. In other news, did you notice the cocktail category?

  3. trip says:

    Ahh, has that “Archives” thing on the left always been there? I was aware of the Cocktails category, but if that Archives tool is a new addition, that is just what you needed as navigating to old posts was a bit tricky.

  4. admin says:

    No. I took a look at my widgets yesterday and made some changes. Hope it’s a bit more navigable.


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