Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Colonial Manhattan

"Brett did not turn up, so about a quarter to six I went down to the bar and had a Jack Rose with George the barman." -Jake Barnes The Sun Also Rises

The Jack Rose, ohhh sounds fancy, Hemingway liked it so lets give it a try. STOP. Do not waste your time or your Applejack by polluting it in that cocktail. Remember when I watched Prohibition for you? I have made the drink, tasted the drink, and you'll hate the drink, just trust me.

Apple brandy distilled from hard cider has been a popular American spirit since colonial times and apparently George Washington was a huge fan. It was originally distilled via a process called freeze distillation.  Apples were harvested in the fall and then created into hard cider.  Throughout the colonial winter the cider was left outside in the New Jersey winter conditions which caused the freezing distillation process referred to as "jacking." Jacking produces an alcohol with a high sugar content that tastes subtly like apples = Applejack.  

The Jack Rose cocktail blends Applejack with grenadine creating a cloyingly sweet drink that (in my opinion) a 1/2 lime can not cut. Instead of making a drink with more sweetness I treat Applejack like whiskey by cutting the sweet with bitter Carpano, and the Colonial Manhattan was born.

Colonial Manhattan
1 Barspoon of demerara sugar
1 1/2oz Applejack
1 1/2oz Carpano

Stir, strain, garnish with lemon

The Carpano's bitter qualities blend perfectly with the Applejack's sweetness and create a perfectly balanced cocktail. The Jack Rose had potential, the Colonial Manhattan is perfection.

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