Jack Rose Cocktail – Drinking With Hemingway

November 26, 2018 (Last Updated: August 14, 2020) - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The Jack Rose Cocktail that is a classic and can even be found in legendary Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Sun Also Rises. So, drink with me and Hemingway by sipping on this tasty cocktail with origins in years past.

Jack Rose cocktail on a gold tray with the whole ingredients in the background

I have been on an Ernest Hemingway kick and the mention of the Jack Rose Cocktail in one of his books I just read sparked my attention. Of course, I had to see if I could find this cocktail, which was mentioned twice in Hemingway’s famous novel The Sun Also Rises. It is a popular cocktail of the early 1900s and if you know Hemingway’s writing (and life), it is filled with cocktails. So, today, I am going to share some details about this classic cocktail and also share the Jack Rose cocktail recipe with you. Go straight to the recipe.

Jack Rose Cocktail Summary

This really is a fruity, sweet cocktail that retains the punch of a proper cocktail. The flavors of pomegranate from the grenadine, the apple from the applejack, and lemon make this a cool, fruity concoction that is really worthy of being a classic. After making a few of these, I know that this is going to be added to my regular rotation of drinks.

Drinking With Hemingway

I loved seeing the Jack Rose mention in The Sun Also Rises. The way it is mentioned gives me the feeling that it would be a drink that anybody from that time would know. I am now on my third book from Hemingway and even though I have some mixed emotions about how much I like his novels, there are two things I am finding.

  1. Amidst the stories, I find tidbits of wordsmithing and connection to feeling that I adore. In chapter 8 of this novel, the description of the love of bullfighting and bullfighting “aficionados” of is absolutely stunning. While I have no desire to watch a bullfight and there are plenty of metaphorical things going on with this, how he describes this love is awesome. No, I am not going to put the full quote, but you can get the book here.
  2. There is always liquor of some kind around in Hemingway novels. How the hell did the man get anything done or never NOT have a headache? I am now deep into my third Hemingway book Farewell to Arms and a constant in all his books are booze and drinks. I guess it is a time when liquor was more prominent and Hemingway did not shy away from the barstool. It seems a rarity to read through more than a chapter without a mention of alcohol of some sort.

I have even talked about Hemingway and liquor on this blog before and the (incorrect) legend that he loved Mojitos and drank them regularly in Cuba.

Applejack vs Apple Brandy – What is the Difference?

There is a distinct difference between applejack and apple brandy. While we have given a rustic DIY apple brandy recipe in a previous post, a traditional brandy is fruit wine that has been distilled. So, in the case of apples, it would be the distillation of apple wine. Applejack, however, is slightly different in that it is apple brandy that has been cut with other neutral spirits. It has a slightly lighter apple flavor and my understanding is that the alcohol percentage can vary. For example, I would imagine that the apple brandy could be cut with an Everclear type of alcohol and the strength would increase. It could also be cut with weaker neutral alcohol.

One of the premier applejack and apple brandy producers in the US is Laird’s, which is the applejack we used.

Lemon vs Lime

One of the places I look to for cocktail history on occasion is my copy of David Wondrich’s book Imbibe!, where he looks at specific cocktails. There is a part on the Jack Rose where he gives a recipe that has Lime. I use Lemon. In his notes, he mentions that there is historical precedence for both. I chose lemon, but always love and respect the information he provides!

Jack Rose Cocktail History

Wondrich goes on to talk a bit about the history. There is some legend behind the origins of the cocktail, but history is likely more that there was a bartender in Jersey City that went by Jack Rose and this was his signature cocktail. The evidence Wondrich provided is from 1905 so it would have likely been during the heyday of pre-prohibition when this cocktail was created (1860-1905). Of course, you can find out much more if you buy the NEW classic book, Imbibe!.

Bottle of Laird's Applejack

All Jack Rose ingredients on a table

Overhead shot of the Jack Rose cocktail

Full featured shot of the jack rose. It shows more of the scene.

The Jack Rose cocktail is a simple, but tasty, classic cocktail that should be in the arsenal of every home mixologist. If you like what we are doing here, please make sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and also to subscribe to get updates by email!

Products I Use In This Recipe


Jack Rose Cocktail – Drinking With Hemingway

Jack Rose cocktail on a gold tray with the whole ingredients in the background

The Jack Rose Cocktail that is a classic and can even be found in legendary Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Sun Also Rises. So, drink with me and Hemingway by sipping on this tasty cocktail with origins in years past.

  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Cocktail 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Shaker
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 Ounces Laird’s Applejack
  • 1 Ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ Ounce Grenadine
  • Lemon Peel, to garnish


  1. Fill shaker with ice
  2. Add all liquid ingredients
  3. Vigorously shake for 15 seconds
  4. Strain into a cooled coupe glass

Keywords: Jack Rose Cocktail

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  • Reply
    November 26, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    This cocktail will be perfect for holiday entertaining. I love Hemingway and, in fact, my son just finishing reading a few of his short stories in English class.

    • Reply
      Jeff the Chef
      November 27, 2018 at 11:10 pm

      I have to agree with Ellen. It looks perfect for a Christmas party. I’m throwing one in a few weeks – I’m going to strongly consider having Jack Rose make an appearance. Recommendations from Hemmingway and you make it only that much more likely.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    These photos are fabulous!

  • Reply
    Veena Azmanov
    November 26, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Sure to have this perfect Cocktail with Perfect friends for my Kitty Party.. They will all love it for sure.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2018 at 12:01 am

    This cocktail looks and sounds so delicious and would make a great addition to any Christmas party!

  • Reply
    November 27, 2018 at 12:06 am

    How fun! And this sounds so yummy. I love pomegranates and apples. I’ve also never heard of apple jack. I learn something new every time I read your posts. Thank you!

  • Reply
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    […] too long ago I shared my Jack Rose cocktail and I found myself looking into Grenadine. While I used store bought Grenadine in that recipe, […]

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