Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Beer and Cocktails #1: Jack Rose

This year I've been widening my arsenal of beverage choices by adding cocktails to my repertoir.  I bought a couple of classic books on the subject and have been working my way through those, trying to get a feel for mixology standards, as well as deciding what type of mixed drinks that I like.  I've also been experimenting on my wife, Sarajo--finding her tastes go to gin based drinks and ones on the sweeter side.

Enter a cool new series of beers from one of my all-time favorite breweries--Perennial in St. Louis: Dealer's Choice.  I picked up the second in the series on a trip (on Sunday since you still can't buy beer here in Minnesota that day #whynotsundays) to Hudson, Wisconsin.  This beer takes the flavor profile of the Jack Rose cocktail as it's inspiration.

I decided that I had to make a Jack Rose and try this beer at the same time!  Here are the results!  Also taking part in this was our friend Heather McNabnay, and of course, Sarajo.  Oh, and there are a lot of different versions of Jack Rose to choose from, so I picked one from a classic source.

Jack Rose Cocktail

2 oz Laird's Applejack
3/4 oz Fresh lime juice
2 squirts homemade grenadine syrup
Shake with ice in cocktail shaker for 10 seconds.
Strain into martini style glass.
Garnish with an imported marashino cherry (not the violently colored red ones) and a slice of apple.

The drink was tasty, but very tart with the addition of lime.  A bit on the hot alcohol side as well.  I thought Sarajo would hate this but she didn't mind it.  I'd probably add a twitch of simple syrup to it next time (1/4 oz?)

Perennial Dealer's Choice Jack Rose

Aroma: Lime and apple are certainly the stars.  Some caramel and malt presence, but subtle.

Appearance: Light amber in color.  Excellent clarity.  Fine off-white head that sparkles briefly then fades to nearly nothing--very much like carbonated hard apple cider.

Flavor: Bright fresh apple and light caramel malts.  I get a nice zip of lime zest at the finish.  Hints of pomegranate.  Mouthfeel is medium to almost light.  Finish is off-dry.  I give it a 4 out 5 stars.

Sarajo commented that she likes the beer better than the cocktail.  Once she tasted the garnishes on the cocktail she made a better connection between that and the beer flavors.

This was a fun little experiment and a good way to try out a new (old really) cocktail and a new beer.  I'd love to see what the other beers are in the series, but we can't get them here in Minnesota so I might have to wait a while!

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