A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 29, 2014
Jack Rose (cocktail)

The Jack Rose is a cocktail containing applejack, grenadine, and lemon or lime juice. Some people have guessed that the name comes from applejack ("Jack") and Rose’s lime juice ("Rose"), but there is no evidence, especially for the “Rose” name. It has also been proposed that the drink was named after the rose Général Jacqueminot, named after French general Jean-François Jacqueminot (1787-1865).

The National Police Gazette was one of the most popular publications in the country, and was well known for its coverage of cocktails. The NPG printed this in 1905:

“Frank J. May, better known as Jack Rose, is the inventor of a very popular cocktail by that name, which has made him famous as a mixologist. He is at present looking after the managerial affairs of Gene Sullivan’s Cafe, at 187 Pavonia avenue, Jersey City, N. J., one of the most popular resorts in that city. Mr. May takes an active interest in sports, and as a wrestler could give many of the professional wrestlers a warm argument.”

The Jack Rose cocktail is sometimes thought to have been named after New York City underworld figure Baldy Jack Rose (1876=1947), who gave testimony in the famous Herman Rosenthal murder case of 1912. However, bartenders were so disgusted with Baldy Jack Rose that some changed the name of the cocktail to Royal Smile.


Wikipedia: Jack Rose (cocktail)
Jack Rose is the name of a classic cocktail, popular in the 1920s and 1930s, containing applejack, grenadine, and lemon or lime juice. It notably appeared in a scene in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 classic, The Sun Also Rises, in which Jake Barnes, the narrator, drinks a Jack Rose in the Crillon Paris hotel bar while awaiting the arrival of Lady Brett Ashley.
(...)
History
There are various theories as to the origin of the drink. One theory has the drink being named after, or even invented by, the infamous gambler Bald Jack Rose. Albert Stevens Crockett (Old Waldorf Bar Days, 1931) states that it is named after the pink “Jacquemot” (also known as Jacqueminot or Jacque) rose. It has also been posited that the Jack Rose was invented by Joseph P. Rose, a Newark, New Jersey restaurateur, and named by him “in honor” of a defendant in a trial then being held at the courthouse in that city. (Joseph P. Rose once held the title of “World’s Champion Mixologist.") However, the most likely explanation of the name is the fact that it is made with applejack and is rose colored from the grenadine. Harvey’s Famous Restaurant in Washington, D.C. claimed to be the originator of cocktail.

Wikipedia: Rose Général Jacqueminot’
‘Général Jacqueminot’ (Pronounced: zhay-nay RHAL zhock-mee-NOH) is an early member of the Hybrid Perpetual rose class. It has dark red petals and is extremely fragrant. The flowers grow on long stems and were long stemmed rose. The bushes grow to be 5 ft (1.5 m) tall and 4 ft (1.2 m) wide.
(...)
The flower was named in honor of Jean-François Jacqueminot.

22 April 1905, National Police Gazette, pg. 14:
AN ATHLETIC MIXOLOGIST
Wise Bartenders will Get Good Tips in This Column.
Frank J. May, better known as Jack Rose, is the inventor of a very popular cocktail by that name, which has made him famous as a mixologist. He is at present looking after the managerial affairs of Gene Sullivan’s Cafe, at 187 Pavonia avenue, Jersey City, N. J., one of the most popular resorts in that city. Mr. May takes an active interest in sports, and as a wrestler could give many of the professional wrestlers a warm argument.

Chronicling America
5 January 1913, Arizona Republican Phoenix, AZ), pg. 4, col. 4:
COULDN’T SELL “JACK ROSES”
(Chicago Record Herald)
The murder of Herman Rosenthal has affected the business of florists in Brooklyn. The Jack rose, a popular blossom, has been left on the hands of the Brooklyn florists, just because it bears the same name as the informant in the famous trials.
(...)
That is not all the harm that “Bald Jack” Rose did to business. There was a serious slump in cocktails that were known as Jack Roses. A Jack Rose is a cocktail which was guaranteed to cultivate a keen edge on one’s appetite. However, like the florists, the bartenders decided that perhaps under another name the Jack Rose cocktail might again become a good seller.

Accordingly they now call it a “royal smile.”

Google Books
The Sun Also Rises:
The Hemingway Library Edition

By Ernest Hemingway
New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons
1926
Pg. 34:
Brett did not turn up, so about quarter to six I went down to the bar and had a Jack Rose with George the barman.

Google Books
Old Waldorf Bar Days
By Albert Stevens Crockett
New York, NY: Aventine Press
1931
Pg. 143:
JACK ROSE {or Jacque Rose)
Lots of readers about racketeers, and such as read only that sort of news in the papers, have believed for years that this cocktail was named after a character who turned state’s evidence in the famous Becker case, which sent a Police Lieutenant to the chair. To speak in the modern way, they are—or were—all wet. The name is really Jacque Rose, a corruption of Jacquemot. It was named because of its pinkcolor, the exact shade of a Jacquemot rose, when properly concocted.

Google Books
100 Famous Cocktails;
The Romance of Wines and Liquors, Etiquette, Recipes

By Oscar of the Waldorf
New York, NY: Kenilworth Press
1934
Pg. 28:
JACK ROSE
(Serve in Delmonico glass)
One jigger Apple Jack
Juice one-half Lime
One-half jigger Grenadine
Shake.

16 September 1940, Tavern Weekly News, “The Barman’s Corner” by Patrick Murphy, pg. 8, col. 5:
This column would also like to revive a bit of discussion which centered about the name and origin of the Jack Rose Cocktail. We maintained that the name probably derived from the drink itself, since it is based on applejack (hence “Jack") and took several splashes of grenadine which made it red (hence “Rose").

We have been informed that one Joe Rose not only claimed to have invented the cocktail many years ago, but actually won a medal from the old Police Gazette for entering the mixture in a cocktail competition they had.  Since he was a Jersey resident, probably partial to applejack, this makes some sense, but we’ve still got to be shown.

9 November 1955, Boston (MA) American, pg. 31, col. 4:
ASKING: QUERIES FROM CLIENTS: Q—Who was Jack Rose in whose honor the Jack Rose Cocktail was named? A—“Bald” Jack Rose was a Broadway character who came into the spotlight as a star witness in the celebrated Becker case in 1912. The cocktail is not named after him. It is a pink drink and named after a pink rose called the Jacque Rose or Jack Rose.

Food Republic
Aug 29, 2014 1:00 pm
COCKTAIL OF THE WEEK
Jack Rose Cocktail Recipe
A tart classic drink bridging summer and fall

BY BRIAN QUINN
(...)
Light and with a hint of apple aromatics, the Jack Rose is the perfect example of those deceivingly simple three-ingredient drinks that can “whet rather than dull the appetite,” as author David Embury outlined as a requirement for great cocktails in his 1948 The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. Included by Embury as one of the six basic drinks – alongside the Martini, Old Fashioned and Daiquiri – it’s hard to tell why the Jack Rose, and applejack for that matter, might have fallen out of popularity.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Friday, August 29, 2014 • Permalink


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