Valentine's Day...that typical time of year when flowers abound, chocolates are gifted, and other gifts of questionable significance are gobbled up by the masses in celebration of unity. What a waste. Why not do something unique and non-traditional to distinguish one year from the next? For sure, it is a challenge, but one well worth taking on in my opinion. And yes, the same goes for the cocktail.
Perhaps one of my favorite uses of grenadine in a cocktail is reflected by the Jack Rose, essentially an apple brandy sour with lemon juice and grenadine, first published in William Boothby's The World's Drinks and How to Mix Them (1908). It is a fantastic combination of boozy apple with a crisp citrus finish, the grenadine adding a distinct fruity sweetness.
2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
3/4 oz lemon
3/4 oz grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake well , and strain into a pre-chilled cocktail coupe.
In the context of my approach toward unique spins on Valentine's Day, I wanted to come up with a riff on the Jack Rose. It started with the spirit, as I chose to go with the slightly peated blended Scotch, Black Grouse. Along with the lemon and grenadine, I went with a small amount of Aperol to brighten the fruit component, while half an egg white brought nice body to the cocktail.
2 oz Black Grouse
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz lemon
1/2 oz grenadine
1/2 oz egg white
Dry shake all ingredients (without ice) until frothy. Add ice and shake ice until well chilled. Double strain into a pre-chilled cocktail coupe.
And with that, one of my takes on how to put a unique spin on a classic...do the same on Valentine's day as you might do with your cocktails, it sure beats Pajamagrams.