The War of the Jack Roses


The seven finalists. (left to right) Chris Stanley, Rachel Sergi, Natalie Jacob, Joseph Donohue, Ulysses Vidal, Andrew Johnston, James Menite

The seven finalists. (left to right) Chris Stanley, Rachel Sergi, Natalie Jacob, Joseph Donohue, Ulysses Vidal, Andrew Johnston, James Menite

A national search for new adaptations of the traditional Jack Rose cocktail
was sponsored by Laird & Company, makers of Laird’s Applejack, and the historic Ryland Inn,
Whitehouse Station, NJ on October 28, 2013. Cocktail submissions were collected over the past few months and narrowed down to seven finalists. Entries were received from working bartenders across the country. The seven finalists were invited to prepare and present their entries at the historic Ryland
Inn in Whitehouse Station central New Jersey last night for a panel of five judges.

Bartender contestants from NY, NJ and Washington, DC were among the seven finalists. Judging
the competition were Lisa Laird ‐VP Laird & Company; Gaz Regan – Bartender, Author of numerous
cocktail books including “The Joy of Mixology”, Educator, Columnist and Publisher of the Weekly Shooter; Chad Solomon – Bartender, Partner Cuffs & Buttons Beverage Spirits Consultants; Warren Bobrow – On Whiskey writer for OKRA Magazine and author “Apothecary Cocktails” and Chef Anthony Buco – Executive Chef Ryland Inn.

Judges. (left to right) Chad Solomon, Lisa Laird, Gary Regan

Judges. (left to right) Chad Solomon, Lisa Laird, Gary Regan

Christopher James, event sponsor and head bartender at the Ryland Inn commented, “The caliber of the entries was phenomenal. It was very difficult to narrow the field down to the finalists.”

Each bartender had an opportunity to present and serve their cocktail to the five judges. First place was awarded to Natalie Jacob, from Dutch Kills Bar in Long Island City. Second place went to Ulysses Vidal from Employees Only in New York City and Third Place went to Joseph Donohue, who works at Atrium Dumbo in Brooklyn & Kolo Club in Hoboken.

Tom Alberico, VP Laird & Company and event sponsor said, “Natalie’s cocktail was quite simple, but the flavors worked so well. I think notorious gangster, “Baldy” Jack Rose would have loved it!”
Natalie Jacob’s version of the Jack Rose follows. She named it after the character Jake Barnes, who orders a Jack Rose cocktail in Hemmingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”.
The Jack Barnes

  • 1 1/2 oz. Lairds Applejack
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh squeezed pineapple juice
  • 3/4 oz. Natalie’s house‐made Grenadine (use store-bough Grenadine if you don’t make your own)
  • Dash of Angostura bitters

Build all ingredients in tin, shake on ice, serve up in a coupe.

Sponsor Christopher James briefing Judges Chad Solomon & Gaz Regan.

Sponsor Christopher James briefing Judges Chad Solomon & Gaz Regan.

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