Bookish Cocktail - Steinbeck's Jack Rose

As this "Bookish" month draws to an end, we want to offer up a toast to librarians, writers and the Dewey Decimal System.  Cheers!  

This month I set my mixologist husband, Jason, to the task of creating our very own writer inspired cocktail.  As our theme was "Bookish", it seemed only right to head to the library for inspiration.  We came across two new favorites for our bookshelves ... "Hemingway & Bailey's Bartending Guide to Great American Writers" and "Tequila Mockingbird".  The latter had me at the title!  Even my local librarian got a good chuckle out of that one.

"Hemingway & Bailey's Bartending Guide to Great American Writers" is a clever book allowing a two page spread for over 40 classic authors.  The reader is given a short synopsis of the writer's life, accomplishments, an excerpt from one of their greatest works and of course the recipe for their favorite cocktail.  As I reached the end of the book, I came to my favorite writer of all time, John Steinbeck.  East of Eden was the first book I read of his and it captured me in a way no other book has.  I have since devoured his other novels and now it only seems fitting that I should make a toast to John Steinbeck with his favorite cocktail, the Jack Rose.    

As we did a little more research about the Jack Rose, we learned that the bar staple Grenadine was originally made from pomegranate.  Unfortunately, today's bottled version is made not only without pomegranates, but without any actual fruit!  So, we were inspired to make our own handcrafted grenadine with concentrated pomegranate juice. 

To John Steinbeck and writers everywhere!


Karen June & Jason

Homemade Grenadine


  • 1/2 cup Pomegranate Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Turbinado Sugar


  1. Add ingredients to a saucepan.
  2. Over low heat, stir until sugar is fully dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Store in refrigerator for 1 week.  (A small amount of vodka can be added to prolong freshness.)

Pomegranate Jack Rose

1.5 oz. Applejack Brandy
1 oz. Grenadine
1 oz. Fresh Lime

Fill cocktail shaker with ice.  Add ingredients.  Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.  Enjoy!