What could be more apropos for Cupid’s day than a blushing pink craft cocktail? The “Kiss Me Now Martini” is the perfect combination of lip-puckeringly tart and mouth-wateringly sweet – not to mention intoxicating to the last lingering sip. The recipe is below.
What is its heritage, you ask? Pretty much a rip-off of the Jack Rose, a cocktail made popular in the 1920s and 30s. It’s probably best known for appearing in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 classic, The Sun Also Rises, in which narrator Jake Barnes drinks a Jack Rose in the Hôtel de Crillon bar in Paris while awaiting the arrival of Lady Brett Ashley.
The Lure of the Craft Cocktail
I am not a mixologist by trade – only wishful thinking. A few years back, my writing compadre, Mike, turned me on to the allure of retro cocktails. He had gotten hooked on making all those wonderful mixed drinks that we watched our parent’s imbibe when we were kids – exotic concoctions like Harvey Wallbangers and Sloe Gin Fizz. His enthusiasm was completely contagious, which inspired me to join the amateur craft cocktail movement. Now I find it difficult to end my work week without tempting my very accommodating wife with an inspired early-evening cocktail.
I won’t pretend my writing is worthy of mention in the same breath as Hemingway, but I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that Jake would appreciate this version of his beloved cocktail, on Valentine’s Day or any evening for that matter. Salud!
The Kiss Me Now Martini
1½ oz. Applejack whisky
1½ oz. Lime juice
½ oz. Grenadine syrup
Splash cherry juice from the jar
Agave or simple syrup to taste
Squeeze fresh limes (there simply is no substitute for fresh juice in a great cocktail). Pour liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Cover and shake vigorously 20 seconds or until forearm cramping sets in, whichever comes first. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish rim with scored maraschino cherry. (Makes one drink.)
David Pitlik is a corporate writer by day, a comedy writer from a previous life, and a lover of great food, wonderful drink and sparkling banter with good friends.