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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The other day I was putting together my Rosh Hashanah shopping list, and as I looked at the first three items on the list—apples, honey and pomegranates—I thought to myself, “that combination of flavors should make for a tasty cocktail.” After tinkering at the bar for a while, the results, I believe, have proved me right.

Based loosely on the Jack Rose Cocktail, a prohibition-era cocktail purportedly named for “Baldy” Jack Rose (the owner of one of New York’s underworld gambling joints), the drink I’ve dubbed the Honeyed Rose combines a type of French apple brandy called Calvados with lemon juice, and a homemade honey-pomegranate syrup. The result is crisp and refreshing, with a well-balanced flavor that should “sauce up” your holiday table.

Below are two versions of the recipe. The first will produce a single 5 1/2-ounce cocktail, and the second version will produce a full bottle of the cocktail. I often like to bring pre-bottled cocktails in lieu of wine as a hostess gift.

The Honeyed Rose:

Single cocktail recipe

  • 1/4 cup Calvados
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. honey-pomegranate syrup (recipe follows)
  • Apple slice as garnish (optional)

Combine all the liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake well, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an apple slice.

Bottled recipe

  • 1 cup Calvados
  • 1 cup water (in lieu of ice)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus 2 tsp. for the apple slices
  • 1/2 cup honey-pomegranate syrup (recipe follows)
  • 1 apple, sliced (optional)

In a 750-ml bottle (old wine bottles or liquor bottles work well) combine all the liquid ingredients, seal the bottle and shake well. Chill the bottle in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. In order to keep the apple slices for the garnish from turning brown, store in a plastic container or Ziplock bag with just enough water to cover the slices, plus a few teaspoons of lemon juice. If kept in the refrigerator the cocktail should stay for about three days.

Honey-Pomegranate Syrup

  • 1 cup of pomegranate juice (bottled juices, such as POM Wonderful, work well in this recipe)
  • 1/3 cup of wildflower honey (clover would also work well, but stay away from stronger-flavored honeys such as buckwheat and heather)
  • 1 tbsp. vodka

Combine the honey and juice in a small saucepan over low heat and stir constantly until the honey is fully dissolved, and the syrup is about to simmer. Take off the flame and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the vodka as a preservative. Store in the refrigerator and consume within three weeks.

Note on Calvados: If seeking Calvados, which is produced with kosher certification, there are two readily available brands: Calvados Coquerel, which is certified by the OU, and Calvados Boulard, which is officially considered kosher without certification by the Kashruth Authority of the London Beth Din (KLBD), by the Grand Rabbinat du Bas Rhin Beth Din de Strasbourg and by the Consistoire de Paris.


Gamliel Kronemer writes about spirits for The Jewish Link.