Applejack is a classic American spirit, which dates back to the Colonial period. Produced from apples, the spirit is similar to French Calvados.
Laird’s is the oldest distillery in the United States still operating, having received license number 1 in 1780. However, the distillery is far older, with William Laird said to have first produced the spirit in 1698. Until recently Laird’s was the only distillery continuing to produce the spirit. The distillery is found in New Jersey, a state traditionally associated with Applejack, and where the spirit was once used as currency for workers constructing the region’s infrastructure.
Applejack takes its name from the original production technique of “jacking”, a kind of freeze distillation, performed by leaving cider out in the winter and removing the ice that appeared on top. This style of distillation is inexpensive and requires no fuel, but does concentrate harmful alcohols, so Laird’s is now more conventionally distilled.
This Applejack has been aged for around 4 years, reducing some of the sharp acidity of the fruit and adding delightful woody flavours. The final product is a sweet, fruity spirit with notes of vanilla, flowers, apples, oak and spice.
The classic Applejack cocktail is a Jack Rose, two parts Applejack to one part lemon juice, and half a measure of grenadine; producing a fruity, vivid cocktail. A less well known but just as delicious cocktail is the Savoy Tango, which is equal parts Applejack and Sloe Gin.
Delicious stuff, this bottling is truly liquid history.