Friday Happy Hour: Jack Rose Cocktail

It’s time for Friday Happy Hour, highlighting a drink we’ve recently enjoyed, every Friday at 4pm! Please share your favorites as well.

My friend Kirk (pictured above) has been reading Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises specifically, which got him thinking about the Jack Rose cocktail. In the 1926 novel, the narrator sips one in a Parisian boîte and the drink has benefitted from that bit of product placement ever since. When I asked him what I should drink for the column this week (after a spate of fairly unremarkable imbibition) he had a clear answer: a Jack Rose at The Gibson.

While, in general, I might be a bit more of a Fitzgerald, I can certainly get behind most of Papa Hemingway’s famous drinking preferences. Absinthe, whiskey. Citrusy things when in Havana or the Keys. However, the famously masculine author’s cocktail choices – daiquiris, champagne cocktails, etc – can tend toward what would be considered “girly” by today’s standards. The bright pink and lollipop sweet Jack Rose is no exception. With no less a modern proponent of the drink than the completely adorable Rachel Maddow, though, who am I to argue? Comprised of applejack, grenadine, and, in this case, lime, the cocktail is quaffable and apparently crowd-pleasing. Currently on the upstairs menu at The Gibson, we among a fair bit of company in ordering the classic American drink.

According to The Washington Post, there was a time back in 2003 when two other men got the same idea Kirk had and had real difficulty seeking out one worth drinking in the District. That, of course, was before The Gibson and many other serious cocktail bars had opened – and now there is even a new spot coming to Adams Morgan called Jack Rose – so perhaps we are experiencing a real come-back for this early-twentieth-centrury favorite. At the very least, surrounded by the black and white marble bar and leather stools, one can drink one, channel some Lost Generation disaffection, and wait for one’s own Lady Brett Ashley to arrive.

Brittany has tried to leave DC, it just never lasts. She has lived in Chicago, California, and China – but she always comes back home. Brittany is a drinks, nightlife, and style correspondent for We Love DC. Between columns, you can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, or standing by the bar. Email her at brittany(at)

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