The Jersey Cocktail
This recipe is featured in Endangered Eating and American Ancestors
This cider-and-bitters cocktail is a favorite of mine, pulled from the pages of the first cocktail recipe book, Jerry Thomas’s How to Mix Drinks, published in 1862. Although I’ve been making it for years, it was a mystery to me why a cider cocktail shared its name with the Garden State until I delved into the history of cider for this chapter.
The drink is like mulled cider for the summer: crisp, cool, and sweet. The simple syrup is entirely optional; use it only if you’re in the mood for a sweet drink. While the cocktail is excellent with any cider, it seems fitting to make it with a Harrison apple cider if you can get it!
Reprinted with permission from W.W. Norton & Company
- 1 teaspoon simple syrup
- 2 dashes aromatic bitters
- Lemon twist (the peel of a lemon, with only the yellow skin and little as possible of the white pith)
I use simple syrup 1:1. For example, 1 cup sugar and 1 cupwater, placed in a tight -lidded jar and shaken until the sugar dissolves.
Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice. Add symple syrup and bitters. Fill the glass with hard cider. Stir until the glass becomes very cold and condensation appears. Twist the lemon peel over the top of the drink, then add it to the glass. Serve immediately.