Today is John Steinbeck's birthday — the novelist who wrote about our great state perhaps better than anyone else would have been 111 today.

Steinbeck was a great drinker, and his favorite drink was the Jack Rose, one of those cocktails that's pure alchemy: You put in applejack and grenadine, two things that on their own are fairly repugnant, add a little lime, and out comes a refreshing, delicious drink.

Here's a recipe for Steinbeck's favorite cocktail from the wonderful book Imbibe! by cocktail historian David Wondrich. The book, which is a must-have for any cocktail nerd, also has the story of Jack Rose, the man and the drink. Lying, perjury, murder and booze — what's not to love?

Jack Rose

Makes: One drink

Adapted from: Imbibe! by David Wondrich (who in turn adapted it from Jaques Straub's 1914 Drinks)

2 oz Applejack

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 oz grenadine

1. Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

“I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment.” – John Steinbeck

See also:

Celebrate F. Scott Fitzgerald's Birthday With the Fitzgerald Cocktail

Cocktail Nerdom: Prohibition, Those Who Flouted It + Eric Alperin's Scofflaw Cocktail Recipe

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