A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 11, 2012
Jersey Lightning (cocktail; punch)

“Jersey lightning” is applejack; a “Jersey Lightning Cocktail” is applejack brandy and vermouth. “Jersey lightning” has been cited in print since at least 1843 and the “Jersey Lightning Cocktail” has been cited in print since at least 1917.

“Jersey Lightning Punch” (see the 2007 and 2008 citations, below) adds bitters and is similar to the “Applejack Manhattan” (see 2000 citation, below).


The Wikitender: Jersey Lightning
As well as the cocktail on this page, Jersey Lightning refers to unaged Applejack.

Historical References
The Ideal Bartender
, Tom Bullock, 1917
JERSEY LIGHTNING COCKTAIL
Use large Mixing glass; fill with Lump Ice.
1 jigger Apple Jack Brandy.
1 pony Italian Vermouth.
Stir well; strain and serve in Cocktail glass.

Google Books
The Ideal Bartender
By Tom Bullock
St. Louis, MO: Buxton & Skinner Print. and stationery Co.
1917
Pg. 41:
JERSEY LIGHTNING COCKTAIL
Use large Mixing glass; fill with Lump Ice.
1 jigger Apple Jack Brandy.
1 pony Italian Vermouth.
Stir well; strain and serve in Cocktail glass.

New York (NY) Times
IN SEARCH OF...; Not Your Toddler’s Apple Cider
By JOSEPH D’AGNESE
Published: June 11, 2000
(...)
One of Mr. Laird’s ancestors, Robert Laird, served under General Washington in the Revolutionary War. When the troops were stationed in New Jersey, the Lairds supplied them with ‘’Jersey lightning.’’ The general himself was certainly no stranger to the drink; sometime before 1760, Washington had written the family asking for their recipe.
(...)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s favorite drink was an applejack Manhattan: a dash of bitters, vermouth and applejack stirred in ice, strained and served with a cherry.

New York (NY) Sun
Houses Of Spirits
By ROBERT SIMONSON | December 12, 2007
(...)
Co-workers, pals, or strangers who wish to bond over a bowl can now head to Death & Co. (433 E. 6th St., between First Avenue and Avenue A, 212-388-0882), an East Village drink emporium that boasts a punch section on its cocktail menu
(...)
Though the punches have been available at the saloon for some time, the management recently added some new concoctions geared toward the cold-weather months. These include one called Jersey Lightning, composed of Laird’s Applejack (which is made in New Jersey, hence the name), Harvest Moon Tea-infused Carpano Antica vermouth, fresh lemon juice, and a dash of Peychaud’s Bitters.

Chow.com (April 2008)
The Jersey Lightning Recipe
From: Death & Co , by Adapted from Philip Ward
(...)
INGREDIENTS
36 sugar cubes
3 1/3 cups soda water
2 1/3 cups applejack, such as Laird’s
1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups Tea-Infused Vermouth
36 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
6 cups ice
Apple slices and cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Google Books
Mr. Boston: Bartender’s Guide (75th Anniversary Edition)
Hoboken, NJ: Wiley
2012
Pg. 56:
JERSEY LIGHTNING
1 1/2 oz. applejack
1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. fresh lime juice
Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Wednesday, April 11, 2012 • Permalink