The Sweet Secrets of Apple Jack: America’s Traditional Spirit

Apple Jack, a traditional American spirit, has been around for centuries. The name coes from the process of freeze distillation, which increases the content of an apple and neutral grain blend. This process creates a stronger spirit than hard , and is what makes Apple Jack unique.

Today there are many ways to enjoy this delicious spirit. It can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, or used as an ingredient in classic such as the Jack Rose or the Stone Fence. The sweet flavor of apples and cinnamon is also present in Kellogg's Apple Jacks cereal, an excellent source of 8 vitamins and minerals providing 15 grams of whoe grain per 39g serving.

What sets Apple Jack apart from other spirits is its unique production method. The jacking process was first developed in colonial America and involves freeze distillation of fermented apple cider mash. This method concentrates the alcohol content and produces a pure spirit with intense flavor and aroma.

Laird & Company created the Blended Applejack spirit category in 1972 to meet consumer demand for lighter, lower proof spirits. Laird's Applejack is still produced using traditional distillation methods today, making it one of the oldest American liquors still beig made today.

Whether you're looking for something to sip neat or use as an ingredient in a classic cocktail, look no further than Apple Jack – a timeless American spirit with centuries-old roots that will bring joy to any gathering.

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What is Applejack Liquor?

Applejack is a type of liquor made from apples. It is produced by blending apple brandy, which is made from apples that have been fermented and distilled, with neutral grain spirits. The resulting product is a lighter, lower proof spirit than traditional apple brandy. First created in 1972 by the Laird family, Applejack has a rich history in the United States and can be enjoyed neat or as an ingredient in many popular cocktails, such as the Jack Rose or the Apple Brandy Alexander.

The Difference Between Applejack and Hard Cider

No, Applejack is not the same as hard cider. Hard cider is made by fermenting apples and then bottling the resulting alcoholic beverage. Applejack, on the oter hand, is made by a process called “jacking” which involves freezing fermented cider and removing the ice crystals that form. This process concentrates the alcohol content in Applejack making it much stronger than hard cider; most varieties have an alcohol content of around 25-30%. While traditional jacking methods are no longer used to make Applejack, it continues to be associated with this traditional American liquor.

Drinking Applejack Straight: Is It Safe?

Yes, you can certainy drink applejack straight. Applejack is a brandy-based spirit made from fermented apples, so it has smooth and fruity notes that can be enjoyed neat or over ice. Applejack is a strong spirit with an ABV of 40% to 45%, so it's best enjoyed in small sips to savor the flavors. You may also want to try it with a splash of or club to soften the taste.

Drinking Applejack

Drinking Applejack can be a fun and simple way to enjoy a traditional American spirit. To make an Applejack Old-Fashioned, start by pouring 2 ounces of applejack into a mixing glass with ice. Then add ½ ounce of maple syrup, 2 dashes each of Angostura and orange bitters, and stir well to combine. Strain the mixture over fresh ice in a rocks glass, then garnish with a thick orange peel to release its citrus oils. Finally, enjoy your drink responsibly!

Alcohol Content of Apple Jack

Authentic Applejack is bottled at 88 proof or 44% ABV, making it a relatively strong alcoholic beverage. A standard drink is 1.5 ounces and contains approximately 12.6 grams of alcohol, so if you're drinking Applejack straight, you're consuming abot 7.3 grams of pure alcohol per drink. As with all alcoholic beverages, please enjoy responsibly and in moderation.

The Origin of the Term Applejack

The term “applejack” is derived from a traditional method of producing the alcoholic beverage, called jacking. This method involves freezing fermented cider and then removing the ice, thereby increasing the alcohol content. Historically, this was an effective way of preserving the taste and quality of cider made after the fall harvest. The process dates back to Colonial America, when cider was left outside during winter months and then “jacked” in order to concentrate its alcohol content and increase its shelf life. The name “applejack” would have likely referred to either this process or the resulting drink itself.


In conclusion, Apple Jack is an enduring spirit that has remained a part of American culture since the 1700s. It is made from a blend of apple brandy and neutral grain spirits and is traditionally produced through distillation methods. Apple Jack can be enjoyed in various forms, from its original spirit to Kellogg's® Apple Jacks® Cereal. Whether you choose to enjoy it as an alcoholic beverage or as a cereal, it's sure to provide a delicious and unique taste that will bring joy to any occasion.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.