A.J. Cocktail


1 ½ oz. apple brandy (Laird’s Applejack, although Laird’s Apple Brandy might give it more kick)
1 ½ unsweetened grapefruit juice (from Eric’s tree)
A few drops grenadine (Morgenthaler’s DIY)

Combine with ice; shake well. Strain and add ice.

Most modern versions of this recipe leave off the grenadine but Brian has made a whole batch already and besides we have to stick to the Book. The Book also calls for a rocks glass (not a cocktail glass) and no simple syrup, which suggests a much more down-to-earth experience. In the end we have to mix this one twice, because the first A.J. gets watered down in the mixing glass while we are distracted by something unimportant. The second version is much better but still horrible somehow. An F+. Later we discover that Cocktail.uk.com readers have given it one star out of five.

Eric: “Here we have two great tastes that taste lousy together. Weird math.”
Brian: “This tastes like two things fighting with each other, but neither is dominant.”
Eric: “Yeah, it’s like a really boring fight.”
Brian: “It’s probably something high school kids put together through process of elimination. Hey, I found some apple brandy in my parents’ liquor cabinet. Let’s try it with Coke! Let’s try it with….uh….grapefruit juice!”

SCORES: Brian gives the A.J. a measly 3. Eric hates it slightly less: 4.

Eric D. Anderson


Eric D. Anderson came to appreciate cocktails late in life and is trying to make up for lost time. He finds that crafting drinks involves the same precision, creativity, sociability, and ritual as baking—another passion—and believes that it brings people together in the same way. Eric is the director of Way of the Puck, a feature-length documentary about professional air hockey, and the editor of Stories of Quitting (storiesofquitting.com), an online collection of true stories that celebrate giving up. His writing has appeared in AGNI, Painted Bride Quarterly, Perigee, Giant Robot, and Wild Quarterly, among other publications. In his free time he works as a camera operator on commercials and motion pictures.

Always drink responsibly!