Barony of the Rose - A Cocktail for My Hometown
The annual celebration of Nazareth Day is one week away so here's a cocktail dedicated to the place that raised me, Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Recipe first, stick around for the story behind the drink afterward.
Barony of the Rose
1.5 oz. - rye whiskey
1.5 oz. - melon liqueur
0.5 oz. - grenadine
2 dashes rose water
1 sugar cube
1 rose blossom or rose petals for garnish
In a mixing glass (or a shaker) place a sugar cube and 2 dashes of rose water, then muddle the sugar cube. Pour in the rye and melon liqueur and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into a rocks glass over crushed ice and add the grenadine. Garnish with the rose blossom/petals. Give it a stir and sip away.
I was born and raised in a small town called Nazareth, PA. I work and own a home here as well. It feels like this town has given me everything and I truly love living here and always have.
It's a historic place, officially settled by George Whitefield and the Moravians in 1740 and later home to Martin Guitar and the Andretti Family. But of all the stories and claims to fame that Nazareth has generated over the centuries, my favorite has to be the Barony of the Rose.
In 1731, William Penn's Daughter, Letitia Aubrey was given the original 5,000 acre tract of land that became the Borough of Nazareth and every year on June 24th, as rent for her estate, her payment would be one red rose, thusly dubbing the land The Barony of the Rose. I've always found this story to be heartwarming, romantic and sweet and it's the inspiration for my humble tribute to the town that has given me all that I have.
So, when plotting out this drink, it was an obvious conclusion that it had to be rose centric and, given that the rose-bearing ceremony was done in the summer, I wanted it to be refreshing - after having a cocktail or two containing melon liqueur, I knew this was an element I could tap and would also provide a beautiful green color that would represent the stems and leaves of a rose bush. I knew I wanted whiskey in the mix and after trying several different types, I settled on rye - it doesn't overpower the drink and it's able to really maintain that refreshing vibe I intended for the drink. Also, when the amber-colored whiskey combines with the melon liqueur, it creates a very pleasing, summery light green that I find perfect for this drink. The grenadine is homemade and I highly recommend making your own or buying some from a brand called Small Hand Foods - grenadine isn't just about adding a red color, it's important that it provides that sweet pomegranate flavor as well. To make it, bring one cup of pomegranate juice to a boil, throw in one cup of sugar and one ounce of pomegranate molasses and whisk until dissolved then take off of the heat. Optionally, you can add a dash or two of orange blossom flower; honestly, the pomegranate molasses is optional as well, there's so many differing recipes for grenadine it's a little ridiculous.
As the drink dilutes from the crushed ice and evolves as you sip, it becomes more and more quenching, the flavor of each ingredient combines to form a unique and complex profile to which I find difficult to draw an accurate parallel..maybe some sweetened herbal teas might be similar but I feel like it is so much richer than that. The rose water is certainly present and may be an acquired taste for some but I have to say that I find myself craving this drink from time to time which must mean something good regarding its potential for appeal..either that or I just have a very forgiving palate.
All things considered, I'm very proud of this drink and I feel accomplished in the goal that I set: to create a great-tasting, Nazareth-themed cocktail that would pair well with sidewalk sales and fireworks. My only hope for this drink is that my fellow Nazarenes would try it and find enjoyment in it. Please let me know if you do.
As always, thanks for reading.
And Happy Nazareth Day.