Saturday, May 11, 2019

By Any Other Name

Red roses have had the symbolic meaning of love for centuries, with the origins traced back to Greek mythology. Aphrodite is usually cited as the source, perhaps from her tears, and the red color from her blood or from the blood of her lover Adonis.

Rose by Hideaki Kawashima

Karakuri Creation Group artist Hideaki Kawashima was compelled by this history to create a rose for the group’s “Sweets” themed exhibition. "Rose" was his fourth work with the group, designed as a gift for his friends who like roses. It’s a lovely puzzle box with overlapping concentric petals and a multistep sequential opening mechanism which is meant to represent the blooming of rose buds. His intention was to create an organic shape, which can be noted in the curves of some of the petals, but overall the structure remains a cube with an angular appearance. Kawashima notes that this is when he realized he was best suited for designing geometric forms. He has certainly produced some of the most amazing geometric creations since, although I would also note that he has successfully designed a few very beautiful non-geometric designs as well. He created a few versions of the Rose box, all of which are elegant, but I think this one, made from Rosewood, is particularly perfect.

Waiting to fully bloom ...

I’ve paired Kawashima’s Rose with another Rose, a classic cocktail from the turn of the twentieth century. The Jack Rose first appears in print around 1905 but surely was a staple well before then. The drink features Applejack, a spirit which has roots deep in American history. Laird and Co., America’s oldest operational distillery and the producer of the best known version of Applejack, was founded in 1780. The Jack Rose makes an appearance in Hemmingway’s 1926 classic “The Sun Also Rises”, and I’m particularly fond of literary cocktails.

Hide and Seek

For this variation, I’ve split the traditional base of Applejack with some Japanese whisky.  It adds a rich and smoky element, with notes of citrus and pear, to the drink, and enhances the apple flavor very nicely. To complement and reference the puzzle maker, I’ve named this version the “Hide and Seek”. Here’s to rich histories, classic symbols and sweet offerings. Cheers!

Japanese Rose

Hide and Seek

1 oz Hakushu whisky
1 oz Laird’s Applejack
¾ oz fresh lemon
¾ oz fresh grenadine

Shake ingredients together with ice and strain into a favorite glass. Garnish with a citrus peel rose.

By any other names, this pair would still be sweet

For more about Hideaki Kawashima:

For a prior Jack Rose:
You Don't Know Apple, Jack

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