The herbaceous and sweet liqueurs in the Union Jack cocktail are layered until you gently tilt the glass and sip, creating a wonderful blend of flavors. Invented sometime in the 1800s, the layered Union Jack cocktail will certainly impress your British friends.
This is a cocktail made for beauty, not function. The taste is average, with the more adventuresome finding it “interesting.” No matter your glass of choice, play with ingredients to be equaling parts. You’ll notice with the shape of the glass I used in this, the Maraschino liqueur looks less than 1/3.
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Cocktail Layering Tips
Pour your measured liquids slowly and adjust slightly as necessary. I used a wider spoon to help spread out the liquids and reduce the amount of force and mixing going on, in order to keep them separated.
Patience will be your biggest asset. If the different ingredients do mix, let the drink sit and wait for them to separate.
These specific ingredients are used due to their differences in viscosity. As far as layered cocktails go, you’ll find this one to be an easy introduction to practice with.
History Theories of the Union Jack Cocktail
You might be wondering why these colors were used, despite the Union Jack being red, white, and blue. What’s with the green? I have a couple possible theories.
The Flag of Wales, is a red dragon with green and white. The Welsh are the only part of the kingdom not actually represented in the Union Jack flag. So perhaps creating a Union Jack drink using the Welsh colors is a tongue in cheek British humor thing.
As they say cheers in Welsh, “Lechyd da!”
My other, the least likely theory: The British Heligoland, or Holy Land, was part of the British Empire at several points. In relation to the period upon which the drink was created: Between 1807 to 1890, the Heliogoland was part of the United Kingdom, and from 1945 to 1952, the land was managed by the UK.
What’s your theory for the colors behind the Union Jack?
Union Jack Cocktail
- Wide spoon
- Liqueur glass
- 1 oz Grenadine
- 1 oz Maraschino liqueur
- 1 oz Green chartreuse
- Use a liqueur glass. Pour ingredients very carefully and slowly over the back of a shallow spoon to ensure they do not mix.
From recipes using locally sourced ingredients and terroir-centric cooking, craft cocktails, to the latest in tech and home DIY projects, Michael yearns to share his learned and found knowledge of the world.