Jersey Devil Cocktail

Mastoris Restaurant in Bordentown, NJ, serves a "Jersey Devil cocktail" which is named after the infamous Jersey Devil of folklore.
Jersey Devil Cocktail
1 1/2 parts applejack
1/2 part Curacao triple sec liqueur
cranberry juice cocktail (to taste)
splash of sour mix
Mastoris Restaurant is located at 144 U.S. 130 Bordentown Township, NJ 08505. (609) 298-4650. The cocktail isn't on the menu anymore, but if a customer asks for it the bartender will mix it up. I requested the recipe today (November 10, 2012).

Applejack is a strong alcoholic beverage made of concentrated hard cider. The traditional method of making applejack involved freeze distillation. This beverage can also be make with true evaporative distillation. A slang expression for applejack was "Jersey Lightning." Sour mix (or sweet and sour mix) is a mixer of lemon, lime, and sugar commonly used in mixing cocktails.

The Mastoris wine menu lists a "Jersey Devil Port" wine, made by Valenzano Winery & Vineyard.

Jersey Devil?

The Jersey Devil is a legendary creature which is said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey, USA.

According to Weird NJ, "Without a doubt, New Jersey’s oldest, most enduring, and important pieces of folklore is the tale of the infamous Jersey Devil. For close to three hundred years now, Jerseyans have told tales of this mythical beast that stalks the Pine Barrens and terrorizes local residents."
--Weird NJ, The Jersey Devil , Aug 7, 2012, accessed 11/10/12.

According to sundry stories, the Lenni Lenape tribes called the area around the Pine Barrens, Popuessing, which supposedly meant "place of the dragon." It is also alleged that Swedish explorers called this same area, "Drake Kill." A "kill" was a Swedish word for "spring," "stream," "river," etc. The word "drake" is a word for "dragon."

Thus some claim some cryptid, roaming the Pine Barrens, is responsible for the legend. I personally do not think a cryptid (a hidden or unknown animal) has been bounding around Pine Barrens since either the 18th or 19th century. Jeff Brunner, director of development for the Humane Society of New Jersey and longtime Jersey Devil buff, named the sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) as a possible source of Jersey Devil sightings. Accoording to Brunner, "It probably is, if anything, a sandhill crane. They're about 4 feet high, which is the same height the Jersey Devil is [by most accounts]; it has about an 80-inch wingspan; it avoids man, and will fight if it's confronted. It also has a very loud scream, like the Jersey Devil is supposed to have." --as quoted by Frank Lewis, in The Devil Went Down To Jersey, October 23-30, 1997, Philadelphia City Paper archives 1995-2010, accessed 11/10/12.

A woman named "Mother Leeds" has become attached to the the Jersey Devil legend.

According to one version of the legend, Mother Leeds suffered in an impoverished and unhappy marriage to a drunkard. She had born this man 12 live children, and had several miscarriages. When she discovered herself to be pregnant again, she said prophetically, "If I am to bare a 13th child, it will be born a devil." (Other versions claim she said something just as odd like, "To the Devil with this child," or "Let this one be a devil!")

On a stormy night in 1735, Mother Leeds was in labor. Gathered around her were the townswomen to assist in the birthing. Some were familiar with the rumors that she had cursed her unborn child.

Some versions of legend say that the 13th child of Mrs. Leeds was born grotesque, with both human and monsterous features. One description says the creature was a biped born with a horse's head, bat-like wings, hooved feet, and a forked tail. Moments after its birth, the creature sprang out of the midwife's hands and then flew up and out of the chimney.

The Leeds' "13th child" was born normal, but rapidly transformed into the Leeds Devil. As the midwife sputtered, "What in the name of God--" the hellish creature emitted a blood-curdling scream, attacked the midwife, and flew up the chimney.

In any case, the Mother Leeds' devil was supposed to have circled the villages and then headed toward the pines.

In 1740, a clergyman exorcised this spirit, banishing the hellion for 100 years. Thus the creature eventually known as the "Jersey Devil" or "Leeds Devil" wasn't seen again until 1890.

Other versions of the legend claim that "Mother Leeds" was a witch. Hence this devil, which Mother Leeds birthed, was no natural child by her lawful husband. It was an imp, the barin of the auld Serpent, the Great Dragon himself.

Other versions claim Mrs. Leeds became pregnant due to a sexual affair with an Italian Catholic priest.

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