Sorry, but there was no Jack who had a hand in naming the American brandy derived from cider, nor any John either, unless it may have been John Barleycorn.
Perhaps the tippler who first discovered that cider would ferment just happened to use the John-apple, so named because it ripened on or about St. John’s Day, June 24.
New Jersey, back in the early nineteenth century, was the great producer of applejack.
Hence, because of its prompt action, the brandy was also known as “Jersey lightning.”
New England was slow to adopt either name, preferring to call the juice by the more sedate name, “apple-john.”