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Unique Cocktails in NJ

Just looking to see if anyone has recommendations or even knows of any bars/restaurants/lounges that offer unique and/or traditional cocktails in NJ. I know I could go to Death & Co (E.Village) or the Clover Club (Brooklyn), but I would like to know about places that are local.

Maybe barrel aged cocktails, Sidecars, home made bitters & ingredients, something along those lines.

I love this place in Houston, Anvil Bar & Refuge, really cool place, each bartender gets his own station and they make precise unique drinks. They're trying to preserve the concept of the cocktail


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  1. I don't know if it's quite there, but I was impressed by what I saw at Bar Cara (Bloomfield) recently...

    Bar Cara
    1099 Broad St, Bloomfield, NJ 07003

    1. Not sure what area you're looking for, but if it's north, go see Andrew at Park West Tavern in Ridgewood.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tommy

        I'm in North Jersey (Bergen County) but I would totally be willing to travel within 25 miles of 07075. Thanks

      2. Not sure where your located but here are a couple you might like in Jersey City. Bar Majestic has nice cocktails and drinks, also has an interesting wine list.

        LITM is a bit different, combining art and alcohol :) Fun drinks, less interesting wine list.

        1 Reply
        1. If you're talking about going out in the City then this is certainly a hike for you... But if you ever find yourself over in the New Brunswick area definitely check out the bar at Catherine Lombardi. They do it the right way, I can assure you that. Also, if you're ever in the Princeton area Elements has a very interesting cocktail list. The only problem there is that they don't have much of a bar (only 4 stools), it's more of a 4-star restaurant that serves interesting drinks.



          Catherine Lombardi
          3 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

          1. Clydz in New Brunswick, Avenue in Long Branch

            55 Paterson St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

            1. The Watermark in Asbury Park is pretty damned good and creative.


                1. Thanks. I actually went to the Twisted Elm in Rochelle Park, (used to be the Barn), it's trendier now but not pretentious at all. The bartenders are finding their way and they have some interesting drinks; Blackberry-Pineapple Sidecar & a pretty good microbrew selection.

                  Tried to go to Park West Tavern in Ridgewood, but it was so packed.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fillyfilm

                    Park West does get packed, unfortunately with a lot of people drinking Coors Light and "whatever Chardonnay you have." I go early and leave early so I can be home in time for America's Got Talent.

                    Good to hear the Barn spot opened up as something halfway interesting. Last time I passed it there was nothing there at all.

                  2. Any advice on a nice cocktail lounge in the Mercer County area? We go to Rat's because it's very close to home, and have been to Pure on Route 1, but I'm really not familiar with any other places in the area. I'm hoping for a place where we can go strictly for a quality drink from a bartender who knows his/her art.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Citizen Rich

                      Peacock Inn, Princeton - Christopher is a long time Princeton fav. Previously held court at Lahiere's. The lounge at the Peacock is a nice enough room with a large bar and a couple coveted booths for enjoying your cocktails and your company.

                      One 53, Rocky Hill - Craig is our favorite bartender between here and NYC. 13 chairs at his bar are always filled with people enjoying his cocktails, the very good food and each other's company. Not a lounge like Rat's or Peacock, but still our local fav for an enjoyable evening and well mixed drinks.

                      1. re: Foody4life

                        Verve in Somerville does some interesting drinks. I know the head bartender there is pretty big into mixology

                        1. re: Foody4life

                          Thanks. We actually ate dinner at the Peacock Inn last month and I didn't even notice that they had a bar. We loved our dinner, so I'll definitely check it out. Rocky Hill is a little out of the way for a drink, but after googling the place, I've added it to the "places to eat" list.

                          1. re: Citizen Rich

                            One 53's our weekly night out. Best on their current menu are the BLT skewers (pre-ap), chilled seafood salad (ap) and softshell crab (special entree). Their double cut pork chop is outstanding and if you get anything with fries, order the truffle mayo.

                            Also, if you enjoying dining at the bar, One 53 is your spot. J and I always dine at the bar, as do many others.