I wouldn’t say my home state of New Jersey is know for cocktails….come to think of it, I can’t think of any form of alcohol it’s really known for. Maybe over indulgence. But I believe in smashing stereotypes, so it was with an open mind and mouth that I visited the Garden State last week. My first stop was at the lovely Tewksbury inn — it was a wine night but I managed to sneak one drink. I sadly can’t find their cocktail menu so I’ve forgotten the exact ingredients other than the strong whiskey and orange bitters — this was a powerful drink that quickly smacks you in the face. It was good, one to savor. I was impressed with the variety the restaurant–which looks a little sleepy on the outside–offered, so get out there and throw a few down.
With a hour-long torrential downpour in the background, it was a fitting day to visit the Shipwreck Grill. This is where I had one of my favorite cocktails which, luckily, they added that very day: the Gin and Jam. Simple, lemon juice, gin, and blueberry preserves. Money, absolutely money — the blueberry tinge was just strong enough and worked perfectly with the lemon spark and gin burn. Ah my mouth is watering as I write this:
I then had the watermelon sangria. It was fine but watermelon continues to underwhelm as a cocktail base (more on that later):
Also scored one last cocktail at Delicious Heights. This place was fun and had a ton of attractive cocktail offerings — unfortunately, I only had time for one and made a poor choice with the Mayflower, which brings Lillet Blanc, Raspberry Tea, Pomegranate Juice, and Burlesque Bitters. Sounds delicious right? But it just didn’t work and ended up being watery and forgettable.
But I wasn’t just in receive mode — even without my home tools, I was responsible for the Watermelon Margaritas at a family party. The recipe was pretty simple but challenged me to do two new things – 1. deshell an entire watermelon and 2. use an automatic citrus juicer. The first is actually surprisingly easy — take a look at this video provided by Cooking Light:
And here’s the recipe: