Where to Enjoy Summer Cocktails in NJ

Whether you're trying to cool off or just kick back, toast the season with a drink at these 12 restaurants and bars.

summer cocktails
Mango Mojito from Beachwood at the Dunes in Sea Isle City. Photo courtesy of Beachwood at the Dunes

After a long summer day—at the beach, on the lake, at work or at home—a refreshing drink certainly hits the spot. Right now, restaurants and bars all over New Jersey are serving colorful and creatively crafted summer cocktails. Here are some of our favorites.

Beachwood at the Dunes

Sea Isle City

Margaritas, mules and mojitos are the stars of Beachwood’s summer cocktail menu. Try the Passionfruit or Hibiscus Margarita (made with tequila, triple sec, lemon-lime juice and hibiscus), Summer Mule (orange-infused vodka, lime juice and ginger beer) or the Mango & Strawberry Mojitos for something sweet.

Beachwood at the Dunes, 8600 Landis Ave., Sea Isle City; 609-263-3627

Juniper Hill

Annandale

A refreshing new drink is stepping out here. The Tastes Like Another is made with Buffalo Trace whiskey, house-infused sage green tea, fresh yuzu and lemon. For a drink with more kick, try The Booze Cruise’s Revival, a medley of Plantation double-oaked rum, white rum, Aperol, passionfruit, nutmeg, lime and Angostura bitters. Its tangerine color recalls summer sunsets.

Juniper Hill, 73 Beaver Ave., Annandale; 908-335-8905

Hudson Hound

Jersey City

Also summoning sunsets, Hudson Hound’s Golden Hour is named for its light orange color. It’s made with Tito’s Vodka, Cointreau, passionfruit juice and Campari, and garnished with fresh basil. By the way, though the Lady Lavender looks like pink lemonade, don’t be fooled! It’s packed with Salcombe Rose Gin, lavender syrup, lemon juice and Prosecco, and comes served with a large lemon slice.

Hudson Hound, 8 Erie St., Jersey City; 201-630-8559

Iron Whale

Asbury Park

This Shore spot has a whole menu dedicated to cocktails as vibrant as they are delicious. The Aviation, radiant purple in a tall glass, is made with Empress 1908, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur and creme de violette. Made to keep you cool, the Summer Blossom comprises Grey Whale Gin, Starlino Rose, Soho Lychee, pineapple syrup and club soda.

Iron Whale, 1200 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park; 732-361-5185

summer cocktails

Carolina Cooler from Skunktown Distillery in Flemington. Photo by Andrew Farinaccio

Skunktown Distillery

Flemington

The distillery’s Carolina Cooler is made with muddled jalapeño and mint, Skunktown’s Spicy Vodka and watermelon juice. The ingredients combine to create a sweet heat—fiery and fruity—and the light pink color is perfect for summer. Skunktown also makes their own version of a Mule with their Apple Pie Moonshine, ginger beer and a lime garnish.

Skunktown Distillery, 12 Minneakoning Rd., Flemington; 908-824-7754

The Meeting House

Princeton

There’s nothing quite like tequila in the summer. On that front, The Meeting House has you covered with their seasonal summer cocktails. The Queen of the South is made with tequila, orange-grapefruit liquor, lime and guava, combined to create a light pink refresher. The Ella, on the other hand, has tequila, grapefruit liqueur, Aperol, fresh lime, ginger beer and black spiced rum.

The Meeting House, 277 Witherspoon St., Princeton; 609-436-7891

Heirloom Kitchen

Old Bridge

This BYO serves excellent zero-proof cocktails, such as the Piña Para La Niña, a tempting combination of sweet and salty. Made with soda and pineapple-chipotle jam, it pairs beautifully with mezcal or tequila. The La Niña Fres, made with refreshing strawberries and gochujang, also goes great with tequila.

Heirloom Kitchen, 3853 County Rd. 516, Old Bridge; 732-727-9444

The Hill

Closter

Try a bourbon cocktail at The Hill—Amaro Montenegro, Grand Mariner, yuzu, basil and Woodford Reserve Bourbon combine to create the soft yellow New Yu. The Crooked Smile, pastel pink and paired with a lime wedge, features Casamigos Tequila, blood orange and ginger.

The Hill, 252 Schraalenburgh Rd., Closter; 201-899-4700

Merryman’s Pub

Pitman

Sip a Summer Daze from this South Jersey pub that makes cocktails as pretty as they are inventive. Homemade lavender-honey lemonade and Empress 1908 gin combine to make a purple and peach–colored swirl. Merryman’s also has a catalogue of cocktail specials, including the Hendricks Cooler (made with gin, fresh mint, lime and cucumber), Passion Fruit Martini and more.

Merryman’s Pub, 106 S Broadway, Pitman; 856-270-2252

Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen

Morristown

After officially reopening in late May, JHBK has crafted a special seasonal cocktails menu. Summer cocktails include the Surf Viking (made with rum, Aquavit, lime, banana, honey and salt), Cuckoo for Coco Shrubs (St. George green chile vodka, sour cherry shrub, lime, coconut and lemongrass) and Mellow Yellow No. 2 (gin, yellow chartreuse, Luxardo bitter, Cocchi Americano and Reagan’s No. 6 grapefruit oil). Guests can even ask for the “Name Your Spirit”—a surprise cocktail from the bartender.

Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, 110 South St., Morristown; 973-644-3180

Battello

Jersey City

Enjoy a cocktail on the Hudson paired with beautiful views of Manhattan. The Resting Bloom Face is a new potion made up of Bloom gin, Chinola passionfruit liquor, lime, Blanco Vermouth, simple syrup and yuzu concentrate, topped with Prosecco. For those extra hot summer days, Battello’s has new frozen cocktails to keep you cool, such as the Bae Watch, which combines vodka, Aperol, fresh lemon, peach and rosé.

Battello, 502 Washington Blvd., Jersey City; 201-798-1798

Aarzu

Freehold

In the mood for a zero-proof cocktail? This BYO has just what you’re looking for. Made with fresh fruits, juices and other flavorful ingredients, they’re sure to keep you refreshed. Try the Spicy Guava (made with guava juice, red chili pepper and black salt), Mango Moscow Mule (mango juice, ginger beer, mint and lime), Anar Sangria (pomegranate, cranberry, orange juice and apple) or Mango Lassi (sweet yogurt and fresh mango pulp).

Aarzu, 30 E Main St., Freehold; 732-333-0933

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