Colorful, Spicy Fall Cocktail Recipes from Top New Jersey Bartenders

Restaurant Serenade's Stone Fence Courtesy of Restaurant Serenade

Bartenders from some of New Jersey’s top restaurants shared fall cocktail recipes with NJ NEXT that are as colorful and enchanting as autumn leaves. Whether you’re hosting a get-together and want to impress your guests, or you simply want to toast the arrival of crisp weather, these elixirs will do the trick.

Editor’s note: this article was originally published in November 2017.

Restaurant Serenade’s Stone Fence

Nancy Laird, who owns Chatham’s Restaurant Serenade with her husband, critically-acclaimed Chef James Laird, shared one of the upscale eatery’s perennial fall cocktails: the Stone Fence.

Stone Fence
Courtesy of Restaurant Serenade


2 oz. Maker’s Mark bourbon
5 oz. fresh apple cider
0.5 oz. fresh lemon juice

3 dashes of simple syrup, optional
apple slice for garnish
cherry for garnish

Combine all (except garnish) in shaker with ice.  Shake to combine.

Strain over ice into an old-fashioned glass.

Garnish with an apple slice and cherry.

Restaurant Serenade is located at 6 Roosevelt Ave. in Chatham. Call 973-701-0303 or visit the restaurant’s website for more information.

Rails Steakhouse ‘s Perfect Rose

When a restaurant boasts its own speakeasy, you know the drinks are going to be something special. Arthur Giron, general manager at Rails, offered the Towaco-based steakhouse’s recipe for The Perfect Rose.

The Perfect Rose
Courtesy of Rails Steakhouse


1.5 oz Hendricks
0.5 oz St. Germain
0.5 oz sour mix
0.5 oz lime juice
1 oz cucumber juice
1 Mint Leaf
Garnish with thin cucumber slice

Rails Steakhouse is located at 10 Whitehall Rd. in Towaco. Call 973-335-0006 or visit the restaurant’s website for more information.

Summit House’s Bullet Train 

Located just blocks from the Hilltop City’s train station, Summit House pays homage to the rails, and the commuters who deserve a drink after riding them, with cleverly-named cocktails. Lead bartender Bobby Frascella shared his recipe for The Bullet Train, a concoction that pairs perfectly with the restaurant’s Sunday brunch menu.

The Bullet Train
Courtesy of Summit House

The Bullet Train is one of lead bartender Bobby Frascella’s latest brunch drinks.
Courtesy of Summit House

The Bullet Train

2oz carrot juice
1.5 oz Mizbasho Ginjo sake
0.5 oz Fords Gin
0.5 oz honey syrup
0.25 oz lemon juice
0.25 oz yuzu juice

Shake all ingredients and strain over ice in Collins glass. Garnish with a shiso leaf and lemon wheel.

Summit House is located at 395 Springfield Ave. in Summit. Call 908-273-6000 or visit the restaurant’s website for more information.

Moonshine’s Blood Sugar Sex Magic

Millburn-based Moonshine named this spicy drink for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song, explained the Supper Club’s Bar Manager Nicole Castro Garro.

Moonshine Supper Club’s Blood Sugar Sex Magic is prepared with the restaurant’s own hot chili pepper syrup.
Courtesy of Moonshine Supper Club

Blood Sugar Sex Magic

1 oz Mezcal
1 oz Rye
1 oz apricot liquor
0.75 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz hot chili pepper syrup

It’s all shaken and strained into a martini glass and garnished with a candied habanero pepper, Castro Garro added.

Moonshine Supper Club is located at 55 Main St. in Millburn. Call 908-218-6042 or visit the restaurant’s website for more information.

If you’re preparing to sample cocktails for the holiday season, you’ll be hard pressed to find one as festive as Morris Tap & Grill’s Northern Belle.

The Northern Belle is garnished with a spring of sugared rosemary.
Courtesy of Morris Tap & Grill

Northern Belle

1.25 oz citrus vodka
0.75 oz rosemary simple syrup
0.50 oz cranberry juice
muddled cranberries

Top with Prosecco, garnish with a sugared rosemary sprig, and serve in a wine glass

Morris Tap & Grill is located at 500 Route 10 West in Randolph. Call 973-891-1776 or visit the restaurant’s website for more information.