A Brief History and a Cocktail Contest Between Friends with……
It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, do you know where to celebrate this year? I may have an answer for you, or two, or
three…How you may ask? Well, take a seat on the barstool next to me and let’s have a chat. For this last month
I’ve had the privilege of meeting and dining with an eclectic bunch of restaurants and venues. Some more high end,
others perfect for just a quick night out. If you are a Newark resident I’m sure you have heard about a local business
called All Points West Distillery. What you might not know, however, is that All Points West Distillery has been having
a contest to crown some lucky venue their new Drink Newark cocktail winner. The contest is something that just might
help you find your new favorite place, and also try some amazing cocktails courtesy of the contestants involved.
First, let me tell you a little about this local distillery you may, or may not have come to know and love just yet.
Now what you may not know is Newark used to have 26 breweries with over 1000 saloons serving their products!
(Crazy!) The nightlife industry supported the music and comedy scenes putting Newark on the cultural map. Newark was a city that proudly provided its own products, made and served by the city’s most dedicated. Basically if you haven’t caught it, booze built this city, and when prohibition hit, speak easies became the answer. Cocktails were created, and Newark discovered
some of its finest celebrities in that era. All Points West Distillery is named after the Jersey Central Railroad originally
known as All Points West, which used to connect the Newark and Hudson ports with downtown Newark and the rest of
the country. Its goal is to bring back their lost heritage to its roots located right off Newark Bay. I had a chance to visit this awesome distillery, and instantly fell in love with its rich history and yes, its product! Their spirits ranging from Whisky, Gin, and Vodka, come complete with a “Trans-Atlantic” spin, American spirits influenced by European technique.
What started as an idea of bringing alcohol beverage production back to Newark, the idea for a cocktail contest
soon followed. Now knowing how it would be received, despite there being a rich history of alcohol production and
consumption in this town, the founders wondered if interest would be limited to the wealthy suburbs, or the upscale
Hudson County crowd. They took a chance. Insisting Newark’s spirits had a back story that needed to be shared,
and thus, the Drink Newark Contest took flight.
Bars and restaurants alike in the local Newark or Harrison area couldn’t resist the siren’s call, and the entries started
pouring in! Cocktails varied in taste and presentation, and all made from local ingredients. One thing is for sure, each
one brought something different to the table. Entries included:
• Ah Pizz’s All Points Sour consisting of All Points West Malt and Grain Pot Still Whisky
• Burger Bound’s Gin Tropical Peach consisting of Cathouse Gin
• Catas’ New Fashioned consisting of All Points West Malt and Grain Pot Still Whisky
• Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s Brick City Punch consisting of Bone Black Vodka
• Dutch’s Restaurant and Lounge’s Big Boy consisting of All Points West Malt and Grain Pot Still Whisky
•Eleven Clinton’s Ginger Bread Man consisting of All Points West Malt and Grain Pot Still Whisky
• Fornos of Spain Restaurant’s Ferry Street Fix, consisting of Bone Black Vodka, Cathouse Gin, and All Points West
Malt and Grain Pot Still Whisky
• Hells Kitchen Lounge’s Glitter Bomb consisting of Bone Black Vodka
• Kilkenny Alehouse’s The Newarker consisting of All Points West Malt and Grain Pot Still Whisky
• Nico’s Elderflower Royale consisting of Cathouse Gin and Bone Black Vodka
• Abbey’s Bar and Grill’s HTC Hyatt Court consisting of Bone Black 80
• The Station Bar and Bites at the Element Hotel’s Ferry St. Old Fashioned consisting of All Points West Malt and
Grain Pot Still Whisky
• Mompou’s All Points West Fall Escape consisting of All Points West Malt and Grain Pot Still Whisky.
So many options, so little time! People from far and wide were given the opportunity to try the cocktails listed above between November 15 to February 1, 2019 and cast their vote on
which entries should move on to the final round… Finalists have yet to be determined, but stick around, follow both
Drink Newark and All Points West Distillery’s instagram pages to stay informed. Both judges and finalists will be declared soon, with a finale in March 2019 to follow. Are you curious on who will be crowned “Newark’s Signature Cocktail”? I know I am! Stay tuned. Until then, cheers and happy drinking to you all!