VUE | Spring 2020

The Digest | New Jersey Magazine

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Page 115 of 163

BY P E T E R C A N D I A | P H OTO G R A P HY BY P E T E R B O N AC C I A LOOK INTO THE STATE OF CRAFT COCKTAILS IN NEW JERSEY AT JOCKEY HOLLOW'S VAIL BAR, AS THEY REIMAGINE THE CLASSICS IN THEIR NEW SPRING MENU. t's an overcast day in early February. Jon Coklyat sparks a flame to a stick of fresh cinnamon and sets it atop one of his brand new cocktails, the Space Viking. As the flame turns to smoke, a satisfyingly sweet aroma invades the entirety of Jockey Hollow's 1920s-style Vail Bar. One sip of Cokylat's latest creation—featuring notes of dill and lemon verbena—is all it takes to haul me into the season ahead. Moreover, I am instantly reminded of just how far cocktail culture in New Jersey has come. e last decade or so has brought much-needed rejuvenation to the world of cocktails in the restaurant and bar scene. Whether it's the use of modern technology and accessibility to fresh ingredients to make fun and contemporary drinks, or the revival of the classics and all of the variations that come along with it, it goes without saying that the state of cocktails is currently at an all-time high. It is almost expected for a restaurant serving quality food to have drinks that match the level of talent. Bartenders and chefs work in tandem to make a memorable experience for the diner. If I am being presented with top-notch food on my plate, why shouldn't the drink in my glass be of a similar level? Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen in Morristown, New Jersey has been displaying this to a soaring degree since renowned restaurateur Chris Cannon opened its doors five years ago. Bar manager Jon Coklyat utilizes seasonality and extensive knowledge of the classics to his advantage when creating his cocktail list at Jockey Hollow. Recently, he finalized his menu for the spring season, and to no one's surprise, the level these drinks can elevate your dining or drinking experience to surpass any of the past. Coklyat takes you on a journey through drink history with his riffs on classic cocktails but keeps you in the present by toying with a modern approach. Craft Culture V U E N J . C O M 116

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