America is all about choice. We don’t necessarily need sixteen kinds of hamburgers, but we want sixteen kinds of hamburgers when we sit down at Bareburger, along with a half dozen ketchup choices. You could even argue that the problem with modern-day America is linked somehow to Choice Paralysis, the very real condition where having too many choices paradoxically makes it impossible to actually make a selection. We’re not politically gridlocked because of partisan politics—it’s too many cable channels.
Now bars are supposed to be all about choice. A great bar should be able to cater to the desires of its thirsty clientèle; if you want an Apple Martini they should be able to offer you one, and if you want an IPA with an IBU of 90 they should have at least one beer for you. But bars and restaurants sometimes specialize and become known for specific drinks, which means if you’re looking for one kind of cocktail you’d be well served to check that place out. Here are a couple of Hoboken spots that have refined specific cocktails so perfectly they’re known as the place to go for them.
This long-time Hoboken fixture is so well-associated with the Margarita their website is www.ilovemargaritas.com. The Mexican food at East L.A. is generally considered adequate; no one is writing epic poems about their burritos. The margaritas, on the other hand? Spectacular. Not only do they come in just about any flavor combo you can imagine, they’re huge (and pricey). The trick to eating at East L.A. is obviously to order a pitcher of margaritas immediately, drink it quickly, and then you won’t care so much about the food.
Cocktail: Bloody Mary
While their spinoff Jack & Co. on Clinton Avenue has closed up shop, Jack’s Cabin is still going strong as a cozy nightspot and brunch destination. One reason its brunch game is so strong? It’s become synonymous with the Bloody Mary. Jack or Jill’s Bloody Mary is a wonder of modern reinvention, using bacon-infused bourbon and garnished with a thick slice of bacon. It’s quickly becoming a Thing that any time someone is craving a Bloody Mary, they’re heading to Jack’s Cabin.
This might seem unfair; after all, how can a non-Cuban joint compete on Mojitos? It doesn’t matter, though; the fact is if you’re into Mojitos you more or less have a moral obligation to visit The Cuban and check out their offerings. From the classic cocktail you’re thinking of to splashier modern twists on the old recipe, their mojito list is long and strong. Considering how much work goes into a mojito, it’s well worth it to head out to have an expert make on for you, and while you can find excellent examples of the cocktail in other spots in town, The Cuban is making a name for itself with it.
Cocktail: Stewed Punch
If you’ve been sleeping on The Stewed Cow for a deep and creative bar experience, wake up. Aside from a lengthy whiskey list and deep beer offering, they’ve also got some very cool cocktail options guaranteed to make you sit up and take notice, and one that is quickly becoming their signature is the Stewed Punch. Punch is a loaded word in cocktail land, and that’s no joke here: It’s 100 proof strawberry shine, strawberry puree, dry curacao, and UFO Hefeweizen. MY GOD.
You can get a great cocktail just about anywhere in Hoboken, it’s true. These spots are offering specific cocktails that are so unusual, good, or simply excessive they’ve become permanently linked to them. Next time you’re looking for a good drink to kick off or end your day, check out one of these.