Let me start by saying this: I love a good cocktail. The tropical sweetness of a Rum Punch on the beach. The crisp, briny flavor of a Dirty Martini after dark. The spiced and savory sip of a Bloody Mary at brunch. Oh and my favorite sound? The satisfying "pop" of a bottle of Prosecco right before it's poured over muddled strawberries, lemon juice and simple syrup. Yup, it's safe to say I love a good cocktail. So when the fab folks at NewarkHappening.com sent me on a mission to find the Top Ten Cocktails in the city, I took the task quite seriously.

You see crafting a good cocktail is more than just adding two parts this and one part that. The best bartenders are artisans, skilled in the craft of the mixed drink and all about the details. They know just how many shakes create the consummate chill, where to precisely place the perfect piece of garnish, when to expertly float ingredients to create lovely layers, and can balance the bitter with the sweet to create bliss in a glass. Most importantly, they get you wicked drunk.

With all of this in mind, myself and a few brave friends visited all some of the best bars, lounges and restaurants in Newark to compile a list of Newark's Top Ten Cocktails Right Now! Grab a designated driver and dig in!

Lady Blue Mirror:

 

Lady Blue Mirror

 

Where to Find It: Blue Mirror Restaurant 

Neighborhood: University Heights

Ambiance: Dark and sensual vibe

Ingredients: Absolut Vodka, Malibu Coconut Rum, Dekuyper Peachtree Schnapps and Blue Curacao

Cost: $6 during happy hour/$9 regularly

Why We Love It: Blue, fruity and packing a rum punch, this tropical delight tastes just like an instant vacation. At just $6 during happy hour, ladies and the gentlemen who love them will seriously enjoy the great value of the Lady Blue.

 

Cathy's Cocktail:

 

Where to Find It: Mr. Adams Steakhouse
 
Neighborhood: Downtown 

Ambiance: Bright and airy sports bar by day, candlelit and crowded at night
Ingredients: Grey Goose Vodka, Pomegranate, Strawberry and "Squished" Limes 

Cost: $9

Why We Love It: Cathy was kind enough to make us her specialty, and it is an eye opener! In terms of both taste and brute strength, this one is seriously on another level. Not into vodka? She'll also make it for you with either Hennessy or Jameson. 
Cathy's Cocktail - Mr. Adams Steakhouse & Sports Bar

 

Housemade Manhattan:

 

Housemade Manhattan - Nico Kitchen

 

Where to Find It: Nico Kitchen + Bar
 
Neighborhood: Downtown


Ambiance: Subdued and sophisticated
Ingredients: Seagram's VO Whisky, sweet and dry vermouth, bitters

Cost: $12

Why We Love It: This ultra smooth version of the classic cocktail is barrel-aged in-house for six weeks, giving the ingredients an oak-y flavor that takes the bite out. Perfect for an after work or pre-show sip and sure to impress your dinner companions.

 

 

Passion Fruit Sangria:

 

Where to Find It: Sagres Bar Restaurant

Neighborhood: Ironbound

Ambiance: Intimate space, packed at night

Ingredients: Brandy, Peach Schnapps, Triple Sec, Orange Juice, White Wine, Passion Fruit Juice, Fruits 

Cost: $8.50 a glass, Half Pitcher $13, Full Pitcher $24

Why We Love It: Craving sangria? You really can't go wrong at Sagres, with five awesome made-to-order versions available (Red, White, Blue, Passion Fruit and Caribbean). We adored the Passion Fruit, it's sweet with a serious zing! 
Passion Fruit Sangria - Sagres

 

Vermont Laundry:

 

Vermont Laundry - The Monk Room
Where to Find It: The Monk Room

Neighborhood: Downtown 

Ambiance: Cool and trendy, hipster chic

Ingredients: Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Lemon Juice, Maple, Cayenne Pepper

Cost: $10

Why We Love It: Ever tried the Master Cleanse? It's better with bourbon! Of the many cocktails on this cheeky menu that are above average, we loved the spicy kick of cayenne that followed every sip of the Vermont Laundry.

 

 

Dia de los Muertos:

Dia de los Muertos- Hell's Kitchen Lounge Where to Find It: Hell's Kitchen Lounge

Neighborhood: Ironbound

Ambiance: Eclectic and lounge-y fun

Ingredients: Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, Guava Nectar, Fresh Muddled Lime, Chili Peppers and a Salted Rim

Cost: $10

Why We Love It: Not your mama's margarita, this one bites you back! Matching the ambiance of Hell's Kitchen, this devilish drink is both sweetly refreshing and seriously spicy.

 

 

Creme Brulee Martini:

 

 
Where to Find It: Manu's Sushi Lounge

Neighborhood: Ironbound
   
Ambiance: Sexy date night vibe

Ingredients: Cake Flavored Vodka, Licor 43, Heavy Cream, Caramel Drizzle 

Cost: $12

Why We Love It: Can't decide between dessert and a nightcap? Have both with this dessert cocktail at Manu's. Super delicious and creamy, it's perfect for sharing and letting the evening intoxicate you... 
Creme Brulee Martini - Manu's Tapas and Sushi

 

Sweet Jimi:

Sweet Jimi - Nico Kitchen Where to Find It: Nico Kitchen + Bar


Neighborhood: Downtown

Ambiance: Subdued and sophisticated
Ingredients: Hendricks Gin, Creme de Cassis, Tonic

Cost: $11

Why We Love It: Named after Jimi Hendrix and featuring Hendricks Gin, the deep and dark flavor of this refined drink made us want to keep sipping, and the upscale atmosphere of Nico made us want to sit and stay a while. 

Mango Martini:

 

 
Where to Find It: Martini 494

Neighborhood: Downtown 

Ambiance: Upscale professional lounge 
Ingredients: Skyy Vodka, Mango Pucker, Mango Puree, Fresh Raspberry Garnish 

Cost: $9

Why We Love It: Who doesn't love mango? And this one is highly spirited! The inclusion of puree is what takes this cocktail over the top, resulting in a luscious and substantial mango flavor. Yum.
 
Mango Martini - Martini 494

 

Tropical Martini:

Tropical Martini - 27 Mix 

Where to Find It: 27 Mix

Neighborhood: Downtown

Ambiance: Relaxed metro feel

Ingredients: Stoli Peachnik Vodka, Malibu Rum, Peach Schnapps, Orange, Pineapple & a Splash of Grenadine

Cost: $12

Why We Love It: Is it 5 o'clock yet? Let's pretend it is and order up a Tropical Fusion! The perfect drink to order at happy hour after a long day, it's reinvigorating, fruity and smooth. Warning: you may end up gulping it like fruit punch.

 

 

Lauren Craig, also known as InaWordFab, is the Glambassador of all things fashion, art and entertainment in Newark. When she isn't busy practicing law or watching reality television, Lauren is devoted to inspiring others to live their most fab and fulfilling life...and world peace. Visit inawordfab.com for more and be sure to follow her life in the fab lane@inawordfab on Twitter and Instagram.