Pier 115, New Jersey
Jutting out into the Hudson River in Edgewater, New Jersey is Pier 115 Bar & Grill. On the other side of the river, you’d pay through the nose for a view this good. With a perfect view of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, there are few more welcoming spots, making this “American Gastro pub” a destination in its own right. Though we visit during the day, it’s the nights where Pier 115 really hits its stride. The parties are the stuff of legend.
Our host for the day is Albert Martinez who, after serving in the Marines, took some time to hone his craft in the cocktail bars of Miami. Now, as one of Pier 115’s most accomplished cocktail-makers, he’s more likely to be making a martini than a mojito; but that sits just fine with him. The drinks menu, like the food menu, is constantly evolving. The guys on the other side of the bar know that they can’t afford to be complacent. Yet despite this, one cocktail has been ever present over the last 3 years. It’s gin based and called (fittingly), “Bliss”. This ultra-cooling and refreshing drink mixes the blueberry flavours of Brockmans with cucumber. Served short, it’s exactly the kind of drink you’d want on a sunny day. Or not if you don’t intend on sinking several in one go. But that’s not the drink we try on the day. Albert might not admit it but he’s something of an alchemist when it comes to mixing drinks. Whether it’s the sun showing its face for the first time in a while or because he’s happy to meet us for the first time, we get a riff on the Bliss. We get made a Secret Bliss.
Describe Pier 115 in a few words
A great experience. From the food to the cocktails. I’ve been here 2 years and people come here for the atmosphere.
Best thing you’ve overheard at a bar?
Ok, I’m not sure I should tell you this but this one time I heard a girl’s husband asking a guy to sleep with his wife while he watched in a corner.
Why do you think gin is so popular?
Because it’s got flavour compared with vodka.
What is it about Brockmans that appeals to you?
It’s good quality. The Bliss has been on the menu forever so the customers must like it too.
If you could have one last drink before you died, what would you choose?
Old Fashioned with Rye. It’s a classic.
- 10ml Lime juice
- 10ml Agave syrup
- Muddled cucumber
- 35ml Brockmans
- 25ml St Germain elderflower liqueur
- Chianti float
- Smoked rosemary to garnish
Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Pour into a collins glass full of ice. Pour small amount of Chianti over. Singe a sprig of rosemary and add to glass.