Jersey City Business: Misunderstood Whiskey

Photo from @misunderstoodwhiskey Instagram

Photo from @misunderstoodwhiskey Instagram

I like whiskey. Always have. It takes something truly unique and special to snap me out of my usual order of a Jack neat when I cozy up next to the bar. Fortunately, unique and special is exactly what JD and Chris were looking for when they set out infusing dozens of whiskies in their home refrigerators in search of what would become the recipe behind Misunderstood Whiskey. They we’re looking for the perfect ingredient that would maintain all the great qualities of whiskey, but take away the sting that a lot of people don’t like. They eventually found the perfect blend - an 80 proof American blended whiskey, infused with ginger and born in some mason jars in their Jersey City apartment. Misunderstood Whiskey was born— distilled and bottled in Kentucky. It’s the perfect whiskey for whiskey novices, with some sweet vanilla tasting notes, but still strong enough for those of us that love to taste our alcohol.

 I was lucky enough to get some first hand cocktail tips from the guys themselves behind the bar at Luna Restaurant and Bar in Jersey City. Check out the recipes below for your festive holiday whiskey needs:

Bad Apple by LUNABad Apple by LUNA

+ Fresh juiced apple

+ 2 oz Misunderstood Ginger Spiced Whiskey 

+ Cinnamon stick Garnish 

Directions: Juice 1 fresh apple in mason jar with ice. Add whiskey. Stir and garnish with cinnamon stick. 

Dirty Jack Frost:

+ 5 oz Hot Cocoa

+ 1/4 oz Creme de menth

+ 1.5 oz Misunderstood Ginger Spiced Whiskey

+ Toasted Marshmallow Garnish 

Directions: Combine all ingredients in hot cup. Stir & serve. Garnish with Marshmallow. Serve warm. 

Dark Side of the Moon shot by LUNA

+1 oz Fernet Branca

+ 1 oz Misunderstood Ginger Spiced Whiskey

Directions: Pour into shot glass and enjoy.

For more information on our friends at Misunderstood Whiskey, check out their Instagram here and their website here. And don’t forget about our friends at Luna Restaurant and Bar here!

Local Beauty: Alivio Wellness


All that holiday stuffing got you feeling sluggish, bloated and uhh well…..constipated? Meet your colons new best friend, Adriana Vargas of Alivio (Spanish for Relief) Wellness.

Adriana, originally from West New York and now living in North Bergen, started experiencing digestive issues during college which eventually led her to a more natural and holistic approach to healing. She left her career in Tourism to focus on helping others suffering from stubborn colon issues by becoming a certified colon hydrotherapist.

So what is a colonic? Adriana explained the process to me: “I use the Woods Gravity Method which is the most natural and gentle method to clean the colon. The Woods Gravity Method uses purified water to gently cleanse the colon and remove waste”.  This is different from an enema because it has the ability to get much further into the colon and clean out toxins. The entire process takes 45 minutes to an hour.

Fun fact; the colon is about 5 feet long!  So even if you are pretty regular Adriana explains that it’s wise to get colonics a few times a year to clean out all that waste that your body isn’t dispensing on its own.   She recommends at least once each season, or if you are “detoxing” do a colonic before, during and after detox. There are a few things you need to do to prep for a colonic; two days prior cut out meat and dairy and incorporate more leafy greens and natural juices. No eating 3 hours prior to your colonic treatment and no drinking 1 hour prior.

Although the Woods Gravity Method used at Alivio Wellness is 100% natural there are some people that should not get colonics so it is recommended to consult with your physician prior to getting a colonic.  Additionally, you can read more about conditions that prohibit treatments as well as more about Adriana and Colon Hydrotherapy on Alivio’s website here and on Instagram here.   

So, go ahead, indulge! It is the holidays after all, so feel good knowing that relief or “alivio”  close at hand.

Kathleen Callahan is a NJ native, having left New Jersey to attend college at the University of North Carolina where she obtained her bachelors in Communications. She now resides in the heights section of Jersey City. After spending a twenty year career in the Ad Tech industry working in NYC, Kathleen decided to follow her true passion, skincare. She attended Atelier Esthetique Institute of Esthetics and obtained her Esthetics License. After working at several spas in NYC including Deify Beauty, Laser Lounge and Massage Envy she decided to start her own practice in New Jersey where she could focus on a more personal touch catering to her clients’ specific needs and preferences.

You can reach Kathleen through her Instagram or Facebook.

Union City Business: CAM Design CO.

I’m a sucker for “homemade” anything, especially gifts. Can you imagine having such a cool skill in 2018, when we as humans are lucky if we can move from using Outlook to Gmail seamlessly? And honestly, bonus points if you can not only make something that’s not only pretty, but actually useful in life. 


It seems to me if you want to find some skilled artisans in Hudson County, that are not only technically skilled but also make beautiful work, the Yardley Building in Union City is the place to be. Having featured 2 other businesses that are amazing, it was time to visit CAM Design Co, who I found on (where else) Instagram. Amazing with large pieces, I was very interested in owner Chris Miano’s smaller pieces he makes in his time lapse videos. 

Walking into these workspaces is always a little overwhelming to me— they’re filled with tools that I don’t understand, but I know can severely injure me. Chris’ space is also filled with what looks like an almost done dinning room table, ceramics he’s made and a kiln. He explains to me that he actually used to take a ceramics class at Parsons, taught by past featured artist Jono Pandolfi, and is actually how he found his space in the Yardley. 


He’s decided to make a butcher block and a charcuterie board. As we start sawing, sanding, glueing, staining, etc., Chris explains that often he receives wood in its most natural form, bark and all, and mills it down to workable pieces from there. 

Perhaps the coolest thing that Chris does, and what he calls his signature, is butterfly joinery. Seen in the charcuterie board we made in wood, he usually does it in a metal material. Although it’s beautiful, it’s actually used to stop wood from splitting, and a fairly meticulous process, requiring a tight, exact fit between the cutout space and the metal butterfly.  

Chris’ work is generally commissioned for large projects, but he’s making more small pieces. To snag one of his amazing pieces, you can contact him directly. And as always you can follow him on Instagram here and his website here

*All photos by Chris Miano.