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!

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.

Jersey City Business: Little Batch Candle Company


People are NUTS about candles. I've been known to spend a little too much time in the candle isle at Target (they're cheap, smell good, in pretty containers, and don't usually say a name brand all over them), but I've generally always considered nice candles (i.e: not Glade or Ikea) to be a luxury item. Then there are other people, like Andrew Kreup, who realized that he was spending far too much money on candles and decided to start making them himself. 

Enter Little Batch Candle Company. One day Andrew decided to buy a candle making kit and it's grown from there. Andrew's handmade, soy wax candles come in over 20 amazing scents. And absolutly true story, his candles smell so fantastic that the HudsonCounty60 Director, SanMartin Garcia, became one of those crazy candle people overnight.

Going into this shoot I thought this was going to be child's play-- melt some wax pour it in, add a dash of this and a spritz of that, and voila! No, no, no, my friends. There is actual MATH that goes into making candles that don't just combust in your face because of too much fragrance. Wax needs to be the right temperature, things are weighed, the stars must align. And this is all proprietary information, in that each candle maker has their own temperatures, weights, etc. that make their candles their specific formula. Plus, let's not forget the whole part where you have to get the scent formula correct.


What I personally find most fascinating about Andrew and Little Batch is that this is his “money job”. As an artist in any capacity— writer, singer, actor, dancer, host, director, etc.— generally has to have a second job to make ends meet. I personally have done everything from waiting tables, bartending, temping etc., as has pretty much every actor under the son, but Andrew, a stage performer, was tired of that. He found a way to make this whole other side job, that he also really enjoys, and turn that into his money job. He doesn’t have to report to anyone except himself and he makes his own hours. Maybe it’s because of my personal experiences, but I really admire his gumption and success. 

With clean lines and a simple aesthetic, Little Batch Candles are really pretty in any room in your home, and the scents really help complete the rooms feel. They’re the perfect holiday gift for friends, family, co-workers, and anyone else on your gift list! To learn more about Little Batch Candle Company check them out on Instagram here, the website here or even better, buy them here!