When I heard a new Speakeasy was opening up in Hoboken I was so excited. Nothing at all against the Hoboken crowd, but we needed a bar that could refresh the Hoboken bar scene. More cocktail bar than Speakeasy, The Winston helps fill that void. Sure, there’s still Bud Light on the menu, but you can get a really nice looking and tasting cocktail also, and that’s really the focus.
Hector Noelle, Beverage Director, designs the cocktails, and as he says, likes to “get weird” with them. He takes classic cocktails and gives them a fun new spin, which I found to actually be well executed. I even appreciate the classic Hoboken bar offerings (Bud Light, Coors Light, Patron) because it makes nice cocktails accessible to everyone.
Hector first makes the “Seeking Perfection”, a play on the classic Gin and Tonic. In his version he uses Hendricks Gin, simple syrup, lavendar bitters, tonic, and an amazing thing called b’Lure Flower Extract. b’Lure is an extract that starts blue and changes to purple based on the Ph levels of what it’s mixed with. In this instance, the tonic water triggers the color change reaction, which is why the cocktail is presented in two parts: in an oil and vinegar cruet— separating the booze components with the b’Lure and the tonic and lime juice component— and the empty coup glass garnished with a lemon slice and burnt Rosemary for the aromatics. The cocktail is definitely showy, but it actually tastes good. I’ve never been much of a gin person, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Next up was the “Dunkirk", a Oaxaca take on an Old Fashion. Hector starts by torching a cinnamon stick and turning a glass upside down over it, smoking up the glass. He then mixes habanero shrub, orange bitters and agave, replacing the muddled orange slice, maraschino cherry and sugar from the classic recipe. He then adds El Buho Mezcal and Patron Silver. I genuinely loved this drink. The cinnamon smoke and mezcal give the drink the smokiness you expect and want from an Old Fashion, while the habanero adds a nice little extra burn. It’s the perfect fall day drink in my opinion.
I’m personally happy to see that Hoboken Nightlife is starting to shed its Frat boy image, even if just a little. Make sure to give The Winston a try because we need more establishments like it in town! For more information check out The Winston website here, and their Instagram here.