I was lucky enough to be among the judges for Jersey Shore Restaurant Week's Great Jersey Shore Martini Contest yesterday at The Mill in Spring Lake Heights.

We got to sample got great creations, but two were crowned as winners.

Judges' Choice went to Lauren of FISH Urban Dining in Asbury Park for her Fat Apple martini.

Judges Choice winner Lauren
Judges' Choice winner Lauren presents the Fat Apple. (Laurie Cataldo)

It was a strong drink made with Van Gogh Wild Apple vodka, garnished with a piece of bacon covered in thick caramel sauce. Lauren recommended the 'nibble and sip' method...taking a bite of the bacon followed by a sip of the cold vodka.


People's Choice was one of my favorites, going to Holly of Harpoon Willy's in Manasquan for The Zentini.

People's Choice cocktail
People's Choice winning bartender Holly (Laurie Cataldo)

It was a simple drink of Tito's vodka, fresh ginger simple syrup, and fresh lime juice, garnished with a candy fruit slice. Simple, smooth, and something I could get myself into a lot of trouble with!

Many of the drinks sampled will be available on the menus of their respective restaurants.

There were several creative and tasty drinks presented, and all the bartenders should be really proud of their work.

Congratulations to Lauren and Holly on their winning cocktails, and to all of the competing bartenders and restaurants on a super fun event!

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