The legendary Ryland Inn has always been a destination restaurant, but with its reopening two years ago, it’s not just the kitchen that’s shaking things up anymore. Patrons travel long distances to sample the cuisine and cocktails, thanks to mixologist Chris James. James, who is something of a celebrity in his own right, won New Jersey’s Iron Shaker (or best bartender) contest late last year. Here, he whets our appetite for spring with a taste of the French Riviera.

- 2 oz. Rémy Martin VSOP Cognac
- .75 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Cordial
- .75 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 barspoon 2:1 simple syrup
- 1 oz. Barritts Ginger Beer
- 8 basil leaves


1. Lightly muddle the basil leaves with the lemon juice, elderflower cordial and simple syrup.
2. Add the cognac and ginger beer.
3. Fill the glass 3/4 with crushed ice and swizzle.
4. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with a basil sprig. Serve with straws.

Recipe Courtesy of Chris James at the Ryland Inn. 

The Blond at 11 Howard is primarily known for its nightlife for Manhattan’s most elite parties. Now, after three years since its opening, the venue is available as a fresh daytime meeting spot. 


The MC Hotel, Montclair, New Jersey’s first full-service hotel since 1938 and Aparium’s first East Coast property, brings a translocal approach to hospitality with a spotlight on the city’s wealth of arts, culture and creative spirit.  


Get ready for fall with this seasonally appropriate cocktail. Corgi Spirits, an independent small-batch distillery located in Jersey City, has hosted a variety of private events including corporate parties; catering is BYO. The Lounge—a plush drinking parlor—is spacious yet cozy and the entire tasting room can be rented to accommodate larger groups.

—1.5 oz. Corgi Spirits Pembroke Gin
—3 oz. fresh apple cider
—0.25 oz. ginger simple syrup*
—3 thyme sprigs
—thyme sprig for garnish