Home Features Recipes: Cocktails for Mom Created by Top NJ Sommeliers

Recipes: Cocktails for Mom Created by Top NJ Sommeliers

It’s rare to come across an idea that everyone believes is true, especially nowadays. Yet, when it comes to talking about mothers, there is one, single, universally accepted truth: moms are inspiring. They are fighters, cheerleaders, and — in a very real way — they are the creators of the world we live in. On May 14, millions of Americans nationwide will take a break from their busy lives to offer a heartfelt “thank you” and, perhaps a toast, to the women they call Mom.
And let’s face it, if anybody deserves a cool and refreshing beverage, it’s the women who literally “do it all” when it comes to each and every one of us.
We chatted with John Jansma, sommelier and general manager at Restaurant Serenade in Chatham, and Morristown’s Vanessa Da Silva, Wine Studies Coordinator at the International Culinary Center in New York City – two of the Garden State’s top sommeliers — about their moms and the cocktails they inspired. Whether you’re planning to celebrate Mom with brunch, a big family dinner, or just a day at the spa, consider toasting her with one of these drinks!


The Hart Street

“The Hart Street cocktail was inspired by my mum,” Jansma said. “She taught me how to cook as a kid when we lived at the Vicarage on Hart Street in Cleethorpes, England. Each component reminds me of her. She loves a good gin and tonic on a warm afternoon when Wimbledon is on, she enjoys French literature and exploring the classic French liqueurs, we always have Champagne when we visit, and the thyme reminds me of gathering fresh herbs from the Vicarage garden to make dinner.”
cocktails for momIngredients
2 oz Beefeater’s London Dry Gin
1/8 oz (3/4 t) simple syrup
½ Green Chartreuse
1 dry Champagne (for a Garden State twist, try Tomasello Winery’s Blanc de Blanc Brut sparkling wine)
Sprig of thyme, for garnish
Method: In a mixing glass, combine the gin, simple syrup and Chartreuse.
Add ice and stir well. Strain into a coupe glass. Top with Champagne and garnish with a sprig of thyme.


Faux-sé (Faux Rosé) and Darker, Stormier

“This cocktail was inspired by my mother, who is not a [big] wine drinker by any means,” Da Silva said. “But she has an incredible ability to see the world though rose-colored glasses. She is constantly seeing the best in people and the bright side of things. She truly loves to enjoy life and helps others do the same. [I added] the frozen raspberries because they’re lovely to look at and she likes her drinks ice cold.”
Da Silva took things one step further, reflecting on her own experiences as mom to her daughter Colette, age 2. “Being a mother is the most difficult and similarly most rewarding job I have had to date,” she said. “I love my little Colette more than life itself, am overjoyed to spend days running after and playing with her, and am overwhelmingly exhausted at the end [of the day]. As such, the cocktail I would choose to represent my experience as a mother is equally strong and delicious!”

Faux-sé (Faux Rosé)

cocktails for momIngredients
2½ oz light white wine, such as Muscadet or Picpoul (Keeping it Jersey? Try the 2015 Mainsail White from Alba Vineyard)
½ oz Combier Liqueur de Rosé
½ oz simple syrup
Frozen raspberries, for garnish
Method: Combine the wine, liqueur and simple syrup in a mixing glass. Stir to combine. Strain into a chilled wine glass and garnish with frozen raspberries.

Darker, Stormier

cocktails for momIngredients
1½ oz Plantation Guadeloupe 1998 Rhum Agricole
¾ oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
½ oz lime juice
Lime slice, for garnish
Method: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir to combine. Serve in a rocks glass with over a large ice cube. Garnish with lime.
Looking to step up your kitchen game? Click Here to see Best of NJ’s Top Recipes & Kitchen Tips!


About the author: Michele Thomas is professionally curious; she likes to learn stuff. A certified sommelier with 15 years of experience writing about food, wine, education and the arts, she chronicles her wine escapades as the Bed–Stuy Sommelier (@BedStuySomm) on Instagram and Twitter.