Summer Patio Season Is Here! At This NJ Distillery and Bar

by Peter Candia
bellemara distillery

With summer nearly here, there’s no better way to celebrate than a cold, refreshing drink on a beautifully designed patio. Bellemara Distillery in Hillsborough, NJ, understands this simple fact: people love patios! 

At their single malt distillery, where every single spirit is made start-to-finish in-house, the outdoor patio means they have you covered no matter the vibe you seek for a day/night out. While many rush to Bellemara to have a drink around the bar or in the upstairs lounge (we don’t blame you), we’re partial to the patio in the summer months, which overlooks acres of beautiful NJ farmland. In simpler terms, Bellemara Distillery is the place to go this summer season. 

Your New Favorite Summer Bar

Everything is better in the sun, but Bellemara Distillery’s expert drink program truly shines in the great outdoors—and they have the cocktails to prove it. 

Because of NJ liquor laws, Bellemara Distillery is required to make all alcoholic spirits in-house. This is no issue for their flagship single malt whisky, neutral spirit or gin, but the team has gotten creative over the years and adapted to the unique structure of New Jersey’s laws. This necessary creativity brings guests delicious cocktail ingredients like a house-made aperitivo (perfect for a spritz), herbal digestif, coffee liqueur, tinctures and much more. 

The bar team takes this ingenuity and morphs it into a truly spectacular cocktail menu—and if you guessed they have some heavy hitters perfect for the summer, well, you’d be right. 

Summer Cocktails at Bellemara Distillery

We’ve got your summer plans handled: Make a reservation for the Bellemara Distillery patio (details below), cruise on over, sit down and enjoy one of their excellent seasonal cocktails. 

You can never go wrong with a gin and tonic at Bellemara, and their current seasonal offering is ideal right now. House-made gin gets the fruit-forward treatment with plenty of blueberry, orange and strawberry. The fruit muddled in the glass and topped off with tonic and a fresh sprig of basil, it’s a true summer sipper in every sense of the phrase.

Drinks on the patio at Bellemara Distillery

And that’s not the only patio pounder Bellemara is dishing out—not even close. The Raspberry Hibiscus Spritz takes everything you love about a classic Aperol Spritz and tunes it up a notch. That means in-house hibiscus aperitivo, neutral spirit, vibrant raspberry, lemon and club soda with plenty of ice—a no-brainer. 

The Summer “Sangria” has become a fan favorite, too. Differing from traditional sangria, which uses wine as a base, Bellemara Distillery employs a split of whisky and digestif as the backbone of the drink. Orange, strawberry, lemon-lime and club round out the foundation of the cocktail—which then offers the choice of red or white. The red sangria uses raspberry hibiscus, blueberry and basil for its flavor and color, while the white sangria utilizes tangy green apple. No matter which you choose, it’s a must-try. 

Frozen Strawberry “Malt-aritas,” Blueberry Paper Planes, clarified sours and more round out the list of cocktails that Bellemara Distillery has in store for the patio season. Of course, familiar favorites like the house Old Fashioned, whisky sour, tropical G&T and more are still on the menu. And don’t ever forget about the whisky flights—it’s a single malt distillery after all!

Patio Reservations Open Now

You can make a reservation at Bellemara Distillery through their OpenTable by clicking here. Reservations are recommended for weekends but encouraged most days to assure your spot (Bellemara Distillery does not allow standing room). When booking, you can specify that you’d like to sit on the patio. Keep in mind that the patio can accommodate reservations up to 8 guests. 

Bring your furry friends along for the fun

As always, Bellemara Distillery encourages you to bring your favorite takeout or come on a day when a food truck is parked outside. They also have a new collaboration with Roman Gourmet, a local favorite restaurant, where you can order by QR right from your table! To find out more about takeout options in the area, click here

Bellemara Distillery is quickly becoming one of the best distilleries (and bars) in New Jersey for good reason. Their commitment to the flagship products, while encouraging innovation within their bar program, has propelled them to new heights. Expert hospitality and an array of areas within the grounds to enjoy your experience make it the perfect place for your next day or night out. 

If the weather permits, book the patio.

About the Author/s

Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

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