Summer is nearly here and what better way to cool down than an icy cold, fruity, refreshing cocktail? Bibi’z Restaurant and Lounge invited us in to try two new summer cocktails that scored high in terms of taste, refresh-factor and smoothness. This restaurant continues to stick to its tradition of unusual, thoughtfully-crafted dishes and cocktails, emphasizing local, seasonal fare.
Ida Martin, founder of Bibi’z, gave us a demonstration of the new cocktails recently. Her new margarita, Good Karma, is a subtle combination of refreshing orange slices which is complemented by fresh basil leaves. Ida slightly muddles up the two ingredients before adding a touch of Karma tequila, a splash of lime juice as well as a splash of triple sec topped off with sour soda. After shaking everything up, Ida adds a final touch of orange juice. This colorful drink is a delicious concoction with a lovely balance of flavor and subtle sweetness.
Ida also introduced us to her revisited SummerLemonade made with pineapple vodka and an infusion of watermelon and cucumber. The drink consists, on one hand, of a splash of sour soda, a fair amount of lemonade, topped with pineapple vodka. Ida then muddles up on the side the watermelon and the cucumber before adding the mix to the rest of the drink along with ice. The cocktail is a surprising marriage of flavors that together are the tastes of summer with a little bite. This elegant cocktail keeps its promise of offering a refreshing delight.
It always seems to be happy hour at Bibi’z – although it’s officially offered six days a week from 3.00PM to 6.30PM. But these cocktails are recommended equally for a relaxing brunch, lunch or dinner as they offer sexy sipping that is equal parts summer and refreshing.
Bibi’z Restaurant | Lounge
Fri-Sat 12p-11p (Bar until 12a) Sun Brunch 11a-3p | Dinner 3p-9p
284 Center Avenue
Westwood, New Jersey 07675
Bibi’z Restaurant | Lounge, a Bergen county pioneer in offering gluten-free and vegan menu options, is now sourcing quiche, muffins, scones, focaccia and pizza dough from Englewood, NJ gluten-free baker Deliciously Alicia.
“I am thrilled to support a local small businesswoman while giving my patrons delicious, healthy gluten-free options that are a great alternative to wheat-based baked goods,” said Ida Martin, Bibi’z founder and co-owner. “The demand for gluten-free baked goods and menu offerings has exploded in recent years and we’ve tirelessly worked to create tasty options for our customers who cannot eat wheat. Deliciously Alicia Focaccia is the perfect foundation for a crispy GF flatbread appetizer and the pizza dough will be a canvas for more culinary creations. Texture, mouth feel, taste and quality ingredients are essential components of delicious gluten-free baked goods and dough.”
Bibi’z uses Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all purpose flour with corn meal to make the restaurant’s acclaimed mini corn dogs’ tender, golden crust. Also, their Chicken Florentine is dredged in all purpose flour before cooking to create the perfect exterior. Bibi’z also carries gluten-free beer and vodka. The menu displays a “V” or “GF” next to items which are vegan or gluten-free. The restaurant also welcomes requests for GF alternative preparations to entrees on its menu.
About Bibi’z Lounge
Founded by Ida Martin in 2011, Bibi’z offers Global American cuisine with a Mediterranean twist. Located at 284 Center Avenue in Westwood, NJ, Bibi’z is open Tuesday-Thursday from 12:00-10:00PM, Friday and Saturday from 12:00PM – 11:00PM and Sunday 11:00AM – 9:00PM. Bibi’z bar is open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Happy hour is offered six days a week from 3:00-6:00PM. Catering and private dining facilities are available. Bibi’z offers thoughtfully- sourced, eclectic cuisine in healthy renditions, much of it coming from local sources. The restaurant provides top shelf organic and conventional spirits, wine, and beer.
Bibi’z also offers “Girls Night Out” every Thursday with happy hour drinks all night long in the dining room and lounge.
Refreshing summer cocktails tease and tickle the palate, particularly those served at Bibi’z Restaurant|Lounge when fragrant summer fruits and herbs combine to create earthy, floral and herbaceous notes. Bibi’z Blossom, a flowery, feminine and seductive libation, blends St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and whole Australian hibiscus flower preserved in raspberry and rhubarb-infused simple syrup, is the quintessential feminine summer cocktail.
The delicate Hibiscus blossom is edible, and floats seductively in a soft pink hued combination of organic fruit juice, vodka, liqueur and a splash of lemon-lime soda. The taste and fragrance of handpicked elderflowers married with Australian hibiscus provides earthy, herby undertones that add delicate balance to the sweetness of organic fruit juice and fruit-imbued citrus soda.
“Summer cocktails are in a class by themselves and give the mixologist an opportunity to bring color, taste, fragrance and vibe together in one elegant, refreshing libation,” said Ida Assaf, founder of Bibi’z Restaurant|Lounge. “The Bibi’z Blossom is so classy and feminine, melding delicious flavor combinations with pear-flavored vodka to whimsically celebrate the spirit and true flavors of summer.”
White Peach Sangria is another classic summer bar favorite, perfect for both men and women wanting refreshing fruitiness and the bracing qualities of an iced cocktail. This versatile sangria is delightful when sipped before dinner or paired with a variety of grilled proteins like fish, beef or chicken.
“White Peach Sangria marries delicate sparkling wine such prosecco, moscato or cava with organic ginger ale, freshly squeezed orange juice and bite-size chunks of organic summer fruits, whether stone fruit or berries, creating a drink that is cooling, delicious and bright with citrus and fruity notes,” explained Assaf. “White Peach Sangria is a versatile, elegant concoction and delights the palate with tiny bubbles, muddled fruit and a hint of peach schnapps for sweetness. It offers thirst-quenching deliciousness that compliments nibbles, salads as well as hearty grilled fare.”
The Skinny Karma – Rita is a delicious, low-calorie (70 calories) play on the classic margarita using Karma Natural Tequila, Agave Nectar and fresh lime juice. The delicate flavors are balanced by a salt kissed martini glass rim.
“Skinny Karma – Rita is light, refreshing with a subtle sweetness thanks to agave, a natural Mexican sweetener with low sugar input,” explained Assaf. “Weighing in at a mere 70 calories, the Skinny Karma – Rita is a guilt – free pleasure.”
A celebration of flower blossoms and seductive wild hibiscus
2 oz. Absolut pear vodka
1 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
½ oz. organic apple juice
Splash of cranberry juice
Splash of lemon-lime soda
Garnish with 1 wild hibiscus flower in syrup
Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.
White Peach Sangria
A refreshing, easy-to-drink and versatile cocktail for warmer weather
2 oz. sparkling prosecco, moscato or cava
1 oz. fresh orange juice
½ oz. crème de peche or peach schnapps
Strong spritz of organic ginger ale
Splash of Aperol or Campari
Garnish with your favorite chopped organic fruits
Add ingredients to tall glass of ice, stir.
Skinny Karma – Rita
A thirst – quenching and low cal cocktail
1.5 oz. Karma Natural Tequila
2 heavy dashes of Agave Nectar
Juice of ½ lime
Splash of sour mix
Splash of Triple Sec
Shake well over ice, pour into martini glass with salted rim and serve with a piece of fresh lime.
About Bibi’z Restaurant and Lounge
Founded by Ida Assaf in 2011, Bibi’z offers global American fare with a Mediterranean twist. Located at 284 Center Avenue in Westwood, NJ, Bibi’z is open Tuesday-Thursday from 12:00-10:00PM, Friday and Saturday from 12:00PM – 11:00PM and Sunday 11:00AM – 9:00PM. Bibi’z bar is open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Happy hour is offered six days a week from 3:00-6:00PM. Catering and private dining facilities are available. Bibi’z offers soul-satisfying food in healthy renditions, much of it locally sourced, along with top shelf organic and conventional spirits, wine, and beer.
Bibi’z also offers “Girls Night Out” every Thursday with happy hour drinks all night long in the dining room and lounge. For more information, please call (201) 722-8600 or visit www.bibizlounge.com.