Ryan Gannon at the bar
"People are much more sophisticated drinkers than they used to be," he says, "and I want to serve them what they want."
Rye plus thyme (rhyme, get it?). It's herbal on the nose, more fruit-forward on the finish. The sweetness of the apricot is cut with lemon and dry vermouth.
"April loves PG Tips," we were told of Spotted Pig chef April Bloomfield, which was cited as the inspiration for the "PG Tipple": an intense brew of the tea with Bulleit Bourbon, lemon, and orange marmalade. Another refreshing but sophisticated cocktail, with the tea acting as a bitter accent at the end of each sip.
Not quite a traditional recipe, but with very traditional flavors, Gannon's version is "firmed up" with Cointreau; if you're a Pimm's Cup fan but find some versions too too dilute, this is a cocktail for you.
Grapefruit cocktail with a salty rim: a great idea. It's a tart, refreshing tall drink where the salt helps cut the grapefruit's bitterness, rather than drowning the grapefruit in sweetness.
This one is more complex than it looks—this is a cocktail drinker's cocktail, not a syrupy Kir Royale. It's made with a blackberry-balsamic shrub; you get the balsamic's depth and deep, musky flavor without the mouth-puckering pungency; it's beautifully balanced, refreshing and interesting at once.
A number of Gannon's recipes use shrubs: vinegar-based syrups that incorporate fruit, resulting in an ingredient that's both tart and sweet. Here, a pineapple shrub brings the fruit fresh flavor and acidity, rather than its nectary, tropical sweetness; it's balanced by the herbal bite of gin.