Slideshow: First Look: Cocktails at Melibea, NYC

Rum & Rosemary ($13)
Rum & Rosemary ($13)
“The menu is very much based in seasonality, the idea is to change the list every 3 months or so based on what’s available,” explains Reyes. In this rum-based sipper, which features Santa Teresa Claro, the spotlight is on a fresh, herbal profile. In addition to rosemary syrup and Yellow Chartreuse, Reyes adds a housemade cardamom bitters to the mix. “Cardamom brings up herbal components and gives the drink a crisp note," he says. A garnish of fresh basil blossoms completes the fragrant cocktail.
Cava & Cherry Tomatoes ($14)
Cava & Cherry Tomatoes ($14)
“You kind of always need to have a sparkling cocktail on the menu, but we didn’t want to go too friendly,” explains Reyes. “By using cherry tomatoes instead of something more traditional like berries we’re getting people to try something different but in a familiar format." The drink’s two star ingredients—brut cava and yellow cherry tomatoes—also fit the restaurant’s Mediterranean theme. “It’s not tomato-aggressive, that’s why we use yellow tomatoes over red, the flavor is more subtle,” he says. Rounding out the drink is a dose of orange curaçao and something Reyes calls “African syrup,” a spiced simple syrup made with brown sugar, grains of paradise, cinnamon, clove, and paprika.
Tequila & Rose ($13)
Tequila & Rose ($13)
“This is our attempt to offer a tequila drink in a really friendly way,” says Reyes. Here, Combier rose petal liqueur (a limited-supply bottling made with rose petals from France's Loire Valley) and a finishing mist of hibiscus tincture add to the floral profile of the Siembra Azul blanco-based drink.
Gin & Aperol Sour ($13)
Gin & Aperol Sour ($13)
Located in the menu’s ‘Linen’ section, this variation on a classic sour pairs Fords Gin with lightly bitter Aperol. Juice from grilled grapefruit is added to the base (“grilling gives it a funkier, more complex flavor”), which is shaken with egg whites to give the drink its characteristic frothy texture. To garnish, Reyes adds a ring of Peychaud’s bitters and cracked white pepper.
Old Tom & Manzanilla ($15)
Old Tom & Manzanilla ($15)
“We wanted to have something for the cocktail geeks too,” says Reyes in reference to the menu’s ‘Leather’ section. Here, geek-bait comes in the shape of a boozy, spirit-forward sipper featuring Benedictine, Linie Aquavit (“it’s kind of like an eau-de-vie, rough on its own, but helps give the drink a vegetal finish”), Spring 44 Old Tom Gin, and a combination of salty-dry Manzanilla and sweet Pedro Ximenez sherries.