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.
Gannon's riff on a Dark and Stormy; the resemblance comes in the pairing of ginger and rum (and, well, the name). Gannon makes his own falernum: a sweet syrup that uses allspice and ginger and clove and lime zest steeped in over-proof rum "until it gets nice and happy," when it's combined with simple syrup with almond extract; in the drink, it commingles with lime and grapefruit juice along with Mount Gay rum, Aperol, and ginger beer. All the complexity of the falernum comes through in the drink: the clove and all those other warm spices are apparent, and yet in a drink that's light and refreshing. Our favorite drink on the menu.
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.
Dark and Stormy
A classic, but a well-made one; it's served separated, so make sure you stir before sipping. ("It's fine if you get a sip of just-Goslings," said Gannon, "but don't get a lip of just lime juice.") That lime juice cuts the sweetness of ginger beer and Gosling's Rum while heightening the ginger's sharp bite.
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.