Cocktails

While Tom has created dozens of different on-menu items and hundreds of different cocktails for the guests who have come in to have a drink with him, these drinks strike deliciously at the heart of his aesthetic approach.

The Book of Sand

2 oz Pierde Almas Puritita Verdá Mezcal
.5 oz Palo Santo infused Barr Hill Gin
.5 oz Licorice Root infused Gin
.5 oz Gran Classico
.25 oz Meletti 1870

Stir, strain, served up in a coupe, garnish with twists of grapefruit and orange.

Created at Opus in Salem, MA. 2015

"The Book of Sand" is a short story by Jorge Luis Borges in which a traveling salesman looks to unload a burdensome book of infinite length on a man who seems to have all of the obscure religious books one might need, however as one flips back and forth between the pages of The Book of Sand new pages appear, and the previous pages one flips past are never to be seen again. In contrast, Borges' story about this book and its bearers is only about six pages long.

It might appear boastful to name a drink after something of incomprehensible depth, but this small tipple has such an array of flavors that the taste manages to change and evolve with every sip, making it at the very least a worthy attempt at tackling the taste of infinity. Besides, the name Everlasting Gobstopper is trademarked and would make people think the drink is sweeter than it is.

 

Burden of Proof

1 oz Rowan's Creek Bourbon
1 oz Noah's Mill Bourbon
.5 oz Amaro Lucano
.25 oz Bittermen's Citron Sauvage

Stir, strain, serve in a chilled neat glass on one rock, garnish with an orange twist.

Created at The Gilroy in New York, NY. 2016

While a rich, overproof riff on a Manhattan isn't anything particularly groundbreaking, the delight in this cocktail comes from the specifics of the ingredients. The viscous caramel body of the bourbons blend wonderfully together, though they benefit from a little time in ice, since the less spirituous of the two clocks in a 50.05% abv. The nuanced bitterness of the delicate amaro spiked with the grapefruit character of the Citron Sauvage contribute to a flavor that is akin to biting down on a chunk of brûléed grapefruit that has been drizzled in honey and dropped in the dirt.

Oh, and it's boozy.

 

Flower Thrower

1 oz 123 Organic Tequila El Luchador Tequila
1 oz Grand Poppy
.5 oz Tempus Fugit Liqueur du Violettes
.5 oz Campari

Stir, strain, serve on one rock in a rose salt-rimmed neat glass garnished with a lime wedge.

Created at The Gilroy in New York, NY. 2016

What happens when you mix a masked warrior with a bouquet of flowers and a little bitterness? A peek at Banksy's "Flower Thrower" will tell you what it looks like, while this ekphrastic drink attempts to tackle what it might taste like. Using an overproof silver tequila named after the masked wrestlers of lucha libre, then combining it with two different floral liqueurs, and finishing it with a bit of bitter Campari creates the desired effect.

 

Holy-Groni

1 oz Palo Santo infused Barr Hill Gin
1 oz Gran Classico
1 oz Alessio Chinato

Stir, strain, serve up in a chilled martini glass, extract orange oil from a fresh peel and discard the twist.

Created at The Gilroy in New York, NY. 2016

Using a Gin infused with what is literally translated as "holy wood" as the spirit, this riff on a Negroni has significantly less bitterness and a great deal more depth and complexity. With flavors that are said to remind both Catholics and new-agey types of their own brand of incense, this drink will spark nostalgia both for Midnight Mass and celebrations of South American witchcraft alike. What's more holy than that sort of togetherness?

 

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

1 oz Ransom Gewürztraminer Grappa
1 oz Gran Classico
.5 oz Cynar
.5 oz Campari

Incorporate without ice, serve in a neat glass, no garnish.

Created at The Gilroy in New York, NY. 2016

Somehow coalescing elements that seem to want to stand on their own, If on a winter's night a traveler is named after a novel by the author Italo Calvino (who, though Italian in blood, was born outside of Italy, much like the first two of the ingredients in the drink) in which the book you are reading never truly starts but jumps from one book to another as each chapter progresses; like a joyous game you are partaking in with the author.

Originally crafted for The Gilroy's Winter 2016 cocktail menu for its depth and fortifying qualities, the drink has become a staple among regulars and a staff favorite.

 

Isle of Avalon

1.5 oz Old Overholt Rye
1.5 oz Brennivin
.5 oz Meletti Amaro

Stir, strain, serve up in a coupe, no garnish.

Created at Opus in Salem, MA. 2014

A peppery American rye whiskey, a caraway-laced Icelandic aquavit, and a bitter blend of herbs and spices preserved in Italian spirits don't naturally come to mind as things one blends together to create the flavor of a crisp apple. Named for the legendary island in Arthurian legend where both the apple and the sword Excalibur are said to come from, with a nod to the 1999 song by the Icelandic treasure Sigur Rós, this drink will perhaps break open some consideration to the idea that for many years credible people believed in alchemy. Why wouldn't you, if such disparate things could come together to make this golden drink?

 

Last Evenings on Earth

1.5 oz La Diablada Italia Pisco
.75 oz Von Humboldt's Natur Wasser Tamarind Cordial
.5 oz rose syrup
.5 oz fresh lime juice

Shake, double strain, serve up in a martini glass, garnish with a floating rosebud propped in a dehydrated lime wheel's hollowed-out central column like a botanical simulacrum of Saturn and its rings.

Created at The Gilroy in New York, NY. 2016

Though plenty of folks take a peek at the menu and believe that the name of this drink is somehow a reflection on the current political climate, this drink made by combining a Peruvian spirit with the recreation of a recipe credited to the Prussian botanical geographer and explorer Alexander von Humboldt, who made a "Nature Water" out of tamarind and lemons to quench his thirst while exploring South America, is actually named for a story by Chilean author and poet Roberto Bolaño in which a South American father and son explore the sordid geographies of vacationland Mexico. So maybe it actually is about our current political climate.

 

Logroño

2 oz Palo Santo infused Barr Hill Gin
1 oz Rioja Tempranillo
.5 oz Licor 43

Stir, strain, serve up in a coupe, no garnish.

Created at Opus in Salem, MA. 2015

Palo Santo, which literally translates to "holy wood" in Spanish, is cultivated from felled trees in South America. It has a rich tradition as being used to make cups and bowls because it has an intense aromatic oil that imparts its flavor seemingly in perpetuity. The oils give off a rich flavor of coconut oil, vanilla, and cinnamon. It is also burned in holy rituals much in the same way that sage is burned to clear out rooms and bring positive energy to a space. Blended with Barr Hill Gin, a simple and delicious gin distilled exclusively with juniper and conditioned with raw honey, "Palo Santo Gin" is something else entirely; a drink worth traveling great distances for.

Rioja Tempranillo is a spicy and earthy red wine made in La Rioja, a region of Spain with a rich history and delicious fruit.

Licor 43, or Cuarenta y Tres is Spain's most ubiquitous liqueur. It is supposedly made with 43 different ingredients, but they're all secret, so who knows? 

The Camino de Santiago is a holy pilgrimage that cuts through the country of Spain. It passes through La Rioja in the region's capital city of Logroño.

 

Malört & Maladies

.5 oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
.25 oz Brennivin
.25 oz Letherbee Bësk

Stir, strain, serve up in a pony glass.

Created at Opus in Salem, MA. 2015

A shot of booze or a garbled greeting by a drunken and bowing Tom Waits?

Made with Letherbee Bësk, which was rebranded from its original name, Malört, a notoriously difficult drink to enjoy, this is a shot across the bow and a shot for the bold, meant to cure and compound what ails ya.

 

The Product

1.5 oz Milano Green Vodka
1 oz Lavender and Ginger Syrup
1 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake, double strain, serve on ice in a rocks glass with a dehydrated lemon wheel garnish.

Created at The Gilroy in New York, NY. 2016

This crushable refreshment named for the Freeway & Jake One tune is, according to sales, as addictive as anything we offer, so rather than get cute with horticultural references, or by alluding to the health benefits of ginger or the sedative qualities of lavender, we'll just admit it; we sling this one at you unabashedly because you love it, you need it, and it keeps you coming back.

 

Slaughterhouse Rye

3 oz Pork Belly Rye
.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir, strain, serve up in a martini glass, cherry garnish.

Created at Opus in Salem, MA. 2014

The most labor-intensive cocktail I've ever created: this one involved smoking a whole pork belly with my own blend of woods, incorporating the smoked and cooked fat into rye whiskey with orange peels and Luxardo Maraschino cherry syrup in a sous vide circulator, letting the mixture chill in bags overnight, and meticulously filtering out the rendered fat and fruit, all to simply have a base spirit to pour into a mixing tin. Still, it was worth it. The smoke that hit on the front of the palette mellowed into a viscous body of umami and dark fruit and finished with a drying bite of citrus. This one had regular drinkers who would come in weekly from an hour away to get a taste.

 

Sullen Horse

2 oz James Pepper 1776 Rye Whiskey
1.5 oz Unicum
3 dashes Miracle Mile Castilian Bitters

Stir, strain, serve up in a martini glass, cherry garnish.

Created at Opus in Salem, MA. 2015

Named for a short story by the Hungarian master of the lower class and a distant relative of mine, Szigmund Moricz, this drink has all of the best flavors of dirt you could ask for in a cocktail, and enough strength and fortitude to cut through the lingering flavors of even the richest of peasant cuisines. Egészségedre!

 

Swiss Bank

1 oz Denizen Merchant's Reserve 8 Year Rum
1 oz Gran Classico
1 oz Alessio Chinato

Stir, strain, serve up in a chilled martini glass, orange twist.

Created at The Gilroy in New York, NY. 2016

Today a merchant reserve account is basically a guaranteed security deposit that a bank requires a business to set aside in case of emergency, but back in the days of privateering, the merchant's reserve was a reference to rum the was set in barrels and kept in case of financial trouble, since rum didn't depreciate in value.

Gran Classico is a bitter apertivo with flavors of orange peel and herbs that has been made in a Swiss distillery in the exact same manner since the recipe was purchased from an Italian distillery in Turin in 1925.

While these two statements may appear to be only peripherally related, combining Gran Classico, which is a valuable commodity left to appreciate in value in Switzerland, with Denizen Merchant's Reserve 8 Year Rum, which is made from equal parts of Jamaican Rum and Martinique Rhum Agricole, (Mai Tai anyone?) leaves the parallels between alcohol and finance so blatantly obvious that the cocktail practically named itself.