Out of the practically infinite amount of New York City restaurants, there are diamonds in the rough.

West Chelsea’s Salinas is a perfect example of a place that refuses to settle, and proof is in its extraordinary and exploratory bar program.

Inspired by Spain’s growing thirst for Gin & Tonics, Salinas’ house mixologist and self-proclaimed “cocktail composer,” recently developed a new section of the restaurant’s unique cocktail menu. Rami Lavy dubbed his addition “& Tonic” and with it he intends to spread the cultural phenomenon across the Atlantic.

In addition to gin, Rami’s concoctions include several combinations of spirits, with specific tonics and garnishes to complement varying flavors. One such version is his refreshing “Greek & Tonic,” which consists of Stray Dog Wild gin, KLEOS Mastiha liqueur and Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic water, creating an unforgettable libation experience. Lavy plans to expand the ever-growing cocktail program to include revolving options, using seasonal ingredients and a ‘gin-of-the-month’ feature.

Chilled asked Rami the secrets to making the best G&T.

Bartender Rami Lavy

Bartender Rami Lavy

Talk to us about the Classic Gin and Tonic. What makes it special?

Even though a very simple cocktail made from two ingredients, there are different styles of gin worldwide, along with a steadily growing selection of tonics. You still have so many options to create different versions.

What do bartenders need to know about crafting a perfect G&T every time?

For me, one of the most important parts in the G&T experience is the fizz (that comes from the tonic water of course), a lot of bartenders over stir the drink. The best way to build the drink is by dual pouring the tonic and the gin at the same time.

Salinas Main Room

Salinas Main Room

What are 4-5 tips to creating a specialized Gin & Tonic for your bar?

  1. Think outside the box
  2. Know your ingredients.
  3. Marketing—Create a story/theme, preferably something that can be reflected by the name as well.
  4. Dare—”Who dares wins” is the motto of several elite commando units from around the world.
  5. Have fun!

Salinas Greek & Tonic

Salinas Greek & Tonic

Salinas Greek & Tonic

Mixologist: Rami Lavi

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Stray Dog Gin
  • 1 oz. KLEOS Mastiha liqueur

Preparation: Build in a highball. Prime the glass with Mediterranean tonic water (roughly half the amount needed) add ice and top with more Mediterranean tonic water. Garnish with lemon and sage.