Gaskins, housed in a former Germantown five-and-dime store, brings urban-chic spin to locally sourced comfort food in a space that is airy, sleek, and rustic all at once, with marble-topped tables offset by dark wood and glass accents. For co-owner Sarah Suarez, who first learned to bartend at Gramercy Tavern under bigwig craft mixologist Jim Meehan, an elegant, concise cocktail list was a must from the get-go. “When we decided to open Gaskins, we didn’t want to go overly in the direction of a cocktail program, we wanted something that appeals to everyone,” Suarez says. “We always have two to three classics that people are comfortable with and a few constantly changing cocktails that I or one of the bartenders create. It’s great, it gives them the creative license to play with fruit and herbs as they come into season.”
So often, the drink menu is where rejected restaurant names find their second life. Such is the case with both the Germantowner (an upstate Manhattan, which is a fixture on the Gaskins menu) and the Ox Eye cocktail, a smoky mezcal play on the classic margarita.
“An ox eye is a round window in an eave, roof, or dormer,” Suarez explains. “The drink has a double meaning. Not only is it named for that ox eye window above the entrance, but there is also a variety of flower called an ‘oxeye daisy’ and a margarita is technically an evolution of an old-fashioned cocktail called a daisy that includes a spirit, an orange liqueur, and citrus.” Voila. And, if you needed more convincing, it’s Suarez’s favorite cocktail at Gaskins.
Ox Eye Recipe
- 2 oz. Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
- .75 oz. Mandarin Liqueur
- .5 oz. fresh lemon juice
- .5 oz. fresh lime juice
- 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Shake, strain, serve up in a cup rimmed with salt.