Subscribe to get a free eCookbook with my top 10 recipes + new weekly recipes!

Gramercy Tavern Bar Nuts

5 stars based on 3 votes

how to make mixed nuts

The last time I was at Gramercy Tavern, I was on a date — and it wasn’t with my husband — so you can imagine, this is going back quite some time. Those were the days when it was nothing to hop on a train to New York City Friday after work, visit some friends, go out on a date (with a guy from another city, no less!) and be back at work Monday morning no worse for the wear. Ahh, the twenties.

Gram tav nuts 17

Gram tav nuts 3

Well, obviously, the guy didn’t last but the restaurant made a lasting impression. To this day, that dinner is one of my all time favorite dining experiences.

Gram tav nuts 2

So, naturally, when Danny Meyer (founder of Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe, Eleven Madison Park, Tabla and many more) came out with his cocktail and bar fare book, Mix Shake Stir, I was all over it. I’ve already adapted one recipe from the book,Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts, and it’s a definite winner. This one’s very good too; with strong notes of cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, ginger and brown sugar, it’s an exotic, salty-spicy-sweet combination.

Gram tav nuts 6

The first time I made these nuts, I followed the recipe in the book to a tee. They were incredibly salty — which I suppose is a good thing if you’re selling drinks in a bar — but I enjoyed them much more when I made them again and cut way back on the salt. The original recipe also calls for turbinado sugar and simple syrup, things most restaurants keep on hand, but since most home cooks don’t, I made some modifications so you don’t need it. This version is easy to make at home and just as delicious.

Gram tav nuts 7

So here you go, a specialty from one of the most acclaimed restaurants in NY, and you don’t have to take a train, get all dressed up or go out on a date to have them…although I guess that doesn’t sound all bad.

Gram tav nuts 8

My Recipe Videos

Gramercy Tavern Bar Nuts

Servings: 3-1/2 cups


  • 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (these are spicy; use less if desired)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 3-1/2 cups roasted, unsalted nuts (any combination of cashews, pecans and almonds)


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all ingredients except for nuts in a medium bowl. Add nuts and toss with spice mixture until evenly coated. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, stirring once halfway. When nuts are done, the cashews will be a shade more golden than they started. Stir nuts with spatula, then carefully slide or lift parchment and nuts off hot baking sheet onto countertop and let cool completely. Break up nuts with your hands. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to one week.

Once Upon a Chef Cookbook - Coming Spring 2018 - Available for Preorder!

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Omg these nuts are amazing! My husband doesn’t always like the strong flavor of cumin, so I used 1t cumin and 3/4t ground cardamom. They turned out great!!! So addictive, I don’t want to give them as gifts!

    - Danielle on December 13, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    these are awesome but watch them kinda close. if your oven doesn’t heat evenly like mine they can burn a little. i personally lower the heat about 5 degrees and it is about perfect

    - hailey on August 31, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These should be called “crack” nuts because they are addicting. I had some friends over for food and drinks and these nuts were in the center of the table while we talked. I think it was brought up about 10 times how good they were!

    - Christy on January 8, 2015 Reply
  • These nuts are addictive!!! I was a little nervous they’d be too spicy, but they’re perfectly spicy.

    - Amy Simonson on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • This in on my list to do for my birthday weekend!

    - darlaBE on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • Juli, I meant they keep fresh for a week. Enjoy!

    - Jenn on June 14, 2010 Reply
  • When you say, “Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to one week” do you mean cure them for a week before eating or they are fresh up to a week? Thanks for clarifying.

    - Juli Bedgood on June 13, 2010 Reply
  • Holy yum. And so perfect for having friends over for drinks! I will be trying these very soon!

    - Shauna from Piece of Cake on June 6, 2010 Reply
  • These sound delicious. I’m almost scared to make them though…..I know I’ll get addicted!!

    - Koko on May 30, 2010 Reply

Add a Review or Question

Hungry for More?

Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter — where I share new recipes and seasonal menus for every occasion.

Your email address will never be used for any other purpose.
Curious? See a sample newsletter.