22 Quick and Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes (or less) + 5 Chef Secrets To Make You A Better Cook!

Gramercy Tavern Bar Nuts

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

These mixed bar nuts with notes of cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, and brown sugar are an exotic, salty-spicy-sweet combination.

how to make mixed nuts

The last time I was at Gramercy Tavern (and had their version of these mixed bar nuts), 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

What you’ll need to make Gramercy Tavern’s Mixed Bar Nuts

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 (I ate too many handfuls of them on my date); 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 more salty than I recalled — 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

Gramercy Tavern Bar Nuts

These mixed bar nuts with notes of cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, and brown sugar are an exotic, salty-spicy-sweet combination.

Servings: 3½ cups


  • 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1¾ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (these are spicy; use less if desired)
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1½ teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 3½ 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.

See more recipes:


  • Jenn, I want to say thank you! The work you put into perfecting your recipes is astounding…and much appreciated! These Gramercy Bar Nuts are SO good! I have repeatedly used your recipe to make them and they ALWAYS turn out perfectly.
    (Once I used another recipe from somewhere else for these same nuts and they turned out horribly salt. I had to throw them out! What a waste of time and money!)
    Thank you for the confidence I can have when using your recipes! You are a pro!

    • — Susi on October 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • The spice combo looks so good, but i can’t have nuts. Do you think I could substite a combo of chex cereal and pretzels instead?

    • — Amber on November 23, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Amber, it’s really hard to say without trying it, but I think it could work. While the flavors are different, you may want to consider this recipe.

      • — Jenn on November 24, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, if we’re starting out with raw nuts how do you recommend we roast them prior to starting this recipe? Thanks!

    • — Emily H. on August 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Emily, the first step of the recipe calls for toasting the nuts; if your nuts are raw, I’d just keep them in the oven for a few extra minutes (just keep an eye on them). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on August 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • I have made this twice. Both rimes I made it with the ingredients I had ans both times turned out amazing. I will keep this recipe on hand.

    • — Karen Harrison on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I know you recommend unsalted, roasted nuts, but I’m on a budget and the salted nuts were a fair bit cheaper. Do you think I’d have any trouble following your recipe, and just leaving out the salt? Thanks so much!

    • — Naseem on December 14, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Naseem, I think you should be able to get away with it. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on December 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Was so happy to have found your website. I have tried some of your recipes and
    all have turned out great. Just a quick question, for the Gramercy Tavern Bar Nuts, do you have to roast the nuts first? Thanks

    • — Maureen Gauld on December 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Maureen, Glad you’ve enjoyed the recipes you’ve tried! Yes, the nuts should be roasted (but to make it easy on yourself, I would buy already roasted nuts).

      • — Jenn on December 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • Any substitutions for light corn syrup? I have maple syrup and molasses?

    • Hi Cheryl, You really need the corn syrup here — sorry!

  • These are perfect the way they are, I made no changes! Love, love, love them! Can’t stop at just a few!

  • We thought the cumin was a little overpowering. Next time I’d halve it, and increase cinnamon. The cumin taste was so strong that I could barely detect the other spices, except for some nice warmth from the cayenne. I think curry powder could be an interesting substitute for the cumin.

  • Wonderful! Can’t decide which I like better, these nuts or the sweet, salty, spicy candied pecans!! I couldn’t find roasted pecans so I substituted roasted, unstalted peanuts. Delish! Oh, and I did reduce the cayenne pepper for my tastes. 🙂

    • — Anne MacGregor
    • Reply
  • I will be making these for the 2nd time in 2 weeks, these are great bar nuts (we entertain a lot). Easy and they make a definite statement instead of plain nuts. So go ahead and make them, enjoy. It’s hard to have them around and NOT eat them!

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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!

  • These nuts are addictive!!! I was a little nervous they’d be too spicy, but they’re perfectly spicy.

    • Yet another munching, crunching nutty delight! These were so easy to make I wouldn’t make any changes to the recipe. Yummy!!

  • This in on my list to do for my birthday weekend!

  • Juli, I meant they keep fresh for a week. Enjoy!

  • 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.

    • Hi Jenn, we only have raw nuts. How do you suggest we roast them before making this recipe? Thanks.

      • — Emily H. on August 2, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Emily, You’ll be toasting them when you start the recipe, but if yours are raw, they may take a few extra minutes in the oven in that first step. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on August 3, 2021
        • Reply
  • Holy yum. And so perfect for having friends over for drinks! I will be trying these very soon!

  • These sound delicious. I’m almost scared to make them though!!!

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.