The Handbook
The Handbook

There are few places that positively ooze class (and the phrase ‘ooze class’ certainly doesn’t), but The American Bar at The Savoy is one of them. This art deco masterpiece of a bar is matryoshka dolled inside an even greater art deco masterpiece, The Savoy Hotel, itself one of London’s grandest hotels and history is in the hotel’s very DNA. So when we hear they’re launching a new cocktail menu we take notice.  Even more importantly, it’s Head Bartender Erik Lorincz’s final menu at the American Bar as he’ll be leaving next month; all of which points to this being something very special.

Since the 1980s a series of iconic black and white photos by British photographer Terry O’Neill have lined the walls of the American bar. They feature the likes of Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, David Bowie, Judy Garland, Peter Sellers and Dudley Moore, with each portrait revealing a special hidden story. They are quite literally part of the furniture, and they form the inspiration for ‘Every Moment Tells A Story’.

Devised by Lorincz along with bar manager Declan McGurk and the American Bar team, each cocktail on the menu is inspired by a specific portrait hanging on the wall of the bar, each a snapshot of history. For instance, the cocktail First Impressions is based on an O’Neill shot of David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor sharing a cigarette the first time they met in Beverly Hills. The cocktail interpretation features Bombay Sapphire gin, yuzu wine, white pepper with St-Germain elderflower liqueur, Champagne, cordial and jasmine oil.

Meanwhile Pinstripe is influenced by a photograph of an early Mick Jagger, looking sophisticated in a three-piece pinstripe suit. Drink the photo with a combo of Grey Goose vodka, apricot liqueur, floral tea infused Muscat, lemon, Champagne syrup and lavender.

From Savoy regular Marlene Dietrich, Frank Sinatra and Faye Dunaway to intimate shots of The Beatles, the photographs are all iconic and all tell a story. And now the cocktail menu does exactly the same thing. We can’t wait to step into history and sample them.

The Savoy: Strand, Covent Garden, WC2R 0EZ,