The birthplace of the classic cocktail, The American Bar at The Savoy Hotel in London is still going strong – over 100 years since it first opened in 1898.
Home to such legendary bartenders such as Harry Craddock, author of the classic 1930s publication The Savoy Cocktail Book , and his female mentor Ada Coleman – who created the iconic ‘Hanky Panky’- current Head Bartender Erik Lorincz has continued to maintain the bar’s inimitable reputation as one of the best cocktail bars internationally.
Here, the Slovakian mixologist takes time out from his busy role behind the bar to talk to Elite Traveler about the recipes behind some of his favorite cocktail staples and why The American Bar holds a very special place in history and in the hearts of cocktail lovers the world over.
A desirable destination during the Prohibition Era for affluent Americans crossing the Atlantic, the award winning American Bar still proves a significant draw for those yearning to be transported back to the elegance and sophistication of the twenties and thirties.
The art deco furnished bar’s current menu is a healthy mix of classic tipples and updated cocktails with a refreshing twist, including Lorincz’s own special gin-based cocktail, the Green Park – itself an updated version of Craddock’s White Lady.
“If The American Bar were a drink it would be a dry martini,” Lorincz says, “because it’s so simple and very classy and elegant and that’s what the bar is all about.”
“If you’ve been here 20 years ago and you’re coming back, you’ve still got the same feeling – so it’s pretty much about having this ‘golden era’ of cocktails,” the skilled mixologist explains.
How to make Erik Lorincz’s Green Park cocktail
50ml Tanqueray No 10 gin
Three drops of celery bitters
Four leaves of fresh basil
25ml fresh lemon juice
20ml sugar syrup
A dash of egg white
Directions: Shake in a cocktail shaker, double strain, serve in a martini glass