American Bar debuts new menu
London’s American Bar at The Savoy hotel has launched a new cocktail menu that pays homage to the ‘unique process of bartending’.
The Savoy: American Bar Journal has launched at the hotel bar today (25 May), and is the first menu created by head bartender Chelsie Bailey since her appointment last summer.
As a nod to The Savoy Cocktail Book by former Savoy alumni Harry Craddock, the menu is set out simply, with an index detailing the inspiration behind each cocktail.
Bailey and her team have turned to ‘interesting techniques’ to create contemporary interpretations of classic cocktails.
Bailey said: “Andrea Di Chiara (bar manager) and I are very proud to be launching our first menu for the American Bar. Our aim was to create a menu that was easy to navigate and that focused on the ingredients. While the inspiration for each cocktail is based on an individual story, we wanted guests to choose their beverage based on their favourite flavours and then discover the tale behind them.”
The menu is also said to commemorate moments in time that are ‘logged in liquid form’, celebrating the past, present and future of bartending at The Savoy.
The menu has seen cocktails from the past updated with modern methods and styles, and adapted to suit a modern palate, such as the New York Cherub, which is based on the classic Angel Wings cocktail, a drink so sweet that Craddock advised: “If the girl does not like it, do not drink it, but pour it quickly into the nearest flower vase.”
Bailey’s version is a balanced combination of Rabbit Hole rye whiskey, Bowmore 15 Year Old Scotch whisky, raspberry, discarded vermouth, maraschino liqueur and spiced violette bitters.
Historical commemorative cocktails have been reimagined too. The Coffee Black Velvet is a modern take on the Black Velvet, originally created in 1861 to mourn Prince Albert, and uses Guinness coffee whey, crème de cassis, and roasted barley to provide richness and complexity.
The menu also celebrates ‘momentous moments of today’.
Homecoming, a blend of Lion’s Botanical, dry vermouth, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur and Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé, celebrates the Euro 2022 victory of the The Lionesses, England’s national football team, and shows support for them in the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The menu has also paid homage to some of the hotel’s guests.
Maggie, one of the bar’s ‘most charismatic’ guests, has her own cocktail, the Fine & Fancy. The name is a play on her famous saying “fine and dandy”, and the serve is also an ode to her first visit to The Savoy, when Peter Dorelli, head bartender of the American Bar from 1979 to 1993, offered her daughter her first glass of Champagne. Maggie’s favourite drink, whisky and ginger with no ice, has therefore been elevated with the addition of thyme, honey, Suze gentian and Nyetimber Classic Cuvee.
For this menu, The American Bar team has worked with EcoSpirits, the low-waste, low-carbon technology that uses a closed-loop system to eliminate more than 90% of the carbon emissions footprint associated with cocktails.
The EcoSpirits drinks can be found by locating the green tree pictured next to them on the menu.
Franck Arnold, managing director at The Savoy, commented: “Chelsie and the team have worked tirelessly to create an incredible portfolio of cocktails that celebrate the true craftsmanship and essence of mixology.
“The dynamic process of developing cocktails that look beautiful, taste exceptional, evoke emotion, and resonate with our patrons is a skill that only a few possess.
“This menu demonstrates our team’s skill and also toasts the previous 130 years of skilled individuals who have come before them in this iconic bar.”
The curation of the bar’s previous menu, which launched last summer, was overseen by bar consultant Anna Sebastian.