Named 2017’s World’s Best Bar, among cocktail bars in London few have the mythical status of The American Bar at the Savoy. Seen as the spiritual home of London’s cocktail scene, and the bar that gave the world one of the most famous and influential cocktail books ever, it is a place of pilgrimage for cocktail aficionados.
A plush carpeted, cream coloured art deco room with chrome edged bar, The American Bar has played host to the likes of Churchill and a bevy of celebrities. Always full, the staff are immaculate in all they do, and the atmosphere, thanks to the lighting and the pianist playing at the foot of the entrance stairs, calm and relaxing. All this helps keep the spirit of its legendary barman, Harry Craddock, alive and well, with his famous invention, the White Lady, still a popular choice among the clientele.
The menu of cocktails is of course traditional, but twists abound. They also have a fine selection of vintage liquers that the drinks can be made from (at vast expense, think adding at least one 0 to the usual £20 a cocktail) and a new list of cocktails inspired by the images of form celebrity patrons that hang on the walls. No matter your choice of drink, it will be an almost perfect example of the cocktail in question.
Their Manhattan is probably the best example of this stunning cocktail that you’ll find anywhere in London. They go so far as to make their own cherries to garnish this and other drinks. Made using Jack Daniels, other spirits and a selection of spices, biting into one, it floods your mouth with spiced whisky, a sensational treat. The Margaritas certainly warrant a mention, not only is it velvety smooth, they rim the glass with smoked sea salt to add an extra layer, while the Bloody Marry uses there own umami heavy mix to spice the drink.
As ever with a bar, if you can get one of the few seats at the bar, do so, and get talking to the superb team on young bartenders. They’re passionate, knowledgeable and happy to chat.