For those who might ever have wished to drink their way around London, it’s now possible – without having to move an inch. Time to take a pew at The Savoy’s American Bar, where, from Monday January 18, a tempting new cocktail menu plays homage to six of the capital’s boroughs. Looking from Westminster to Hackney, Tower Hamlets to Camden, the team at the storied bar has drawn inspiration from four areas within each of the six boroughs to meddle, mix and shake up 24 unique and tasty tipples (from £16). The cocktails take their cue from parks, squares, landmarks and nooks and crannies – in the spirit of one of the bar’s longest surviving cocktails, the Green Park.
For example, chancing upon London’s smallest square, next to Berry Bros and Rudd in St James’s, Savoy barmen Declan McGurk and Erik Lorincz discovered that this was where the last duel in London was fought. That inspired a drink in two parts – the Pickering Place (pictured) – one made with gin and champagne, the other with Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel mixed with coffee and branca menta (duelling afterwards not obligatory).
Another, City Lights, takes its inspiration from the Hackney Empire, built in 1901. It is a nod to the colourful era of cinema, and the drink is a Grey Goose-based flower-shop tincture mixed with rose aperitif and champagne.
“The new menu is a celebration of London,” says McGurk, “from famous sites, such as St Paul’s, to lesser-known hidden areas. The whole point is storytelling. We wanted to research an area, understand the background, choose a spirit base to suit it, then create a drink to reflect that certain mood.”