Currently, the world’s second best bar, is the American Bar at the Savoy hotel in London. This iconic bar still have servers in white jackets and a pianist in the middle of the bar. With 125 years of history it’s easy to think the cocktail list would be equally old (which wouldn’t be a bad thing). But the menu is is surprisingly contemporary, with a classic cocktail here and there.
As expected cocktails are among the priciest in London. Ranging from around 16 GBP to 25 GBP the average cocktail is probably 18 GBP. With the automatically added service fee of 12,5% this means one cocktail will set you off around 20 GBP (25 USD). Hence, the obvious question, are they worth it . . .
. . . and indeed they are! Sipping spectacular cocktails in this historical bar is a truly enjoyable experience, hard to put a price on to be honest. Below are the first two cocktails of the evening, a bright green Seven Springs and a ruby red Pharmacist. As seen cocktails are served in generous pours and decorated in mouthwatering ways. The Pharmacist is made with rye and Savoy’s house made grenadine. Seven Springs is made with mezcal, coconut, basil, coriander and smoked salt. These were the two perfect cocktails to start with, really showcasing what the American Bar is all about.
Second round consisted of a Hackney Carriage and a Secret Agent. The first one was made with both whiskey and rum, two types of spirit normally never mixed, and some simple syrup and Peychauds bitters. Served in a shallow glass, with a big piece of clear ice in the middle this was an impressive and delicious cocktail. The Hackney Carriage was mixed using two different types of whiskey, cocchi amaro, absinth, sugar and lemon.
Final round of cocktails consisted of an Old Terraced House Cocktail and a Napoleon’s Wish. What Napoleon wished for, according to Savoy, was obviously whiskey, calvados, cocchi di torino, pear eau de vie, sugar and soda. Mixed together these ingredients formed a refreshing cocktail, potentially more suitable for summer than winter. The Old Terraced House cocktail was made with whiskey, crème de cassis, byrrh, absinthe and grenadine. Somehow resembling a Negroni, this was one of the best cocktails we tried during our evening (although all six were good).
This bar we will return to whenever in London, for sure. Booking is not possible, so just show up. (But be prepared to be put on a wait list). And do dress up, this is a bar where you want to feel elegant to fit with the theme and the history. Ties are not required, but were worn by us anyway. Better overdressed than underdressed!