Although her mega-million facelift left this grande dame of luxury hotels scarred by decor of deeply questionable taste, its listed interior meant that the art-deco American Bar – synonymous with elegant tippling for more than 120 years – escaped pretty much intact. As a resident pianist tinkles the ivories with ditties from the classic American songbook, well-groomed punters and a celebrity cast list try out globally renowned head barman Erik Lorincz’s latest bad boys, as well as timeless fixes such as white lady, martinez, hanky-panky and other classics that originated here. If you are looking for a more contemporary sip, we suggest ordering golden era (Grey Goose vodka, Martini Rosato, lime, cranberry juice and a hint of almond) – a recipe invented for the bar’s 2010 relaunch. But whether you take the classic or modern route, cocktails here are the stuff of legend.
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