Cooler than Frank Sinatra doing it his way, The American Bar oozes style and has a string of awards to its name, including the prestigious Spirited Awards Best International Bar Team for 2018.
Today, that team is headed up by Maxim Schulte, following in the footsteps of a veritable who’s who of bartending. Erik Lorincz, Peter Dorelli and Harry Craddock, author of the iconic 1930s Savoy Cocktail Book, have all been ‘behind the stick’ here.
First opened in 1893, when fancy ‘American-style’ mixed drinks were all the rage, the bar now evokes a golden era of cocktails, with its understated elegance and flawless service – all set against the backdrop of a tinkling piano and ice gently clinking in cocktail shakers.
The list changes every year, but the current line-up takes inspiration from the bar’s iconic collection of celebrity photos by Terry O’Neill – and it’s a delight to peruse. Highlights include First Impressions, an uplifting blend of Bombay Sapphire Gin, yuzu wine, St Germain and Champagne cordial with a hit of white pepper, that commemorates the first meeting of David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor. There’s also Sinatra’s Stage (naturally), a wise-cracking concoction of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Dom Bénédictine, pistachio syrup, lemon and Martini Rubino Vermouth.
Drinks are beautifully presented in bespoke and vintage glassware, with meticulous attention to detail. Of course, the skilled team of bartenders can also recreate any classic fix you care to name – and will probably remember what you ordered on your last visit too. Pure class.