I had the pleasure a few weeks ago of being invited to The Savoy to meet head bartender Erik Lorincz. The occasion was to mark the launch of Diageo’s World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide that features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe – Erik is one.of four London bartenders chosen.
Alongside some insider tips to their city, each bartender showcases a drink that combines innovation and the best of ingredients. Erik’s drink, ‘One Night’ was originally created for the launch of Cartier’s fragrance Declaration D’un Soir, which can be seen in its use of floral and spice notes. It’s a delicately balanced twist on a whisky sour and given we were testing it at ten in the morning, extremely easy to drink.
However, the best part of the morning was after he’d demonstrated how to make the drink, we got to sit and chat to Erik before the lunchtime rush began. The Savoy is a major part of London’s drinking history and Erik is clearly proud to be part of it. Like any barman worth his salt, he had many anecdotes and tales to tell us of the bar’s traditions. I won’t share too many of these in case you get lucky enough to snag one of the coveted bar stools at The American bar to hear them yourself but the best story was about Harry Craddock’s penchant for burying a cocktail shaker at every bar he worked at.
Some of these have been uncovered but in spite of the recent refurbishments at The Savoy, the American Bar has still to locate where Harry hid his legacy there. Not to be deterred, Erik and his colleagues showed us a video made during the construction of the new bar in which they hide a flask (containing a somewhat dubious sounding blend of Craddock’s signature drinks) in Harry’s honour. Future generations of Savoy barmen should take note…
40 ml Singleton
10 ml Pimento Dram
10 ml fresh lemon juice
40 ml sugar syrup
Dash of egg white
Aromatic bitters and violet spray to garnish
Shake the first five ingredients and strain into a sour glass. Garnish with the aromatic bitters and violet spray. (Nb Add less syrup if you don’t have a really sweet tooth. Also, if you don’t have Pimento Dram, a reasonable substitute is to add some whole allspice when you are making your sugar syrup.)