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How a London bar was named the World's top cocktail spot

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By Katy Dartford
How a London bar was named the World's top cocktail spot

<p>This year’s winner of ‘The World’s Best Bar’ award is an old London classic, but says it’s still learning new tricks to stay relevant.</p> <p>Whilst aged spirits sit on the art deco shelves of the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar, the barmen aren’t remaining rooted in the past.</p> <p>In the late 19th and early 20th century, as transatlantic travel became more popular and affordable, many so-called ‘American Bars’ popped up across UK’s capital.</p> <p>They served what were at the time described as “American-style” drinks. Today, they’re simply known as cocktails.</p> <p>The Savoy Hotel’s American Bar is claimed to be the longest surviving of those bars. </p> <p>But rather than clinging on to the past, bartenders here continue to experiment with different spirits, styles and flavours.</p> <p>Its current cocktail menu – named ‘Coast to Coast’ – whisks guests on a liquid journey across Britain, exploring its unique ingredients and nuanced flavours.</p> <p>It takes inspiration from the Garden of England, Art Deco London, Sherwood Forest and Edinburgh.</p> <p>“It was all about chefs, all about food and not much about bars,” says head bartender Erik Lorincz.</p> <p>“And I think today, the bars are being recognised as a destination. And destinations for an experience, rather than just having a drink.”</p> <p>Recently, the American Bar was honoured for its unique experience.</p> <p>It was named ‘World’s Best Bar’ in an annual list of the top 50, having received the most votes from over 500 industry experts.</p> <p>“The bar landscape is always changing,” explains William Drew, group editor at The World’s 50 Best Bars.</p> <p>“People want an experience always, but they don’t necessarily want the same experience rectified everywhere. </p> <p>“So, they want a sense of place and I think the American Bar has that sense of history, which gives a sense of place, but also its recent menu has been an exploration of drinks based on the different regions of the UK. So, that again gives it a very sense of being a very British bar.”</p> <p>The bar is also responding to a new trend for non-alcoholic beverages as drinkers demand the same level of attention to detail without the intoxicating affect.</p> <p>Lorincz says they’ve crafted their own sodas and flavoured syrups, meaning barmen can mix up beverages with zero alcohol, but still lots of flavour.</p> <p>One example is this non-alcoholic ‘Art Deco’ cocktail. It contains eucalyptus and peppermint syrup.</p> <p>Opened in 1889, London’s Savoy Hotel and its American Bar is now owned by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.</p>