If you’ve ever felt your drinking lacked contextualisation, the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel is the place for you. This top-notch, swanky-as-sh*t cocktail bar is home to what is essentially a multi-sensory booze exhibition, which takes you through hundreds of years of British history, folk tales and alcohol consumption, one sip at a time.
Just take a look at the menu, which from afar could be confused with one of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings offshoots (it’s not quite Fellowship of the Ring hefty), illustrated with maps which explain the region of the UK – it is a coast-to-coast exploration of the drinking habits of the British counties – from which each cocktail hails.
To tell you which cocktails to go for would almost spoil the experience, and I didn’t try a single one that didn’t impress – but just for the sake of good journalism, I particularly enjoyed the Rockefeller’s Reserve (don’t let the prune-infused bourbon throw you off) and the Tunnel Piper, which is served with a story that is too good to ruin here.
There are several stages to the cocktail collection, and the suggestion is that you should make it through each one to have completed the full experience. If you plan on walking out of the place on your own two legs, I recommend you leave it to 3/4 (you still may need a shoulder to lean on).
Bear in mind, It’ll cost you – with the standard cocktail running at around £18 – but if ever a cocktail merited its steep pricing, it is here.