We can’t get enough of Mojitos and Manhattans these days, so we caught up with Erik Lorincz, head barman at the Savoy’s legendary American Bar to teach us a thing or two about the art of mixology and simple tips for making the most of summer cocktails
Cocktail bars are cropping up all over the place these days but for the ultimate mixology experience oozing with glamour, you won’t do better than the ‘American Bar’ in London’s swanky hotel, The Savoy. As one of the most iconic cocktail bars in the world dating back to the early 1900s, its first truly ‘famous’ bartender was a lady named Ada ‘Coley’ Coleman whose signature cocktail, the Hanky Panky, is still a popular choice today.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and Erik Lorincz is the eleventh head bartender at the American Bar, following The Savoy’s restoration. We caught up with award-winning mixology guru, Lorincz, who tells us why citrus is spot-on for summer drinks:
“One ingredient that I prefer to use and is a perfect twist to a summer cocktail is citrus. First and foremost, the juice produced, provides an added freshness to drinks, ensuring a perfect and harmonious balance of flavour. Citrus is very easy to mix and works well with all spirits, herbs and other fruits. In addition to fruit juice, citrus skin also carries an exceptional amount of aromatic oils. I therefore love to use the skin, just to squeeze over the drink, extracting the aromatic citrus oils and transferring them on the surface of the drink. When lifting the glass close to your nose, the aroma of citrus notes instantly enhances and reinvigorates your senses.
After squeezing the citrus, I often peel the fruit and use the skin for cordials, the variation of energising citrus flavours works perfectly to create an innovative tone to any drink. Another method to try is to dehydrate the skin, gradually blending it to powder. Like the juice, citrus powder also contains sensational aromatic oils that can be used as a foundation flavour in any drink. The use of fresh, zesty flavours is ideal to awaken one’s senses and revitalise yourself on a hot summer’s day.
The Pimm’s Cup is a fairly simple drink to prepare and one which is easily enjoyed! Pimm’s celebrates not only our British heritage, as it was originally created in England, but also celebrates the beginning of summer. The mix of citrus nots and fresh mint can be enjoyed throughout the summer season and is often associated with traditional British sporting event such as Wimbledon. Here are two recipes:
Garnish: Fresh mint, cucumber, lemon, berries.
Build all ingredients in a highball glass, stir with ice and garnish
Vintage Pimm’s Cup
25ml of Pimm’s – No of your choice
80ml Homemade lemonade
3 drops aromatic bitters
Garnish: lemon peel, mint cucumber, berries. Build all ingredients in vintage highball, stir and garnish.
“We own the whole collection of Pimm’s No.1 No.2 No.3 N0.4 No.5 No.6 with bottles dating back to the 1970s and 80s. Apart from No.1 which is still in production, the rest of them are no longer produced.
“The numbers are indicative to the base spirit: No.1 gin, No.2 whisky, No.3 brandy, No.4 rum, No.5 rye and No.6 vodka.”
Are you an expert with the cocktail shaker and fancy glasses? We’d love to hear about your summer cocktail parties and recipes…