The American Bar’s master mixologist Erik Lorincz is leaving The Savoy after eight yearsBy Edith Hancock
The Savoy’s head bartender Erik Lorincz is hanging up his white jacket and plans to leave his role at the American Bar next month after nearly eight years of service.
Lorincz, who will leave his position as Head Bartender at the American Bar on 2 May, told the drinks business he plans to spend the next two months travelling the world with “a list of bars I would like to visit, seeing how they work behind the scenes,” and wants set up a cocktail bar of his own in the future in central London.
“There are a lot of mixed feelings,” he said. “It is very sad to be leaving, but everything comes to an end at some point. I’m happy to have lasted so long at the American Bar.”
He joined the American Bar as Head Bartender when the hotel re-launched after extensive refurbishment in 2010.
“I still remember how insane it was to see people queueing just to get in and have a drink,” he told db.
The American Bar has been featured in the World’s 50 Best Bars list every year since it opened in 2010, and has only been listed outside of the top 10 once.
It was named the best bar in Europe under his stewardship in the 2016, placing second in the world behind New York’s Dead Rabbit. Last year, the American Bar surpassed the competition and currently holds the title for the best cocktail bar in the world.
“There have been so many incredible moments working here, it’s hard to choose just one, but winning that award was definitely a highlight.”
“London truly is an amazing place for cocktails,” he said.
“There is no comparison. Whether you’re looking for a grand hotel bar or one of these new speakeasy style places there is something for all tastes and trends.”
Including Lorincz, the American Bar has seen only ten Head Bartenders in its 125 year history. From Ada “Coley” Coleman in 1903 and Harry Craddock in the 1920s to recent veterans, Joe Gilmore, Victor Gower and Peter Dorelli.
But it hasn’t always been plain sailing. Asked about his worst bartending disaster, Lorincz revealed that, while he was making a martini for talkative a customer, he was so distracted by their conversation he forgot to add the gin. And vermouth.
“I kept adding bits of water just to clean out the shaker,” he said, “and we kept chatting and chatting. When I served it up to him he took one sip and looked at me, and told me it just tasted like water. It was.”
Incredibly low-ABV gin martinis aside, Lorincz is a household name in London’s hospitality industry, even launching his own line of Japanese-made cocktail shakers in 2014.
“Working with the team at the American Bar has been amazing,” he said. “We really are more of a family than anything.”
Bar Manager Declan McGurk said: “Erik will always be a Head Bartender of the American Bar and his legacy isn’t just within The Savoy as he has set a standard globally for the profession of bartending.”