Considering the Savoy’s role in cocktail culture, it’s fitting that the iconic London hotel’s parent company Fairmont Hotels & Resorts launched its new cocktail program there in October.
Billed as “Classics Perfected,” the new menu features three sections: the most-requested classic cocktails, revived classic drinks and the “neats,” which highlight the program’s carefully selected global spirits.
Fairmont hosted several international spirits journalists and local media at the Oct. 21 launch party at the Savoy. The event showcased the hotel group’s “Revival” cocktails and spirit partners such as Veuve Clicquot Champagne.
The drinks included the Sparkling Collins Royale, made with Belvedere vodka, Veuve Clicquot, mint, cucumber and lemon; Perfect Martinez, with The Botanist gin, Cointreau, sweet red and dry vermouth and Angostura bitters; Right Word, with Bombay Sapphire gin, Lillet Blanc, St. Germain elderflower liqueur and fresh lime; VSOP Boulevardier, with Gentlemen Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, Remy Martin VSOP Cognac, Campari and sweet red vermouth; the Fairmont Old Fashioned, with Woodford Reserve bourbon, Mount Gay Black Barrel rum and Angostura bitters; and Pomegranate Paloma, with Casamigos Reposado tequila, Cointreau, fresh lemon and grapefruit juices, pomegranate juice and Angostura bitters.
(For recipes of some of these, see the next page.)
Intensive Cocktail R&D
So how did the Toronto-based luxury hotel operator come up with drink recipes that would honor and enhance the classics? For the first time it named key Fairmont Tastemakers—five of the best bartenders from its hotels worldwide—and brought the group together to create a selection of balanced, appropriate and exceptional cocktails for the brand.
The team included Erik Lorincz, head bartender from the American Bar in the Savoy; Grant Sceney, head bartender at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver; Tom Hogan, head craftsman at the Fairmont Singapore; Nader Chabaane, director of mixology at Le Fairmont Chateau Frontenac in Quebec; and John Paul Romeo, bartender at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, CA. The five traveled to Seattle this past June for an intensive cocktail development workshop with beverage/food/hospitality consulting firm Kathy Casey Food Studios—Liquid Kitchen.
(Fairmont’s fab five bartenders are pictured atop, from left: John Paul Romeo of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, CA; Nader Chabaane, Le Fairmont Chateau Frontenac in Quebec; Grant Sceney, the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver; Erik Lorincz, the American Bar in the Savoy in London; and Tom Hogan, the Fairmont Singapore.)
The Fairmont bartenders worked with Casey and her team on the new global cocktail menu, mixing, tasting and tweaking the drink recipes and determining the proper garnish and glassware. (Schott Zwiesel crystal, distributed by Fortessa, is supplying the glassware for the “Classics Perfected”cocktails.) It was a unique opportunity for the Fairmont bartenders to collaborate and learn from each other in a laboratory setting, Sceney says.