O'Neill's style of photography resulted in candid and often unconventional depictions of the stars of the 60s and 70s. Featuring the likes of Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, David Bowie, Judy Garland, Peter Sellers and Dudley Moore, each portrait displayed in the bar reveals a hidden story, and they are as much a part of the American Bar as its shakers and glassware. Bar manager Declan McGurk, head bartender, Erik Lorincz and the entire team have used the idea of every moment telling a story for the basis of an innovative, yet timeless menu, creating a cocktail around each image, and the story behind it.
Recently awarded World’s Best Bar at World’s 50 Best, the American Bar’s new cocktail menu is mapped out in a unique manner. Rather than grouping drinks in alphabetical or thematic order, the flavour journey is charted on a tasting graph, with length of drink and light vs dark as its indices. At the start of the menu, short and light drinks such as Behind Closed Doors feature, then the menu moves through long cocktails like The Googly before finishing with intense short drinks like The Horror Quartet. All cocktails from the new menu are classically served in beautifully crafted glassware and presented to the table on a bespoke coaster that has been designed to emulate the shutter of a camera.
Each cocktail in the menu has been inspired by a particular portrait hanging on the wall of the bar, and in turn a snapshot of history. From Marlene Dietrich, a regular at The Savoy walking back on stage for an encore in London in 1975, and Frank Sinatra performing at the Royal Albert Hall of the same year, to Faye Dunaway taking breakfast by the pool with the morning newspapers after winning her 1976 Oscar for Best Actress and former Beatle Paul McCartney playing at a wedding reception for Ringo Starr accompanied by his late wife Linda, each iconic picture tells a story.
Examples from the new cocktail menu include:
- PINSTRIPE - £20 - Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, dressed in a pinstripe suit, 1976.
- YOU AND I - £30 - Barbra Streisand at her Beverly Hills home in 1976, the year she won an Academy Award for the song ‘Evergreen’ from the film ‘A Star is Born’.
- THAT’S A WRAP - £18 - Actor Clint Eastwood reads a newspaper between takes on the western ‘Joe Kidd’ directed by John Sturges in 1972.
- CAPTURING THE MOMENT TO SHARE - £50 - A sharing cocktail for two in honour of Terry O’Neill himself
2) Bacardi 8yr old rum, amaro blend, pineapple syrup, cold brew coffee
Terry O’Neill is one of the world’s most collected photographers with work hanging in national art galleries and private collections worldwide. O’Neill began his career at the birth of the 1960s. While other photographers concentrated on earthquakes, wars and politics, O’Neill was chronicling the emerging faces of film, fashion and music who would go on to define the Swinging Sixties.
No other living photographer has embraced the span of fame, capturing the icons of our age from Winston Churchill to Nelson Mandela, from Elvis to Amy Winehouse, from Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot to Nicole Kidman, as well as every James Bond from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig. During the 1980s a decision was made by the then General Manager, Willy Bauer, and legendary American Bar Head Bartender Peter Dorelli, to purchase and decorate the walls of the American Bar with some of O’Neill’s legendary photographs, and they have hung there ever since.
Declan McGurk says of the new menu; "This menu excites us greatly. The works of Terry O'Neill have dominated our décor for so long that it is now time to bring these walls to life and turn these wonderful stories into cocktails"
The American Bar operates a no reservations policy.
Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday: 11:30 am - 12:00 am - Sundays: 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Dress Code: Smart Casual, No Sportswear