Best of British: The Savoy's new cocktail menu

The London stalwart's latest creations offer an alcohol-infused tour of the country


It may be just up the road from Trafalgar Square, but the Savoy has always projected an air of New York glamour. Guests arrive under a stateside-style chrome canopy and those seeking refreshment are directed to the American Bar for live jazz and a drink.

Once inside, however, they will find a distinctly British flavour to the bar's new cocktail menu. Named Coast to Coast, it offers a tour of the country in spirits, cordials and botanicals.

The journey begins in the hop gardens of Kent, with a collection of fresh and floral long drinks. The St Lawrence Lime Tree (£20), named after Canterbury's cricket ground, is particularly invigorating. Tanqueray No 10 gin is mixed with Cocchi Americano aperitif wine, apple verjus, soda water and fresh coriander to give a summery fragrance and freshness.

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The menu calls next on the London of the 1920s and the birth of cocktail culture at the American Bar. Rum, vodka and bourbon feature heavily on a list that draws inspiration from the classics and each drink arrives on a black-and-silver art deco tray (below centre).

After a stop in Sherwood Forest, where the arboreal flavours of birch liqueur, fresh lime and eucalyptus are served up in silver goblets (above left), we head to the Peak District, where the industrial history inspires a steely series of drinks with names such as Spinning Jenny (£18) and Railway Revolutions (£20).

Then it's time to cross the border to Castle Rock - aka Edinburgh - for a whisky-laced selection mellowed with barley, honey, raspberry or "moorland mist": a fistful of Scottish botanicals macerated in alcohol.

The latter appears in Coast to Coast's crowning glory, the Blue Alpin (£50, above right), which blends Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky with geisha coffee cordial and vermouth in honour of Kenneth MacAlpin, the ninth-century warrior mythologised as the first king of the Scots.

MacAlpin's royal claim is somewhat disputed, but early Scottish historians were convinced by tales of his glorious reign. After one or two Blue Alpins, you will be, too.

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