By Rob Pickard
With Christmas round the corner, I’m sure the spirits fans amongst you will be dusting off those obscure bottles in the spirits cupboard and stocking up on the essentials for the annual period of experimental cocktail making. However if you are drinking out over the next few weeks in London and want to sample some of the best cocktails going, pay a visit to The Savoy’s legendary American Bar, and taste the delights of the equally legendary Erik Lorincz, Savoy Head Bartender and 2010 Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year – two titles that pack a punch within the spirits industry. This guy knows his stuff and is creating some of the finest cocktails in the world.
Erik is a huge fan of the classic cocktails the American Bar is renowned for, but knows that these drinks are only as good as the components with which they are made. Erik favours using the finest small batch, handcrafted spirits and liqueurs to create his drinks. One such ingredient, which is featuring heavily within Erik’s current creations, is the Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao, a classic liqueur made from a heady mix of spice and orange peel produced by Cognac Ferrand.
Based on a 19th century recipe, the Dry Curacao is crafted by Pierre Ferrand’s Alexandre Gabriel and cocktail historian David Wondrich. A traditional French Triple Sec, the Curacao is tripled distilled with its blend of spices, bitters and peels of Curacao oranges, before being blended with brandy and Ferrand Cognac. The result is an extremely rich, complex and aromatic liqueur, and a world away from most orange flavoured liquers.
The quality of the liqueur is evident from its use by top bartenders across the UK. Erik is a big fan, using it to make one of his newest creations, The Pioneer.
Erik’s inspiration for The Pioneer came from Harry Craddock, one of the pioneers of the cocktail or ‘American’ style drinks movement, which began in the late 1800′s through to the 1930′s. An American bartender, Craddock arrived at The Savoy in 1920, soon after the beginning of Prohibition. Craddock became Head Bartender at The American Bar in 1925, and was very much seen as a pioneer of his time, creating classic drinks which still live on today.
His greatest legacy however was The Savoy Cocktail Book, first published in 1930 and still in print today. Harry compiled almost forty years of cocktails created in the American Bar into the book, and within these recipes, Orange Curacao is a common component, adding character and complexity to his timeless drinks. Erik’s ‘The Pioneer‘ thus honours one of his illustrious predecessors at The American Bar and a man who helped kick start the entire cocktail movement in London.
The Pioneer by Erik Lorincz
50ml light rum
15ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao
15ml Swedish Flagpunch
1 Barspoon caster sugar
30ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
3 Dash of Creole Bitters
Shaken up on ice
Served in a Champagne Coupier with one hand carved rock of ice
Check out the video below of Erik making the The Pioneer at The American Bar, with a few thoughts on the cocktail -
Check out a few more cocktail recipes with the Orange Curacao on Bibendum’s facebook page, from the likes of Dawid Steenkamp at Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa, Max Cordell-Smith of The Living Room W1 and Cocktail historian David Wondrich.
Click here to find out more about Bibendum Spirits