American Bar's Coast to Coast menu gives more attention to inventing new recipes, ingredients and innovative serves than reinventing the older, classic cocktails. A move bar manager Declan McGurk tips to make it the 'most successful menu to date'.
When faced with another season and a six-month period to create a menu that needed to wow and compete with the best, the American Bar team took a critical eye at its previous menus and set about working on something modern.
'We considered the previous menu and analysed what had worked and identified what could be improved,' McGurk told Imbibe. 'We wanted the concept to reflect the bar's history with over a century of storytelling but at the same time move forward, with a new approach to creating modern-day stories. Less attention was given to reinventing the older, classic cocktails and more to inventing new recipes, ingredients and innovative serves.'
The key focus, he said, was on the guest experience. 'By engaging the guest through a sensory journey,' he added. 'As such, the funding went on the table, with bespoke serves for each drink.'
Rather than having one stand-out cocktail, McGurk said they have created a menu full of stand-out serves. 'We wanted to move away from having one stand-out cocktail,' he explained. 'My personal favourite is the Kentish Cob, one of Erik's drinks, with its unique hazelnut and coffee soda.'
Every drink on the menu has at least one homemade ingredient and all drinks are made fresh to order. Something the team refuse to budge on, despite making 1,250 to 1,500 drinks a week.
Increasingly, as much emphasis is placed on the look and feel of the menu as the actual drinks, so what is the American Bar's new one all about? 'The menu and serves were designed and created internally,' the bar manager said. 'We used illustrator Jessica Hovell to illustrate the menu, but these sketches had a purpose and were more of a tool, taking the guest on a journey through the menu – starting with a map. The whole process took six months.'
American Bar's Coast to Coast is available to sample now.
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