Co-owner of London’s Kwānt, Erik Lorincz came to fame as head bartender of the Savoy’s iconic American Bar. He shares his insights into his adoptive home, and a Black Tears cocktail.

Born and raised in the little city of Nitra, in what is now Slovakia, Erik Lorincz fell in love with the idea of cocktails while working in a pub. He worked at London’s Sanderson and Connaught hotels before taking up one of bartending’s most coveted roles as head bartender of the Savoy’s American Bar. Now running his own place, Kwānt, he shares how to enjoy his adoptive home, now beginning to reopen after a lengthy lockdown.

Where is the best place to drink rum in London?
There’s a very good rum collection at Artesian at the Langham; Laki Kane in Islington is a tropical rum bar that has great cocktails, great bartenders, and a good rum collection; you can’t forget Trailer Happiness, a great classic rum bar; and the Donovan Bar by Salvatore has an amazing collection of very old rare rums as well.

What is the top hotel bar in London and why?
That’s a hard one because I’ve worked in two of them and they are both still great and unique: the American Bar at the Savoy and the bar at the Connaught Hotel. London is the capital of hotel bars, and Fumoir at Claridge’s is a great addition to the hotel, with amazing food and very skilled bartenders.

What independent bars should we not miss in London, and why?

The list is pretty big here! I really like Tayēr/Elementary, which is very progressive, very creative, with an amazing team; Scout is another bar that’s really focused on local ingredients, on techniques, almost like a chef’s way of thinking; Little Mercies in Crouch End is a nice neighbourhood bar but has an amazing creative bar programme with very, very tasty drinks.

Where’s the best place to buy cocktail ingredients in London?
Online, The Whisky Exchange has an amazing range of liquors, with everything you’d use at the bar. Or you can walk into Gerry’s in Old Compton Street, an off-license and liquor store that has everything from Czech absinth to pisco and rare spirits, liqueurs, bitters, vermouths...

Where’s the best place to find cool glassware in London?
I designed the glassware for Kwant and all the glasses are bespoke. But John Jenkins has very nice glassware for cocktails. They specialise in glassware for bars.

Where’s the best place to get bespoke tailoring in London?
It’s Savile Row for sure. I had one of my tuxedos made by Henry Poole on Savile Row. I did about three or four fittings but when it was ready, I put it on, it was like a glove. It’s so well made. I still have it, from nine years ago, and even though I put on a few pounds, it still fits.

What’s the best barber shop in London?
I really like Murdock London, on Regent Street at the Hackett store. The guys are really, really into their field, they know exactly how to greet you and get the right cut. What I like about Murdock is the whole experience—how they treat you, the products they have, the way they communicate with you…

Where should we go for a drink with a view?
Nest at the Treehouse Hotel has a 360° view so you can see London from almost every angle. It’s a very hipster place but very centrally located, with a fantastic terrace.

Where should we go for coffee in London?
I really like the one down the road from us on Swallow Street: Hagen.

Tell us a secret place in London that we shouldn’t miss.
Pickering Place is the smallest square in England. It’s just off St. James’s Street and has a massive history but not many people know it exists. Because it’s so hidden between the buildings, they used to use it for duels, so it has a very interesting story behind it.


“I’m personally a big fan of Cuban rums and Black Tears has a great story behind it,” says Lorincz. “It keeps the Cuban dry style without spoiling the rum by adding too much sugar and making it too sweet for the palate.” For his cocktail, a twist on the retro Gin and It, Lorincz worked with the cacao, coffee and spice profile to create a classic sipping drink.

Rum ‘n’ It

45ml Black Tears dry spiced

25ml Cocchi Torino vermouth

10ml Maraschino liqueur

10ml Roasted buckwheat cordial,

Stir all ingredients well with ice and pour into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with orange peel.

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