In the first episode of a brand new series of The Drinking Hour podcast, host David Kermode talks all things cocktails with the former head bartender of The Savoy’s American Bar, Shannon Tebay. Ironically, Tebay was the first American to run the bar, hailing from New Mexico before moving to New York to train as a pastry chef. This wasn’t always the plan, though. Tebay originally went to the US capital to study art, but fell in love with the city’s food and drink scene while there. Tebay made history in more ways than one – transferring to London to become the second-ever woman to head up the famed hotel bar (the first being ‘the world’s most famous barmaid’ Ada Coleman, who held the position in the early 1900s).
The pair discuss the role of art in bartending, the methodology required in mixing drinks, and the similarities the craft has with working in the pastry section of a top restaurant. Tebay also shares her tips on how to make the perfect serve, using award-winning spirits from the IWSC – at which Tebay is chair of the spirits and mixers categories.