Lifetime Achievement Award for the Savoy’s Joe Gilmore

Five generations of American Bar head bartender gather to salute the creator of the Moonwalk.

Joe shakes up a Moonwalk

Some of the best things in life occur very rarely: a visit by Halley’s Comet, a good Vince Vaughn movie or a delay-free Central Line are points in case.

Seeing five generations of Savoy American Bar head ‘tender together behind the stick definitely falls into this category, and BarLifeUK were privileged enough to witness it today, in honour of Joe Gilmore’s services to cocktail culture.

Germany’s Mixology magazine held industry awards last year during the Berlin Bar Show, with Mr. Gilmore receiving the Lifetime Achievement gong. As Joe was unable to attend, BarLifeUK accepted it on his behalf, with the promise of safely delivering it to him back in London.

Erik Lorincz, The American Bar’s current head bartender, pulled out all the stops and invited Salim Khoury, Victor Gower and Peter Dorelli along for the presentation, which provided us and the many industry guests who attended the rare pleasure of seeing five generations of American Bar icon shaking it up together.

Joe with his Lifetime Achievement trophy from Germany's Mixology Magazine

Joe looked perfectly at home behind the bar as he made a Moonwalk cocktail, which he first created in 1969 to mark the original moon landing – and was also the first drink taken by the team on their return to terra firma.

When he had finished his stint behind the bar, Joe told us: “Thank you very much to Mixology magazine for this beautiful shaker trophy. I am going to take it home and treasure it forever.

Erik Loricnz said: “This is the dream of all bartenders – to see all these guys today and to be able to dig into such a deep history. Joe is one of the only people who met Harry Craddock… I get goose bumps when I speak to him about the past’s great bartenders.”

BarLifeUK can genuinely say it was moving to see Joe and the guys behind the bar together… Can you imagine the stories they could tell you over a night of Martinis? Congratulations to Joe on his Lifetime Achievement award, and thanks to Mixology Magazine and everyone at the American Bar for making it happen.