Joe Gilmore shakes things up behind The American Bar

Alright already, so Ms S has succumbed and had a little lapse on the detox front. But do you know what? As the tipple in question was a toast to Joe Gilmore, the oldest bartender in the UK still mixing cocktails, we think it would have been just plain rude to refuse…

Not that he mixes up cocktails on a regular basis – Mr Gilmore is 93 after all. No, today the legendary bartender stood behind The American Bar where he served the great and the good from 1954 to 1975.

Peter Dorelli, Victor Gower, Salim Khoury, Joe Gilmore and Erik Lorincz, five generations of head bartenders at The American Bar

We, along with London’s top bartenders and four generations of head bartenders at The American Bar were invited along to celebrate Gilmore’s much deserved Lifetime Achievement Award which he won at the Mixology Bar Awards in Berlin last year. As he couldn’t attend the initial ceremony, his trophy – a giant-sized shaker – was presented to him at The American Bar today.

It was a magical moment as Erik Lorincz handed over the prize, but even better was seeing the little twinkle in Gilmore’s eyes as he shook his signature drink, The Moonwalk, created in 1969 to mark the first landing on the moon. We’re told that this delightfully crisp, fruity and refreshing cocktail was the first drink the astronauts enjoyed when they arrived back on earth. Apparently, Neil Armstrong loved it so much, he wrote Gilmore a letter expressing his appreciation. Having tasted it today, we can understand why.

Joe Gilmore mixes up a White Lady

So now you know the background, we’re sure you’ll appreciate just why Ms S caved in and had that drink… Like we said, on such a prestigious occasion we think she was definitely allowed.

The Moonwalk

1 part fresh grapefruit
1 part Grand Marnier
2 dashes of rosewater

Shake ingredients over ice, strain into a fluted glass and top with Champagne.


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