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August 16, 2012

Clink With These Posh Drinks

Designer William Yeoward’s “American Bar” Revives the Glamour of Cocktail Culture

By Nancy Staab

Brit. designer and Host with the Most, William Yeoward, introduces glamorous cocktails and their proper vessels in his new coffee table book William Yeoward American Bar, and even gets the stamp of approval from the Royal Family

London-based designer William Yeoward’s name is practically synonymous with elegant entertaining, glimmering tablescapes and glinting crystal barware and glassware, so it was only a matter of time before the designer of furniture, flatware, crystal, china and table linens, should turn his thoughts to cocktails. The author of several glossy books on entertaining, his latest tome William Yeoward American Bar looks at classic mixology. The “American Bar” title may be a tad misleading, it alludes to a cocktail craze that began in America in the early 1900s, but for this book the veddy British Yeoward sources five of his favorite London watering holes for classic American-style drinks, including the posh The Connaught Bar, Annabel’s, Beaufort Bar and American Bar at The Savoy; and Berkeley Blue Bar. On the menu: everything from a classic martini and a gussied up Old Fashioned with maple and walnut-infused syrup and whiskey, to a Hanky Panky.

The 60 luscious libations, with recipes included, are photographed most glamorously in various crystal and glass vessels from Yeoward’s collection. The author emphasizes that like wine, cocktails require the proper vessels for their full appreciation. Yeoward also throws in a few canapé recipes for good measure. OK it may be a stretch to say that all these potent potables are royalty-approved but the honorary cocktail, The Royal Tribute, that the mixologist from The Savoy invented for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton is included in the book and Yeoward happens to have been granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment as Supplier of Crystal Glass to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. This is, indeed raising the bar. How tough was it for Yeoward to “research” this book? As the designer tells Architectural Digest, “ I do like to dress up in my Paul Smith shoes, sit elegantly on a cocktail-bar sofa, and sip some monstrous confection that I know is going to make me feel hugely better.”

“William Yeoward’s American Bar: The World’s Most Glamorous Cocktails” is available for $15.28 at

A page from Yeoward's book A page from Yeoward's book

The Connaught Bar, London The Connaught Bar, London