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London City Airport enlists 80s drinks legend

and former Savoy Hotel Head Bartender to create signature cocktail for airport’s 30th birthday

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Andrew Scott

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Liam McKay

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23/10/2017

  • Peter Dorelli was Head Bartender at the famous American Bar at the Savoy Hotel from 1984 to 2003, which was crowned the world’s best bar last month
  • His retro creation is called ‘The East End Flyer’, inspired by aviation, London and the 1980s drinks trends. A YouTube demonstration video of Peter making the cocktail is here.
  • The drink, which includes Beefeater Gin, peach schnapps and Southern Comfort, will be on sale at the airport’s City Bar for a limited time on a special 30th birthday cocktail menu
  • The first commercial flights began on 26th October 1987, and the airport was opened by HM The Queen on 5th November 1987

To celebrate the 30th birthday of London City Airport, Peter Dorelli, the 1980s drinks legend, has created a special signature cocktail called The East End Flyer.

Peter is the former Head Bartender of the American Bar at the famous Savoy Hotel in London’s West End, where he worked for 23 years, serving royalty, politicians, business leaders and celebrities of the day. The ingredients for The East End Flyer were chosen by Peter, following a commission by the airport to create a drink inspired by aviation, East London, and the 1980s palate.

A measure of London’s Beefeater gin, a famous London brand and a spirit associated with the RAF and flying, combines with the sweetness of peach schnapps and Southern Comfort, popular drinks of the 1980s reflecting the tastes of the decade. Pink grapefruit Juice, cranberry juice and Grenadine provide a little extra East-End sweetness, with sourness and complexity. The cocktail is shaken over ice and served in a double martini glass.

Peter Dorelli said:

“I have really tried to capture the spirit of the time to mark the airport’s birthday and create a tempting celebratory cocktail. Many of my guests would fly to and from London City after it opened, because it’s only a 30 minutes journey door to door from Central London. 30 years on, this brief was a great chance to play with some nostalgic flavours and create a sweet, stylish and decadent drink.”

A London City Airport spokesperson said:

"Those who grew up in the 80s look back with fondness at the big hairstyles, shoulder pads and leg warmers, cult TV shows, and pop music defined by the classics penned by Stock Aitken Waterman. The airport is a proud 80s child, a product of a decade which saw rapid and considerable change, from politics to popular culture. What better way to celebrate than with an indulgent cocktail reminiscent of the time."

The East End Flyer will be sold exclusively at the airport’s City Bar for £13.95, appearing on a special 30th birthday cocktail menu which includes other 80s-inspired drinks including Purple Rain and Air Mail.

The East End Flyer

35 ml Beefeater gin 15 ml Peach schnapps 10 ml Southern Comfort 15 ml Pink grapefruit juice 20 ml Cranberry juice 5 ml Grenadine

The Mindful Flyer (non-alcoholic version)

20 ml Cranberry juice 20 ml Orange juice 20 ml Pink grapefruit juice 10 ml Grenadine 20 ml Orange juice 40 ml Peach juice

About Peter Dorelli

Dorelli started working at the Pebble Bar at Stones Chop House in the West End in 1963 – a bar owned by the Savoy Group. Whilst there, he became extremely well reputed with celebrities of the day – particularly film stars, due to the bars proximity to Wardour Street, a centre of the film industry. From 1980, Dorelli worked at the American Bar at the Savoy, becoming Head Bartender in 1984 (where he served the Queen Mother). In 2003 he left The Savoy after 23 years. He is now heading up the education programme for the UK Bartender’s Guild. Dorelli is best known for his Dry Martinis. He has built a reputation as an extremely charismatic and energetic figure, dedicated to both his profession and his customers.