Savoy Hotel’s head bartender reveals how to make Bond’s favourite cocktail

Shannon Tebay knows how to make the perfect Vesper Martini — and it’s shaken, of course (Picture: Will Stanley/ Alamy)

Who better to ask about 007’s tipple of choice than the head bartender of The Savoy’s American Bar?

US-born Shannon Tebay recently landed the role at the iconic art deco venue, making her the second female to do so in the bar’s 127 year history.

She shares the secrets to the perfect Bond cocktail and talks female representation in the hospitality industry.

You’ve just been appointed head bartender at The Savoy’s American Bar. As an American, how does that feel?

The history of the American Bar is so important in the hospitality industry, and to be a part of that — not just being able to work in such an esteemed location but also as the first American and only the second female — it’s truly a great honour, so I feel delighted.

In 1903, Ada Coleman was the first female head bartender here. She was really interesting and I’m excited to follow in her footsteps.

Ada invented a cocktail called the Hanky-Panky, made from gin, sweet vermouth and Fernet-Branca, and I’m going to keep that on the menu and maybe do a tribute variation version too.

American Shannon Tebay is well-qualified to take the reins at The Savoy’s legendary bar (Picture: Will Stanley)

It’s vital to see more women in the industry being promoted to senior roles…

Absolutely. You can never see too many women behind the bar and I think we’re finally getting some much-deserved recognition.

The female-led bar teams I’ve worked with in the past are always very strong and we have a lot to offer the hospitality industry.

Your last role was as head bartender at Death & Co in East Village, New York. How will this be different?

Death & Co is the kind of place where the lights are turned down low and the music is turned up loud so I might have to see if The Savoy’s in-house pianist knows any Black Sabbath!

To die for: Bond’s favourite cocktail

New Bond film, No Time To Die, is finally out this week. Here’s how to mix the perfect Vesper Martini. Shaken, not stirred…

The Vesper Martini must have a twist of lemon as a garnish

The Vesper Martini Cocktail


  • 25ml Grey Goose vodka
  • 50ml Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 15ml Martini Riserva Ambratovermouth


1. Shake the ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker.

2. Strain into a well chilled cocktail glass.

3. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

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