You’re trapped on a desert island, but the good news is that you can bring five bottles of booze with you to pass the time. Look, there’s even ice and bar tools—you’re all set. What would you choose?
Philippa “Pippa” Guy is the first woman in a century to nab the gig as senior bartender at The Savoy hotel's American Bar in London. That's no small feat, as American Bar is the reigning No. 1 bar in The World’s 50 Best Bars, and the last woman in the role went by the name Ada Coleman. Those are some big shoes to fill, but Guy has proven up to the task.
She began working at American Bar after meeting Declan McGurk at Leeds Loves Cocktails in 2015. McGurk offered her a gig, and she has been moving up the ranks ever since, becoming a leading name in London's bar scene.
While American Bar is known for both elaborate and extravagant cocktails, Guy’s desert island lineup focuses more on classics and simplicity. Though settling on her final five proved a bit more challenging than initially anticipated.
"I first thought five bottles was quite generous, until I started trying to pick them out," says Guy. Here's what she came up with after narrowing down her list.
"Gin is my go-to spirit, and Portobello Road is just phenomenal," Guy says of her neighbors in London. Portobello Road's multistory headquarters, replete with hotel rooms and a workshop for hands-on gin-blending sessions, is just a few miles across town from The Savoy.
"My top drinks are a Gimlet or G&T," she says. "If the desert island could have fresh grapefruit, that would be amazingly convenient." Grapefruit Gimlets on the beach don’t sound like such a bad idea.
"Bottle number two would be Aperol, for an Aperol Spritz," says Guy. Although she does have a slight concern with the pick, asking, "Does this have to count as two bottles?"
While the desert island may indeed have fresh grapefruit, we can't vouch for any bottles of prosecco stashed away. She may have to improvise her Spritz a bit, but it's nevertheless a wise decision for staying nice and refreshed all day long in the island sun.
"I've always said I'm not really a rum drinker, until I start listing the rum cocktails I love," says Guy. "I think I'm in denial about how much I love rum."
With her confessional out of the way, Guy realized the spirit couldn't escape her top five, particularly once she considered her new desert island digs. "If I'm talking true desert island, Bacardí Reserva Ocho is an all-arounder," she says. "Neat Daiquiris made with any flavor under the sun."
Briottet Crème de Banane is intensely aromatic while offering a more natural flavor profile than many other similar, overly sweetened liqueurs. And Guy has a very clear intended application.
"For the aforementioned Daiquiris, Banana Daqs with this are just mind-blowing," she says.
With her top-five must-haves locked and loaded, Guy only has one more request: "Please get me to my desert island!"
Mixing your cocktail