Last Updated on September 19, 2021
London Design Festival Cocktail Menu at Lyaness
When you’re invited along to Ryan Chetiyawardana’s new bar Lyaness, which is situated within The Sea Containers Building on the South Bank, accepting is a no brainer for any cocktail lover like me. The multi-award-winning Ryan Chetiyawardana AKA Mr Lyan is the man behind the celebrated White Lyan and Dandelyan bars in London and is renowned around the world for his magic way with a shaker and his inventive cocktail menus.
I went along to an exclusive tasting with Lyaness’s Head Bartender Will Meredith who has created an exciting limited-edition, bespoke cocktail menu in partnership with beautiful glassware specialist NUDE. Walking along the South Bank to Lyaness was a pleasure in itself as I took in the magnificent view of the sunset over the river from the Southbank.
The bar is on the ground floor of the uber-cool Sea Containers hotel and the large glass front windows provide a great outlook over the River Thames. The stylish interior was buzzing with an after-work crowd when we arrived. We were welcomed with a silky Purple Pineapple Spritz.
The evening was hosted by Head Bartender Will who talked us through the London Design Festival Cocktail Menu and the inspiration behind the collaboration with NUDE’s Hepburn glassware, which has been created by American designer Brad Ascalon inspired by his love of the cocktail culture. Will explained the ergonomics of a glass, and how its weight, punch and lightness can change the profile of the drink and how you taste it.
The elegant Hepburn range is based on the dichotomies of the life of the glamorous actress and icon Audrey Hepburn; the clash between her smooth public image and her more complicated life behind the scenes. Running with the theme of opposites we drank three different cocktails; each one had been created to complement three separate glasses from the Nude Hepburn range.
Our drinks were accompanied by a tasty spread of Nocellara olives, Padron peppers, fries and flatbread pizza.
My absolute favourite cocktail of the evening was definitely the first one which was a Rhubarb and Cumin Daisy served in a divinely elegant Hepburn Coupe. This delicious drink was a twist on a Silver Bullet, with a real flavour-led understanding of dichotomy…sour with a fluffy texture, bright and clean with a touch of cumin giving it a slightly spicey edge…very moreish! It was mixed with Beefeater London Garden, Vegan honey, Lucky Kümmel, Rhubarb and Acid, prettily garnished with rose salt and red vein sorrel which provided a lovely salty crunch on top of the frothy foam.
Next was a Jasmine Sazerac served in a Hepburn Low Ball glass which is a delicate thin-lipped tumbler with a satisfyingly weighty base. This cocktail was more nuanced than a regular Sazerac, a textural play between boozy and bright, with a sweet roundness from the pineapple. Made with a punchy mix of Armagnac, Pisco, Jasmine, Purple Pineapple and Absinthe.
Finally, a Hibiscus Highball was served in a Hepburn Long Drink Glass, which has a thin delicate rim, a heavy base with an inner taper, pulling the flavour into the mouth. This sophisticated cocktail took a look into the fine line between pleasure and pain and the contrasting emotions. Delicate floral flavours blended with a spicy Szechuan pepper tincture. Mixed with Grey Goose, Sichuan Pepper, White Peony, garnished with Hibiscus flower on the rim.
What a lovely evening spent in the fabulous Lyaness Bar…..Will’s cocktails were an absolute hit and I’m in love with the gorgeous Hepburn glasses!
London Design Festival Cocktail Menu is available until 26th September.
Lyaness is located in Sea Containers London
20 Upper Ground,
London SE1 9PD
NUDE Glass: https://eu.nudeglass.com.