Do you like your martini shaken or stirred? How about neither? The brains behind Hoxton’s White Lyan have decided to flip the science of bartending on its head and are running a fully-functioning bar without ice or citrus – and are using almost entirely home-brand spirits as well. And while the drinks industry oohs and aahs at this innovative approach, you get to revel in spot-on cocktails that are brought to your table only moments after your order.
This pre-bottled approach keeps service zippy and supremely friendly. And if you’re in the mood for a beautifully balanced tipple, try the Beeswax Old Fashioned – boozy enough with just a hint of sweetness. For a long fresh experience, order the Bay Cosmo with White Lyan vodka, bay leaf, cranberry and grapefruit soda. But if it’s beer you’re after, then go for the lager with a hop atomisation (pale ale-style).
The setting is black and clean – a tribute to owner Ryan Chetiyawardana’s talented sister Natasha, who handles the design elements of the bar. Downstairs gets a bit cheekier … a red-lit party den kitted out with a stripper’s pole, a DJ and slashed prices on drinks.
Best Bars tip: If you see Ryan, Iain Griffiths or really any of the staff – then pick their brains to get schooled in the field of booze. Oh, and try the tap water (no joke) – filtered with White Lyan signature mineral content, it’s some of the best around. Did we mention these guys recently nabbed the Best New International Cocktail Bar award at Tales of the Cocktail? Yep — this is the pinnacle of boozing.
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips