Hiding in plain sight in London’s rough and tumble Hoxton neighborhood, White Lyan has been one of the city’s most revolutionary bars since it first opened in 2013. There’s no ice (cocktails are batched, bottled and chilled ahead of time), no perishable ingredients and no branded booze (they make their own distillates with the help of outside distilleries and essentially create spirits to order with filtered water). Now bartender and owner Ryan Chetiyawardana is taking the extraordinary bar to the next level with a wine list populated by wine-free wines.
According to The Spirits Business, White Lyan’s new cocktail menu (debuting February 12) will feature four “wines,” none of which will be made with grapes. Instead, the fermented beverages are made with ingredients that mimic different wines’ flavor profiles. For example, the Spring Break White is made with apple flower, rhubarb tea and poached apricots while the Guilty Pleasures Rose employs hibiscus, peppered watermelon and canned strawberries.
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Chetiyawardana isn’t only making his “wines” and spirits for the wow-factor. “By controlling every part of the production process we also are able to significantly reduce waste,” he told The Spirits Business. “Which is something we are passionate about.”