After a day of hard work or crazy planning you might want to settle down for a drink or loosen up with tasty cocktails. Here’s my favourite bar of the week. The White Lyan has strong drinks, interesting mixologist techniques and a sophisticated setting.
White Lyan, Hoxton
In Three Words: Innovative, Unique and Impressive
The Lowdown: Imagine a bar with no ice, no sugar and no lime. What would the cocktail list comprise of?! Well, if you blanch at a watery Bloody Mary or a sour Mojito then this is the place for you.
White Lyan has been making waves in the cocktail world since it first opened a year ago – due to the fact they remove the ‘variables’ that can culminate is a sub-par cocktail. So each drink is pre-prepared and stored in huge glowing fridges behind the bar, using handcrafted ‘Mr Lyan’ spirits. There’s no shaking and muddling, but you will see some fantastic and unusual techniques as you’re served a blinding cocktail.
Your Plus One: You know that friend that always knows the best places to go – who is always ahead of the trend? The one who was asking for a flat-white pre-2010? Well, if they haven’t already heard of White Lyan, this can be your chance to showcase your knowledge of what’s hot in cocktails right now. Plus, if you find it hard to drag your boyfriend away from Breaking Bad to get him to come for drinks then this place could do it – there’s a distinctively scientific element to the beverages.
The Decor: Industrial-chic, with exposed brick, shining metal stools and dark fittings. All eyes are drawn to those futuristic looking fridges.
Cocktail Highlights: The whole menu will demand a try, especially with ingredients like pomegranate paint, bone and grass making an appearance. I couldn’t get enough of the Beeswax Old Fashioned – it incorporates Mr Lyan Scotch, sugar, bitters, and beeswax egg. There was a lovely honey-esque flavour to the drink, you can’t help savouring each sip.
Something To Soak Up the Booze: I was personally too in awe of the drinks list, but if you need bar snacks then options include ‘Fish n’ Chips’ Crackers or ‘Lyan’s Paws’ puffed crisps.
Burning a Hole? With cocktails between an incredibly reasonable £6-£9, you can have a taste for superb drinks without breaking the bank.
Overall: It’s impossible not to compare the creators of White Lyan to greats such as Heston Blumenthal for their sheer innovativeness – no wonder they’ve won the Best New International Cocktail Bar at the 2014 Spirited Away Awards. Having a cracking concept doesn’t mean they in any way compromise on taste – these are cocktails to savour and they’ll blow you away each time.