London's Lyaness Cocktail Bar Might Be The Best In The World

Organized by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to education and advocacy in the hospitality industry, the Spirited Awards recognizes professionals for their expertise, excellence, and hard work. Titles such as world's best bar, bartender of the year, and best new spirit help amplify the efforts of service workers around the world (via Bevvy).

The annual awards program was held in New Orleans in 2022, and the year's world's best bar was recognized. Lyaness, run by Ryan Chetiyawardana — who also goes by the moniker Mr Lyan – claimed the honor. His establishment also bagged the title of best international hotel bar. Another of Chetiyawardana's projects, the Washington D.C.-based Silver Lyan, was honored with the title best U.S. hotel bar. What, exactly, makes a bar stand out from others in such a crowded space?

Designed by Jacu Strauss of the Lore Studio design team, notes Azure, the atmosphere of Lyaness is a nod to retro style and a glamorous era, with patterns of cool blue and a green marble bar providing an energetic backdrop for bartenders to serve drinks into the late — or early — hours. Located in London's Sea Containers hotel, the bar offers views of the Thames, so if you're able to look away from your specialty cocktails and plates of food, you'll have a picturesque scene to enjoy.

Combining the weird and wonderful

Lyaness, Ryan Chetiyawardana's flagship bar, is committed to introducing flavors and ingredients to customers' palates through special presentations and interesting cocktails (per its website). The menu at Lyaness looks like a creative manifesto. It is called the Ancestral Cookbook and presents a unique take on traditional line menus. Cocktails are divided into categories such as "Nature vs. Nurture," "Taught history," and "Ceremony," and ingredients like "everything vinegar," "thunder mushroom," and "death bitters" flavor the drinks. Cocktails are made with five key ingredients, and an illustrated graph with "light-er" and "rich-er" on the vertical axis and "day" and "night" on the horizontal plane helps visitors decide. For instance, if the night is young and you're craving something rich, order the Rapoport Cocktail. The cocktail is made with tree caramel, gin, microorganisms, nuked vermouth (a Chetiyawardana special), and The Plum, I Suppose, a spirit The Whisky Exchange says includes notes of toasted almonds, marzipan, and flowers. 

When hunger strikes, small plates like seabass ceviche tacos keep visitors fueled, or larger portions of flatbread served with goat curry or butternut squash can be shared. For an afternoon pick-me-up, Lyaness' Spirited Tea inserts alcohol into an afternoon tea setting, offering a boozy twist alongside sandwiches, scones, and chocolate eclairs

The team at Lyaness is committed to creating an experience that is so much more than drinks, and as Sea Containers boasts, their devotion to mixing the weird and wonderful keeps this bar inviting, delicious, and award-winning.