The 2017 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards has announced London’s own Dandelyan as the world’s best cocktail bar to add to its ever growing list of triumphs. Part of the exclusive Mondrian London at Sea Containers, the Dandelyan opened in October 2014 and has become one of London’s most award winning bars in the years since. With an interior designed by Tom Dixon, it includes the now iconic green marble bar and plush pink leather seats with exceptional river views of the Thames. Created by bar impresario Ryan Chetiyawardana aka. Mr Lyan, who won World’s Best Bartender at the 2015 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, the Dandelyan’s menu serves both innovative drinks and refined interpretations of classics.
Now on its fourth menu since launching, all of the Dandelyan cocktail lists have been carefully created by Ryan Chetiywardana and explore the relationship between botany, civilisation and history. The first menu explored Chetiywardana’s scientific, artistic and nomadic background to create a seasonal field guide with cereal, vegetal, mineral and floral creations, whilst the second delved further into nature to investigate the flavour profiles of pine, birch and oak. The third looked to the human side of botany and was split into four sections – Hunter, Gatherer, Shaman and Explorer with each section referencing a discipline through which botany has shaped history.
The most recent menu reincarnation explores our love of exploitation, escapism and the full spectrum of our guilty pleasures. The Vices of Botany menu is filled yet again with even more intriguing ingredients and is also split into four sections: Faith, Lust, Currency and Rock ‘n’ Roll along with Dandelyan ‘classics’ and ‘Booze-less’ Cocktails.
The Faith section of the Vices of Botany menu explores how each culture has used mystical forces to explain the world and plants have been inextricably linked to this. From attempts at escaping the confines of consciousness to attempts to fly, it shows we should have looked in the soil rather than the sky. The Vitruvian Rose Spritz is a blend of sunflower and chocolate vermouth, Ketel One vodka, Italicus Rosolio and soda and is inspired by the Fibonacci sequence which is nature’s ‘coding’ and laid the groundwork for Leonardo De Vinci’s drawing of the ideal man.
Lust delves into how extravagance, sex and power have been continually sought to destructive access and how many plants and animals have been wrapped up in these pursuits. These goals have shaped our relationships with these elements leading to putting some on a pedestal and sending others to the grave. The Oyster Lunch cocktail demonstrates how champagne has long been linked with a joie de vivre and how a 1735 late Baroque painting became the first depiction of ‘poppin bottles’. It includes Mr Lyan’s cream-distilled gin, blue flax, raspberry and sparkling wine.
The currency collection is for money, greed and riches and how the skillset to exploit what’s most valuable has always been an easy reach for man. The Oak Island Old Fashioned is inspired by the ‘money pit’, rumoured to be one of the few actual sites of buried treasure, filled with booby traps and tunnels; some $2-10m has been spent trying to find it, with not a doubloon found yet. It contains Bacardi Carto Oro, coconut fibre, raw cacao and labdanum.
Rock ‘n’ Roll
Inspired by how often we have needed to flip things over when we’ve got too set in our ways, or things have been over-exploited, the Rock ‘n’ Roll section explores how change can be both destructive and form some of the greatest developments in history. The Rocks Off Manhattan is a tribute to the Red Rocks in Colorado which is one of the only true natural amphitheatres in the world which has become a musical mecca, home to some of the most legendary gigs of all time. The cocktail includes Rusted Copper Dog Scotch, Chokecherry grenadine and pine nut vermouth.
The full Vices of Botany cocktail menu can be found on the Mondrian London at Sea Containers’ website and all of this years Spirited Award winners can be discovered on the Tales of the Cocktail website.