Just two weeks ago, Ryan Chetiyawardana’s critically-acclaimed Lyaness was awarded World’s Best Bar at the ‘Spirited Awards’ in New Orleans. It’s just the latest in a string of accolades for the renowned drinking den, which can be found on London’s Southbank. But it’s not where we’ve been drinking recently.
Since Chetiyawardana judged last year’s Gentleman’s Journal Drinks Awards, we’ve kept an eye on the expert’s intoxicating undertakings — and have recently fallen for the spirited stylings of his latest launch; Seed Library. It’s a laid-back cocktail bar in the heart of Shoreditch, and the first new opening from Chetiyawardana in over three years.
With warm tones of burnt orange and caramel stone, it’s a lip-smacking place to take your libations — sitting under the newly opened One Hundred Shoreditch hotel. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday, and Love Vinyl can be found spinning by the bar on the weekends, soundtracking your every sip. There are only nine drinks on the menu — and, to the uninitiated, they’ll all sound relatively simple.
And yet, these are tremendously exciting twists on classic cocktails. There’s a ‘Vodka Lime Soda’ infused with Thai basil, a ‘Martini’ given a herby sanshō pepper leaf kick and even a twist on the scotch-based ‘Penicillin’ — one using gingery galangal and a smokestorm of mighty mezcal. But the best beverage on offer? The ‘Perilla G&T’.
“Taking the clean profile of the G&T,” Chetiyawardana tells Gentleman’s Journal, “we brought a different citrus pop using shiso seeds to give both a bittersweet pop, and a greenness that usually is provided by the garnish and the tonic. By serving with some soda in a lo-ball style, we ended up having the tropical brightness of Porter’s married with some extra green notes for a softer version of the cocktail”.
How to make Seed Library’s 'Perilla G&T’
- 30ml Beefeater London Dry Gin
- 10ml Plymouth Gin
- 10ml Lime Juice
- 5ml Perilla Tincture
- 25ml Soda
- 50ml Tonic
- To make the tincture, mix 10g of perilla seed with 100g of vodka
- Leave this to infuse for a week, then strain through a coffee filter
- Combine all ingredients (but the tonic and soda) in a low-ball tumbler
- Stir until very chilled, add more ice and top with soda and tonic
- Garnish with a fresh bay leaf
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