In a tightly contested final, Lyaness took the title of Drinks Menu of the Year (sponsored by Franklin & Sons).
Lyaness’ latest menu, Ancestral Cookbook, explores how food and drink has shaped our cultural outlook over generations.
Led by head bartender Louis Macpherson, the Lyaness team created five core ingredients using proprietary processes and techniques that underpin the 15-serve menu.
The ingredient Everything Vinegar – used in Lyaness’ Thirdspace Shandy drink – uses elements from a carbon farm in Clapham, London, to create a complex fermented vinegar.
Tree Caramel – featuring in the likes of Lightning Wine – is created by subjecting the invasive African braai wood to cycles of extreme hear, cold and pressure to manipulate the material and extract tea.
The bar’s ingredient Thunder Mushroom, meanwhile – an element in the Hart Old Fashioned and Elephant Martini – is a blend of grains and legumes inoculated with koji spores, fermented, fortifi ed and electrocuted to oxidise the alcohol.
Death Bitters – used in the Tornado Sazerac – captures the flavour of lemon leaves “immediately at the point of death” by submerging a lemon tree into liquid nitrogen to instantly freeze it, allowing the capture of a range of flavours.
Finally, B + B – found in the bar’s Shaky Fist Margarita – uses toasted grains and elements, such as pea amazake, to produce a combination of grains and fat found in dishes from across the world. It’s fair to say, cocktails like this don’t exist anywhere else.
Finalists: Theories + Frontiers, Lab 22, Cardiff; Silverleaf Menu, Silverleaf, London; Transcend, Panda & Sons, Edinburgh