db interview: Ryan Chetiyawardana

28th March, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

Ryan Chetiyawardana has a stinking cold. Meeting the affable cocktail maestro at his new East London bar on a freezing Monday afternoon in early February, his drink of choice is ginger tea.

Sat beside him is his heavily-inked business partner Iain Griffiths. Dressed head to toe in black, Griffiths’ rolled up sleeves reveal everything from giant sailor’s anchors to a flame-haired, bikini- clad vixen.

Having met at the Bramble bar in Edinburgh, while Griffiths upped sticks to Sydney, Chetiyawardana was taken under the wing of Tony Conigliaro at his Islington speakeasy, 69 Colebrooke Row, before moving on to the envelope pushing Purl in Marylebone and Worship Street Whistling Shop in Shoreditch.

Having become one of the most respected names in mixology, last September Chetiyawardana made the bold move of opening his first solo venture, White Lyan in Hoxton, enlisting Griffiths to help run the project.

Named after Ryan’s childhood moniker, White Lyan isn’t your ordinary cocktail bar. There’s not a cocktail shaker or a twist of lemon in sight. And don’t even get them started on ice. Keen to shake up the industry, the concept for White Lyan is an audacious one.

All cocktails are pre- batched and served without ice. “We’re not anti mixology, we just wanted there to be as few rules as possible,” begins Chetiyawardana, adding, “A lot of people are put off from ordering cocktails because of their high price tags and the fact that they take a long time to make – our cocktails start at £6 and take under a minute to make, so we’re hoping to attract a broader audience.”

He continues: “This isn’t a vanity project – it isn’t about us, it’s about the customer. That’s why we stuck a pole in our basement; we want people to have fun.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Senior Customer Marketing Manager

Conviviality Group
London or Bristol, UK

Customer Marketing Manager- 12 month FTC

Conviviality Direct
London, UK

PR Account Executive

Clementine Communications Ltd
Fulham, UK

Marketing Manager

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, N7, UK

Brand Manager

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, N7, UK

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more