‘Closed-loop’ cocktail trend emerging in London

We’ve had molecular cocktails and savoury cocktails, and now a trend is emerging for “closed-loop” cocktails made with ingredients people throw away.

Dandelyan Sour

The movement is being championed by cocktail maverick Ryan Chetiyawardana of White Lyan and Dandelyan, who is passionate about not wasting produce.

Instead he “upcycles” ingredients bartenders would traditionally bin, turning lemon husks into a sweet falernum syrup and fermenting fruit scraps.

Mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana is pioneering the trend for closed-loop cocktails

“By controlling every part of the production process we’re able to significantly reduce waste, which is something we are passionate about and want to raise awareness of,” he told db.

In a recent interview with Wired, Chetiyawardana, a former chef, told the magazine: “Say you squeeze a lemon – you’re taking away the acidity, the sweetness and some of the flavour and throwing away the bulk of it.

“Doing that is completely at odds with the way I would cook”. The falernum syrup is mixed with vinegar and used in a gin sour at Dandelyan.

His Moneypenny Martini meanwhile, features lemon balm made from leftover lemon peel, lactic acid made from used lemons, coffee oil extracted from used coffee and a coffee distillate from coffee grounds.

Nothing is out of bounds in terms of waste products that can be incorporated into cocktails – even eggshells, though tea bags are proving a problem. He has however, managed to make a tannin tincture from tea.

“Eggshells are an edible ingredient. They’re not something you’re ever going to chew on but you can dissolve it,” the mixologist told Wired.

At his bottled cocktail venue White Lyan in Shoreditch, Chetiyawardana is experimenting with fermentation, which he predicts will soon become trendy in mixology in the same way the food world is embracing the practice.

Across town at Dandelyan within the Mondrian hotel on the Southbank, cocktails are based around botany with each drink grouped by ecosystem rather than ingredient. In addition to reducing waste, closed-loop cocktails, the liquid equivalent of nose-to-tail dining, save a bar money.

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