London's bars have impressed at one of the biggest events in the world of alcohol, taking six of the eight international categories at the Spirited Awards, held at The Tales of the Cocktails festival in New Orleans over the weekend.
Ryan 'Mr Lyan' Chetiyawardana scooped a double, with his Dandelyan at Mondrian London winning Best New International Cocktail Bar as well as taking the Best International Bartender of the Year himself. Ryan who said he was "extremely honoured" to take home the titles, also runs White Lyan in Hoxton, the recipient of the award in 2014.
While White Lyan is known for not using ice or perishables, the cocktail menu at South Bank's Dandelyan is inspired by botany, launching a brand new list this month exploring flavours such as pine, birch and oak.
The 'Sea Mountain Spritz’ blends a Galician cider with vodka, Kombu apple brandy and elderflower, while the ‘Heartwood Old-Fashioned' blends whisky with Dandelyan resin bitters and oak syrup for an unusual waxy, spicy finish, as well as a range of alcohol-free cocktails with just as much thought and precision.
The capital won big at the ceremony, with Artesian in the Langham Hotel near Regent Street being named Best International Cocktail Bar, and The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy on the Strand beating three other London finalists to take Best International Hotel Bar.
Artesian ruled last year's awards, winning World's Best Bar overall, as well as several others, and has topped the World's 50 Best Bars list for three years in a row thanks to bartending team Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale, and the innovative cocktail menus, which work around a different theme every year. The 2015 theme is surrealism, combining unusual ingredients with ever more incredible ways of serving - think giant ants and lego elephants bearing tequila creations.
Meanwhile, Jason Atherton's The Blind Pig, found behind a door with a boar's head on it next door to his restaurant Social Eating House, won Best International Restaurant Bar and British Claire Smith-Warner was named Best International Brand Ambassador for her work with Belvedere vodka, where she boasts the enviable job title of Head of Spirit Creation & Mixology.
The Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Jonathan Downey, the owner of the Milk & Honey club in Soho, while UK writer Dave Bloom won Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer and Best New Spirits Book for Whisky: The Manual. Overall, the title of World's Best Bar went to The Dead Rabbit in New York. Anyone fancy a drink?