Top 50 Cocktail Bars


Seed Library

Shoreditch, London

East London charm executed by the iconic Mr Lyan

Award-winning bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana – aka Mr Lyan – is at the helm of this east London bar, where the burnt orange tones of the walls and furniture create a warm, stately feel.

The team at Seed Library focuses on stripped back analogue forms – embracing natural variance and a maker’s touch. This influences their music, stylings, food and of course, drinks.

The bar’s drinks, wines, beers and spirits reflect an ethos of carrying a “maker’s touch” fingerprint and so the menu is frequently rotating.

The cocktail list boasts a series of elegantly named concoctions, beginning with a Chive Daiquiri which combines Bacardi Carta Blanca, chive, coconut milk and lime. Citrus flavours feature often on the menu, including in the zesty Meyer 75 in which Beefeater gin, Meyer lemon, orange bitters and Champagne are combined. There’s also the Starflower Sour, made from Hepple gin, borage curacao, citrus and Fever-Tree Italian blood orange soda.

Many of these cocktails have alcohol-free versions available.

There’s also an option for guests wanting to pull out all the stops: it’s the Ballermaker, priced at a whopping £300. Ingredients include a Bottle of Krug, potato smiles and six lemon drops.

Then there’s coffee, miso soup and tea as well as a range of beer, cider, sake and wine available.

What’s more, the Seed Library is the perfect spot for music fanatics with East London-based Love Vinyl spinning on the weekends.

For more than a decade, the 37-year-old Chetiyawardana has been a leading figure of the world’s cocktail scene, having previously heralded from the White Lyan in Hoxton then Dandelyan at the Thameside Mondrian Hotel.

The bar has collaborated with Ruben’s Reubens for a limited time, a restaurant creating south London twists on classic Jewish dishes. Ruben brings his signature smoked, cured, pickled and BBQ’s meats and veg to the Seed Library kitchen.

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