What’s shakin’ cocktail fans? Welcome to Episode 254 of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast!
This time around, we’re joined by Ryan Chetiyawardana (@mrlyan on Instagram). He’s the bar owner, author, creativity guru, and proud former barback responsible for some of the most innovative bar programs in the world, including the Lyan portfolio, with locations on multiple continents and Seed Library in East London. You may also know him from his recent cocktail Masterclass, which he created in tandem with Speedrack co-founder Lynette Marrero, his book, Good Things to Drink with Mr. Lyan and Friends, or his numerous drinks industry awards with titles like “World’s Best Bar,” “Spirits Communicator of the Year,” and “International Bartender of the Year.”
In this conversation with drinks entrepreneur and educator Ryan Chetiyawardana, some of the topics we discuss include:
- The origin story of the name “Mr. Lyan” and how Ryan’s family relationships with movers and shakers in the design and fashion world influenced the wide scope and inclusive lens of his bar projects.
- Ryan’s framework for creativity and drink creation, which incorporates input at all levels of the bar team and thrives on the diversity of experience and passion of bar managers, bartenders, and even barbacks.
- How the question of privilege in the cocktail world has led Ryan to explore everything from eliminating ice from his bar program, to using the “less desirable” cuts of citrus, to exploring the role of sea level rise in a recent bar menu.
- We also explore how he thinks about cocktail education, including his recent cocktail Masterclass with Lynette Marrero and the one key teaching about balance that might just cause you to rethink the way you approach drink design.
- Along the way, we gloss over a few other boring little details, like how to use moon rocks as gin botanicals, the decimal point that launched a thousand spinach enterprises, where to grab a drink with David Bowie in London, and much, much more.
You can learn more about Ryan and his projects by visiting MrLyan.com.