Chef/Author Interviews | 13 May 2016Good Things to Drink (this Summer) with Mr Lyan and Friends Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Happy Friday lovely blog readers. Here at QuartoCooks HQ we’re (finally) celebrating the return of Summer – which also means the return of glorious rooftop get-togethers and alfresco dining, summer punches and sipping on delicious cocktails in the sunshine. Heaven! To mark this wonderful occasion we catch up with Ryan Chetiyawardana, the man behind award-winning London bars White Lyan and Dandelyan, International Bartender of the Year (Spirited Awards 2015) and author of Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and Friends. In his book Ryan takes the fuss out of creating impressive cocktails at home with drinks for any get-together, from lazy brunches to spontaneous summer parties. Huge congratulations on the release of Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan & Friends. What inspired you to write the book? Thank you! It was really inspired by friends approaching their food with an intuition around occasion and suitability, but lacking this entirely when it came to their drinks. They’d cook food that was easy to serve to a big dinner group, then get trapped in the back trying to shake up margaritas for everyone, so I wanted to set out to make a practical and usable guide to what I make and drink with friends for different occasions at different times of the year. What was your favourite part of putting the book together? It was a hugely enjoyable and honest experience to just gather with friends, eat delicious food and drink cocktails so that was certainly the most fun part! What are your personal favourite cocktail recipes for summertime? The social sips to me are ideal for summer. Easy to batch, and perfect for when you need a cocktail for a group of you. I love them all for different times, so it’s hard to pick any particulars but pushed, the Paisley Pattern (recipe below) is a bit of a fave as a Scotch and Soda has been my go-to drink for years, and this is a great twist. What ingredients couldn’t you live without? Maldon salt and proper cider vinegar are great ‘cheat’ ingredients that are always in my cupboard, but sherries and vermouths are great to have to hand. Proper, fresh fruits are a blessing to make drinks with so I’m happy to live so close to an amazing grocer. What big plans do you have for 2016? Lots! Hopefully more work on a new book, and always more with the bars! ——————————————————————————————– And here it is, Ryan’s recipe for his Paisley Pattern Pitcher My memory of cocktail pitchers are pretty hideous – watery ensembles of cheap booze – but when balanced properly they can ease the hassle of supplying a thirsty group. It’s a good idea to use big ice cubes, as they’ll dilute far slower, giving you time to enjoy: the taste evolves gradually. You can omit the orange bitters, or substitute them for a different bitters you have to hand, but they dry the drink nicely and tie the citrus flavours together. I specifically used Compass Box Asyla whisky as it reminds me of summer – the light, creamy blend created by the company’s talented founder John very much guided this drink, so I’d advise seeking it out. However, any delicate blended scotch will work. Gather 3 lemons 3 sprigs of tarragon 6 dashes orange bitters 500ml/20oz Compass Box Asyla (or light blended scotch) 4 shots (100ml/4oz) elderflower cordial 5 small highball glasses Large ice and cubed ice Chilled soda, to finish Method Using a peeler, take one long piece of zest from around each lemon. Add the big pieces of ice to a 1.5l/60oz jug or pitcher. Squeeze the lemon zests into it and wrap around the inside. Place in the tarragon. Add the bitters then the scotch and elderflower. Stir well without tearing the herbs and top with chilled soda. Stir carefully, then pour into the highballs filled with cubed ice. Magic To give the herbal notes a real boost, a couple of dashes of absinthe are terrific in this drink, as is a little mint sprig topping each highball glass. Recipe extracted from Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan & Friends by Ryan Chetiyawardana, photography by Kim Lightbody (out now!). Published by Frances Lincoln (£20). We also hugely recommend that you visit Ryan’s award-winning, utterly-fabulous bars WhiteLyan (‘Best Bar in London’ – Time Out 2015) and Dandelyan (‘Best Place to Drink in Britain’ – The Guardian Observer Food Awards 2015) for the ultimate summer drinking experience! All images: Kim Lightbody Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.