Ryan Chetiyawardana | White Lyan | Drinking Innovation


Ryan Chetiyawardana (A.K.A Mr Lyan) has been involved in several of the UK's best bars for over a decade. He helped take the last four of these onto national titles and all featured in the Top 40 World's Best Bars for Drinks International. Personally he has been named UK bartender of the year twice and has won several national competitions. 

Ryan is also known as an innovator having given talks in the US, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka and Russia on pioneering drinks practice. He was also named 'Hot Stuff' at the Imbibe Awards 2012, and was nominated as Innovator of the Year at the 2013 awards. 

He has recently opened two 'Mr Lyan' bars - Henry at the Hudson hotel in New York, and White Lyan in London. 

The Rising Interview 

Where are you right now?

Back in sunny London! I've been running back and forth to the States, but it's great to be back in London, and back behind the bar of White Lyan. 

Where do you go when you need inspiration? 

The shower! Inspiration for me comes from everywhere - you're constantly taking in information - I just need somewhere to think. To me, a long, hot shower is my perfect point of contemplation. 

Idleness. A gift or curse? 

A curse! Time and breathing space is important, but busy breeds busy!

To Bitcoin, or not to Bitcoin? 

I'm not informed enough on the phenomenon, but I believe the Internet to be the tool to save civilisation! Anything that progresses for the greater good, rather than for the preservation of existing institutions for the sake of it, is a good thing. 

Liberal Democracy or Democratic Liberalism? 

The power should never lie in the hold of a select few. Even if intentions start well, there is no reliable form of succession. Power must lie with the people! We just have to educate the masses to ensure they can make better informed decisions. 

Carpe Diem or nosce te ipsum (know thyself)?

Don't believe the hype! Reflection over misinformed arrogance any day. If you know yourself better, you'll make the most of a day anyway. 

Last app opened? 

Google maps. I have the most atrocious sense of direction. Maps saves me on a daily (hourly!) basis. 

Last book read?

Unfortunately, factual books have dominated by time of late. The drunken botanist by Amy Stewart was my last read, and thankfully it is enjoyable as well as informative. 

Favourite Album?

One?! It will change so often, but I think it's hard to fault "Ziggy Stardust and the spiders from mars" as one of my very favourites - and probably the most accomplished album of all time!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Measure twice, cut once. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever bestowed?


If you could be anywhere, where would it be? 

At dinner with family and friends. 

If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?

My ability to make the perfect cup of tea/bacon sandwich