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It has been a popular month for martinis in London. Sales of the iconic cocktail go through the roof when a certain secret agent powerslides his way back into popular culture. For many the boost in sales is short-lived, but not at Lyaness. One of the city’s most revered cocktail bars has consistently counted its Cereal Martini recipe among its most popular.

When bartending pioneer Ryan Chetiyawardana won World’s Best Bar with Dandelyan in 2018, many assumed he would enjoy years of living off the name. Instead, he shut the doors, tore it down and started again. Lyaness emerged from the ashes and has since proved Dandelyan was anything but a one-hit wonder.

Dark interiors were exchanged for light blues and greens, but at its heart not much changed. The cocktails were still out of this world, both in imagination and execution. Simultaneously simple and devilishly complex, classic recipes are reinvented with the inclusion of one unique ingredient.

Take the bar’s famous vegan honey, a recreation of honey’s natural sweetness using a complex structure of sugar syrups. It is a remarkable length to go to, but as a result, its secret recipes are near-impossible to recreate. That’s why if you want the Cereal Martini in its truest form, there is only one place to go. So we went.

Lyaness on London’s South Bank / ©James McDonald

The nutty concoction tones down the harshness of a standard vodka martini using seeded vermouth and a unique yeast called Golden Levain. This mixture of live and roasted cultures turns the martini a golden color, akin to a lightly-toasted brioche bun. Just like a brioche bun, the recipe dances between sweet and savory, toying with the tastebuds as it evolves on the palate. The interplay is further accentuated by the inclusion of a sourdough crisp on top, served with lemon gel on one side and an olive gel on the other.

So, how do you go about making such a complex concoction at home? The team at Lyaness has kindly provided an exclusive at-home alternative for Elite Traveler readers to save you the trouble of mixing yeast cultures.

Ingredients

  • 70ml Ketel One vodka
  • 15ml seeded vermouth

Ingredients for seeded vermouth

  • 30g each of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, white sesame and golden linseed
  • 750ml Martini Bianco
  • 750 ml Noilly Prat

Method

To make seeded vermouth

  • Toast the seeds in the oven for 18 minutes at 350F degrees fan, until perfectly toasted
  • Add to the vermouth in a vacuum-sealed bag and poach for 30 minutes at 140F
  • Filter the liquid – keep the seeds for garnish, after having dried them again

To make the martini

  • Combine 70ml vodka and 15ml seeded vermouth in a glass with ice and stir (sorry, 007)
  • Serve in a chilled glass

Lyaness Cocktail Bar, Sea Containers, 20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD, lyaness.com

See more Cocktail of the Week recipes here.

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