Mondrian London, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
Headed by two of the most forward-minded bar operators in the business, this stylish window-fronted Southbank bar in the Mondrian Hotel was always going to be good. Of course, Dandelyan is better than good. Indeed, few have found the balance between pioneering drinks, five-star hospitality and sustainable practices as successfully as Ryan Chetiyawardana and Iain Griffiths.
Standout bars do something different and Dandelyan’s Modern Botany concept has captured the cocktail classes’ imagination. Its root-and-branch exploration of flora and how it has shaped civilisation has reached its final chapter this year, taking a more sinister turn: The Vices of Botany. Drinks are categorised by Faith, Lust, £€$¥ (Money) and Rock ’n’ Roll and feature ingredients that tell stories – Flower of Five (passion fruit flower, pink grapefruit vodka leather, lemon and Bræmble Gin liqueur) revolves around how the passion flower was once a symbol of Jesus’ suffering. At Dandelyan, the drinks go deep and narrow, yet have an ever-widening appreciation.