Super Lyan Amsterdam – Not a Hotel Bar, but a Bar within a Hotel
If you find yourself in Amsterdam, make sure to plan a visit to Super Lyan. Amsterdam is a great drinking destination. Everything to suit your mood and taste is within walking distance. The choice is yours. Here’s a nice memory of my latest trip to the city.
Something I need to mention right away, because it impressed me the most, is that at Super Lyan the focus lies firmly and squarely on the guests. The team really looks after you and gives you a good feeling with a lot of fun moments.
What made this good experience a very good one? Superb hospitality paired with clever creative cocktails. Such a fun time!
To be honest, I am a bit biased when visiting World Best Bars. Hospitality seems not taken into account when judging a world’s best bar. Rather, it’s about the self-promotion of the bartenders and to have as many guest shifts from around the world as possible. The higher the financial resources of a bar and good connections with the industry the higher the likelihood of rising in the rankings. Why do I mention this here? Because it has become a massive disturbance factor to me in my bar visits and because I have experienced precisely the opposite at Super Lyan. Even though Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr. Lyan, one of the most famous movers and shakers of the current cocktail culture is behind the concept. Note: Hospitality is the key to your guests’ heart and purse strings. You are only a super star in a very small, and as we recently experienced, fragile universe.
Super Lyan opened back in April 2019 and sits right inside the Kimpton De Witt Hotel. The hotel is located in a historic seventeenth century Dutch house. It’s not a classic hotel bar, it’s a bar within a hotel. Guests can enter from the street or from the hotel. The concept is a mix of the historic and a playful yet modern style. The interior is characterised by a colourful retro atmosphere reminiscent of a diner from the 50s.
Pretty in Pink! What is the main feature of Super Lyan? For me, it is definitely the horseshoe-shaped bar with the pink neon-lit writing. It immediately puts you in a good mood.
At Super Lyan they offer you clever cocktails with a conscience.
Mr. Lyan is famous for his experimental techniques and sustainable approach. Before it even became fashionable, he was already bottling cocktails, banning ice and perishable ingredients from one of his bars and substituting the acidity of fresh fruit. At Super Lyan they offer kick ass cocktails, beers, and wine. And whatever you do, don’t miss the small but fabulous selection of bar bites. By the way, Mr. Lyan has not only given his name to a successful concept, but he’s also personally taken care of the menu and works closely with the team.
The menu consists of two main cocktail categories, “Lyan Explores” and “Lyan All Stars”, followed by bites, beer, sparkling and wine. “Lyan Explores”, is based on the world famous “Savoy Cocktail Book”. The team has re-imagined some of the book’s most iconic and bizarre drinks with a Super Lyan spin, changing up their flavours, textures and profiles. “Lyan All Stars” are the team’s favourites drinks which they consider to deserve a permanent guest appearance on the menu. Not drinking today? Not to worry! They have taken the flavour profiles of some cocktails and re-imagined them into boozeless delights. I have to admit they are really good. The non-alcoholic cocktails taste and feel just like cocktails. They’re clever alternatives perfectly realised. I was impressed.
Drinks-wise, I drank through the entire menu (I went twice in a row, not to shock you). Every drink is top-notch and it’s just fun. I can’t wait to go back!
It’s not easy for me to name a favourite, but since I’m not a fan of long drinks, because they generally lack depth, I was totally thrilled by the Mayaimi Vice. The idea is based on the original drink Miami Vice, that is a layered blend of Piña Colada and a Strawberry Daiquiri. At Super Lyan it is a fine-tuned mix of Cocchi Rosa strawberry colada topped with a coconut daiquiri foam. So good, so sexy and a great example for how to use foam in a cocktail and lift it to a higher level. It’s a drink that will remain in my taste bud memory.
In keeping with my everlasting desire for agave drinks I went for a Frosé Margarita, a combo of Patron Blanco, Belsazar rosé vermouth, Waldorf cordial and peychaud bitters, served with a flower. A brighter take on a classic Margarita.
Zana Möhlmann, part of the great and hospitable bar team and winner of the Patron Perfectionists Competition for Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg recommended her winning drink. It can be found on the menu named White Noise. Made with Tequila, blackened banana water, fino sherry, honey water, a dash of saline and garnished with a sage leaf. The drink is tropical and green with a super refreshing kick.
A very tasty example from the topics cocktails on tap and beer in cocktails flows into each other here in the form of the Black Velvet. Originally a Black Velvet was a combination of Guinness and champagne, that is said to have been created in 1861 on the occasion of the death of Prince Albert, when it was decreed at Brook’s Club in London that even the champagne should wear mourning. At Super Lyan, a mix of Johnnie Walker Black, Guinness, blackberry, toasted oat, and champagne is pulled through with nitrous. It has an amazing velvety texture with dark fruity, slightly smoky tones. Very delicious and balanced. I could go on like this but I am getting thirstier as I write.
What you can look forward to: Whether you’re a tourist, local, or cocktail connoisseur everyone is welcome and the focus is on guests and fun. The team is extremely friendly and helpful. The passion of each member for what they do is palpable and gives you an enjoyable experience.