Monday, May 6, 2024
Silver Lyan's menu offers insect and emu concoctions.

Silver Lyan’s menu offers insect and emu concoctions.

Migration-Themed Menu at Silver Lyan Cocktail Bar

Emu neck meat-infused rum, smoked bee larvae, kelp and shrimp are just some of the ingredients in the Silver Lyan cocktail bar’s new migration-themed menu that will get the whole table talking — which is exactly what acclaimed bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana wants.

The migration-themed menu inside the Riggs Washington DC hotel’s high-end cocktail bar is filled with unorthodox ingredients used to tell novel stories about movement — including Australia’s emu war or a salmon cannon.






The Salmon Cannon is made with pink tea (Caitlin Isola/Silver Lyan)

Chetiyawardana — AKA Mr. Lyan — hopes the menu will encourage discussion, highlighting the “role of insects within our diets” and food of the future.

Discovering the Air Bee and Bee Drink

The London-based barman came to the News4 studio last week to showcase an Air Bee and Bee (described as “complex,” “funk” and “aromatic sipper” on the menu).

It’s probably the drink on the menu reserved for the most adventurous drinkers.






Topped with a mealworm and made with bee larvae, the Air Bee and Bee is made for adventurous sippers (Caitlin Isola/Silver Lyan)

A mealworm on an edible leaf sits on top of the tequila drink made with smoked bee larvae, mango vinegar and almond blossom.

News4’s Jummy Olabanji was a little nervous to try it — but dove in.

“You can’t taste what it is,” Olabanji said. “But I do need to wash it down.”

Olabanji said it was airy, while Chetiyawardana said it tastes “almost a bit nutty.”

The Air Bee and Bee is inspired by the California almond industry’s importation of bees — and how the insects’ migration is essential to some of our favorite foods.

“It’s a bit freaky. Especially when it’s presented as the actual thing. But I think that’s part of it. We don’t want it to be necessarily overt, but we want it to kind of encourage some of that discussion,” Chetiyawardana said.

Exploring New Ways of Thinking About Food

The other drinks are more subtle with their offbeat ingredients but still point to new ways of thinking about food.






The Smith Island Snap, inspired by the tiny Maryland island, is made with whiskey, cacao fruit garum, kelp, cucumber honey and peated butter (Caitlin Isola/Silver Lyan)

Nine months of research and development went into the Nomads menu, Silver Lyan said in a press release.

Some drinks fall into more familiar territory, like the Voyager II-inspired Superman 2 with gin, oak wine, oolong, flinted strawberry and green pea. The cocktails run $19-$23. Some are available “boozeless” for $14.

The challenging drink menu is accompanied by a long list of elevated comfort foods — think bagel bites, Wagyu hot dogs and a s’mores ice cream sandwich for fine-dining prices — for anyone not ready for another daring bite.

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