Have you ever heard the expression ‘there’s magic in the air’? This time it’s nothing to do with romance, and more to do with what the bar has been mixing up. Choose from 50 alluring drink choices and see what spells they cast. Head to the Alchemist for what is becoming a fresh, fun and mind-boggling way to play with your cocktail.
The Alchemist Bar, Aldgate
In Three Words: Magical, Impressive, Good-Value
The Lowdown: The Alchemist prides itself on being ‘Molecular Mixology for the Masses’. Quite a mouthful, and not really that easy to understand until you’ve actually visited – but then it all becomes clear. It’s a place for those wanting to experience amazing effects and mind-boggling methods without the staggering price tags that are usually attached.
The cocktail menu is extensive – there are around fifty concoctions to choose from – but they have one thing in common. Not everything is as it seems, and an array of techniques are employed that will have your eyes on stalks. Foams, fizzes, fogs… all combining to create an experience that is as much about the theatre as the actual drinking.
Your Plus One: Screw plus one – how about plus six! There are just so many fantastic options on the menu that you need to come with a group, all order something different, and just let the alchemy happen. This is the perfect place for a night out, not least because it’s such decent value. Plus, the bar has a definite female friendly vibe – the bartenders are so lovely that if you’re a lady waiting around for a friend you can feel comfortable just nattering away to them about their latest creations.
The Decor: There’s a high ceiling, with a combination of low sofa areas and taller benches, plus stools for perching round the bar. The alchemy theme can be noticed in the burnished gold bar counter, and there are a few touches of historical and magical kitsch, but it’s a large city-central bar so it’s not overwhelmed with decoration. To be honest, the cocktails provide all the accessories you need.
Cocktail Highlights: You can’t NOT order the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – it’s like a Willy Wonka Experiment that meets Lewis Carol’s crazy imagination, with a bit of mystical dry-ice thrown in. Order one, sit back, and imagine you’re in a lesson at Hogwarts.
Something to Soak Up the Booze: There is a restaurant area for those wanting to grab some food, but anything edible looks positively dull next to the cocktail list.
Burning a Hole? Cocktails average £7.50, and are well worth it. Be warned though – once you’ve experienced one drink you’ll be dying to see what the rest are like, and may end up happily parting with your gold…
Overall: The trend for exaggerated and experimental cocktails is growing, but often this also means a high price tag and a smaller list. Why not create something more accessible that can bring mixology thrills to everyone? The Alchemist is putting this theory to the test (tube). With truly inventive menu creations and twists on the best classics, this is a bar highly recommended for those who want to add a bit of magic to their lives.