Turning London Cocktails Into Gold At The Alchemist!

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Sometimes when you head to a space and take a look at the menu, you think to yourself, “Nope. Too many items, not possible for them to do all of them well. Can’t possibly be good.”

The Alchemist is one of those spaces. I went there a few years ago when it opened in London, having heard such amazing things about its location in Manchester. And when we got there, we were handed an intricately illustrated menu with an insane amount of cocktails and food options. They did everything from classic spirits to in-house mad science creations and food to match, including ramen, chicken fingers, fajitas and katsu curry. How could a place that does all that do all that well? It can’t, right?

How wrong I was.

During the multiple times I’ve been back to The Alchemist since then, I haven’t had a bad meal or a bad drink. They clearly put their heart and soul (and maybe some evil wizardry) into making sure everything on the menu is top notch. I can’t count the times I’ve recommended this spot to people.

It also helps that The Alchemist is incredibly beautiful with a low-lit golden glow, hanging fairy lights, silent movies on giant projection screens and more space than you realise they have. The bar is gigantic but keep walking through, there’s more to see. Even the bathrooms are hidden around the corner on an entirely new level.

IMGP1100Turns out I’m not just a fan of The Alchemist, they’re a fan of me too! I was invited by the bar, after they saw my Instagram account, to come by and check out their brand new menu and sample a few cocktails and nibbles. Who am I to say no to this offer?

Let’s go!

THE MENU

IMGP1103Now, when they say new menu, they don’t just mean a few new items. They mean A. Whole. New. Menu. And one that’s literally embossed in gold:

Seriously, take a look at this beautiful shimmering piece of artwork. It starts as a brown, unassuming piece of paper on the table but as you unfold, it glitters under the light and presents you with more cocktail options than you could drink in a night. Probably a week. Actually, most likely, you’d fail to drink them all before they change the menu again.

And their beautiful food menu isn’t anything to skip over as well:

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Here’s what they told me when I asked them about the change to the new menu:

“Our development team are constantly looking at ways to evolve our flavours, ingredients and techniques to continue to be innovative and break through pre-conceived boundaries. Want a cocktail that tastes like your favourite chocolate bar? Like the idea of an iceless Mojito? From flavour changing liquids to the science lab glassware our passion shows in all we do.”

Not bad at all.

ROUND ONE

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And so, we started with two cocktails, both brought to our table theatrics:

Bubblebath (£8.25), or Tanqueray Gin, Aperol, Chambord, Lemon, Apple, Fairy Liquid.

The Lightbulb Moment (£8.50), or Tanqueray Gin, Pimms, Ginger Beer, Raspberry, Lemon, Mint.

The Bubblebath came bubbly on top, ready for a rubber duck to dive in, and The Lightbulb Moment was in a rounded beaker that was waiting for a bit of dry ice to make it smoke out and all over the table.

It was a blast. Both were sweet and strong (filled with gin) and as much fun to drink as they were to photograph.

The Bubblebath Cocktail at @TheAlchemistUK is a serious table-side experience. 🍹

A post shared by Alex Shebar in Chicago! (@alexshebar) on

ROUND TWO

IMGP1170For Round Two, we went again with the theatrics, but I’m starting to think that there isn’t a single cocktail that isn’t beautifully presented in some way.

The Key Lime Pie (£8.25), or Bacardi Rum, Midori, Koko Kanu, Apple, Lime, Vanilla Meringue Foam.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (£20.50), or Ketel One Vodka, Citrus, Elderflower, Cointreau And Summer Fruits. Science. (Yes, that’s on the menu. Who doesn’t love a littele science in their drink?)

The first  was like a pudding in a glass, sweet and beautifully presented. The later though, which is made for two, came with a Bunsen burner, in multiple compartments filled with fruit and liquor, and again, an volcanic explosion of smoke and ice!

The cocktails. Delicious. Couldn’t have been happier. Each one is actually reasonably priced, even the Mad Hatter’s is served for two. It’s not a cheap night out, per say, but there are way more expensice cocktails throughout London with way less taste and flare.

THE NIBBLES

IMGP1141We also sampled a little of their food menu. I give to you:

The Sharing Platter (£17.00), or Wings, Nachos, Gyoza & Beer Battered Prawns Served With Dips

IMGP1145As with everything else I’ve tried at The Alchemist, it’s quality. The standouts were the really flavourful gyozas and the flat nachos overflowing with cheese and jalapenos, but everything on there was damn tasty.

Now, my issue with it is the price. Too much for too little, especially since the cocktails are so well priced. Ah well, still delicious, but I might skip it in the future and go for something a little more hefty for a little less price. The fried chicken? Damn, so good.

Check out The Alchemist. If you’ve never been there, go. If you’ve been there, go again and check out the new things. It’s a damn fine night out.


THE GOOD: Amazing cocktails. Amazing food. A brand new literally golden gleaming menu.

THE BAD: Some of the food is overpriced for what it is, but it is a small complaint. Everything else is reasonably priced and above average on taste and style

ONE CONVERSATION WITH FELIX CROSSE , CONCEPT HEAD BARTENDER AND DRINK DEVELOPER AT THE ALCHEMIST:

“Every drink has a story from its conception to the names. Every drinks has a reason to be and a history. All well-constructed flavours and great presentation. It’s exciting, has a sense of humour, premium and reasonably priced. You won’t get these drinks anywhere else.”

 

25 Comments

  • MissPond

    When I lived in Manchester The Alchemist was always that place for a special night out. I LOVE their cocktails, especially the Tea Pot sharer. i definitely agree about the food prices though, and I wasn’t sure about Fish and Chips in a Bento Box, which is what I had on my last visit…

    • Alex

      Ha! I haven’t tried that one. But you can’t say they don’t present it well. 🙂

  • Stephanie Merry

    This looks amazing! Next time I’m in Manchester I’ll have to check it out – I love cocktails x

  • Harriet from Toby & Roo

    Wow – they look so funky! How cool! H x

  • Nikki

    Wow those cocktails look amazing! If my memory serves me right im sure ive been in the one on manchester. It was years ago tho lol x

  • Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels

    This looks absolutely amazing. Really cool.

  • Katy Stevens

    Wow this looks absolutely fantastic – what a great concept and so different to the normal chain rubbish you see around these days for restaurants!

  • Nayna Kanabar

    What an amazing experience, the cocktail sound super and are so exciting.

  • Fashion and Style Police

    Sounds like a fab restaurant. Loving the look of the nibbles and drinks.

  • Jo

    They’ve just opened one in Liverpool too. Looks so classy

    • Alex

      So classy!

  • Hannah

    This sounds amazing – why must it be so far away from me!!

  • Angela

    Looks so fun. I would love to visit this place- maybe next time we are in london.

  • Sarah

    EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS PLACE, LOOKS AMAZING!!!
    I’d love to visit one day! Those cocktails!! And that menu is so beautiful!

  • Jenni

    This place looks incredible! I love love the gold menu. Im going to have to try the Manchester one out x

    • Alex

      You should for sure! If you go, let me know what you think,

  • MELANIE EDJOURIAN

    Those cocktails look amazing what a fun place to visit.

  • Candice Nikeia

    This drink is too pretty to drink! haha! I love how fancy it is! Glad you had so much fun!

    xoxo, Candice
    http://www.candicenikeia.com

    • Alex

      So much fun. It’s worth checking out for sure!

  • Sarahjane Wood

    I love science…I love cocktails!! This place is definitely my cup of tea!! It looks amazing!!!

  • Claire

    It certainly looks like a great place. I have to pay it a visit 🙂

  • Ana De- Jesus

    I have been dying to go to Alchemist for ages as their drinks have always looked so cool and who doesn’t want a bit of science in their drinks.

  • Kira C

    I’ve heard so much of the Alchemist and saw the Manchester one when I was there but I didn’t get the chance to go! I’d really love to though because I love the whole concept behind it! That menu!! 😀

  • Jemma

    Those cocktails look like so much fun, yum!

  • Annie B

    I adore the one in Manchester… had no idea there was one in London. Will have to try this

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