This article contains drink spoilers, so if you want to maintain an element of surprise, stop right here!
Anybody that loves cocktails and brunch, should have The Alchemist on their food&drink bucket-list. They are famous for their hazardous looking cocktails – think lots of dry ice and theatre. The Alchemist is not a London Exclusive but I wanted to wait until I was back in London to go. All it took was a housemate’s birthday and almost two hours of queuing.
I should preface this by saying we turned up at the St Martins Lane location, near Leicester Square, at 8pm with no booking. The insane queuing time was a result of our lack of preparation, so don’t let that put you off. If you do find yourself in a similar situation, the queue conveniently runs past McDonald’s, so do what we did and grab some mozzarella sticks and fries.
We couldn’t help but notice that the queue was full of first-dates. Definitely seems like the place to go, because if the conversation is failing at least you have the drinks to marvel at.
I started off the night opting for one of the cheaper drinks on the menu, Bubble Bath. It turns out this is one of the top recommendations as a first drink to try. The waiter brought over my glass, then kindly waited for me to start recording before pouring the mysterious liquid over it.
It’s one of the more subdued drinks, slowly bubbling up but it’s still a fun one to order. Because of the bubble dome that forms it is difficult to start drinking, if you’re straw-less, and I definitely got some on my nose. Overall, it was very fruity and light to drink and definitely my style, as I don’t love strong, alcoholic flavours.
The rest of the table ordered a Cherry Poppins, The Legal One and the Colour-changing One. Every drink comes in its own funky, unique glass and I honestly wanted to shove all the glassware in my handbag. I didn’t, because I would like to go again and not be blacklisted. Plus my bag was too small…
When I go again, I definitely want to order the Cherry Poppins. They use this gun-like device to blow a bubble on top of the glass, then you pop it with your finger and it disappears into a smoke cloud.
The Legal One made us laugh, as it comes served in a bong. Aside from the humorous glass, there wasn’t much theatre and the drink portion is very small so I probably wouldn’t recommend it if you want bang for your buck.
If you want to do the science yourself, go for the Colour-changing One, as they give you two beakers and instruct you on the order to pour. Although subtle, this one is super satisfying to watch.
On our second round, I chose Lightbulb moment as I saw another table get it earlier and it’s one of the smokier ones. Our waiter joked not to put it down or it will explode, with the straightest face ever. I literally held it for 5 minutes before realising he was taking the piss and I could pour it without causing an evacuation. This drink was slightly too sour for me and contains gin, Pimms, lemon, mint and ginger beer.
Arguably, the most dramatic cocktail is Mad Hatters. This drink serves two and the smoke seems never ending. After it dies down slightly, you pour it into china tea cups – proper wonderland style. Our waiter was happy to play up to the camera and blow smoke into it, which made the experience more memorable and enjoyable. In fact, all of the stuff were so friendly and added to the magic atmosphere that The Alchemist aims to create.
A few of the drinks come served in Alchemist branded hip-flasks, which you are actually allowed to keep. This could be fun for someones birthday, so everyone has a keepsake of the night.
To finish the evening, my friends insisted on doing shots. I opted out and took on the role of filming a boomerang for them. The Alchemist offers a ‘Jam Doughnut’, which I’d never heard of before. It comes served with cream on top and they suggest you take it without using your hands. Once I heard that I was glad I opted out – it would’ve been messy.
Despite being strongly against queuing, I admit it was worth the wait. Now I just want to take everyone I know back to The Alchemist and order all the drinks we didn’t get the chance to try last night. Which of these drinks do you think you’d like to try best? Let me know in the comments!
Disclaimer – This post is not sponsored.