Chic, modern and packed with more fashionable cocktail consumers than a pomegranate is of pips, The Alchemist promised a fabulous evening out.
The interior of the glass-fronted corner building is an impressive sight and the simple interior elegance matches the well-groomed clientele.
The crowning glory of the room is the 9ft bar which displays just about every spirit and liquor under the sun.
We were greeted at the bar by very friendly and highly-skilled mixologists who handed us a delicious new cocktail containing Grey Goose vodka and fresh raspberries, topped with a freshly-caramelised passion fruit half.
After gleefully guzzling several of these, we were treated to a demonstration of three of The Alchemist’s most complicated and impressive cocktails, Dry Iced Tea, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and the Caramelised Rum Punch.
First up was the Dry Iced Tea.
CLASSIC: Iced Tea served over dry ice
This twist on a classic saw coke syrup foam poured into a large glass with a traditional iced tea mixture, which was then poured over dry ice.
The result was a smoking and tasty cocktail.
SMOKING: Twist on a classic
In-keeping with the surreal theme of Alice in Wonderland the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was a fantastical concoction which delighted all of the senses from making through to consumption.
Instead of housing coffee beans, coffee percolators were crammed with fresh fruit that infused into the elderflower liqueur, Cointreau, and citron gomme brew below.
INFUSION: Quirky cocktail preparation
When ready it was tipped into glass tea pots and served over dry ice.
SMOKING: Alice in Wonderland-esque brew
The result was a smoking brew that steamed out of the spout, and when poured into delicate glass teacups certainly looked like something straight out of the pages of Lewis Carroll.
TEA PARTY: Alcoholic tea for two
And finally, the Caramelised Rum Punch. This was the most thrilling of the three to watch, as it was prepared over what looked like a bunsen burner.
FLAMING: Theatrical cocktail production
Once the Demerara sugar was scooped into the miniature copper saucepan to caramelise, Santa Teresa Rum Orange was generously added along with fruit juices and a dash of watermelon syrup to create a column of flames.
Clouds of nutmeg and cinnamon were sprinkled above the flame creating bright orange sparks which added to the theatrical element.
SPARKING: Cinnamon flames light-up the bar
If science lessons had been like this at school we would have most certainly taken an interest.
This instantly became our firm favourite as it tasted exactly like a liquid, alcoholic gingerbread man. Delicious.
FINAL TOUCHES: The almost finished product
All measures were generously free-poured and every step of the preparation was executed with a flourish and a helpful, but never patronising, explanation of the process.
Not only were the drinks delicious they were exquisitely presented
Verdict? The Alchemist serves unpretentious, entertaining and delicious cocktails. It is slick and stylish and is well worth a visit for the spectacle alone.