What do you do for someone’s birthday whose only major hobbies are going to the gym, to the pub, or to the football? Yes I’m talking about my boyfriend. Yes this probably also applies to pretty much every stereotypical British male ever!
I think most girls experience the annual struggle of what to plan for the guy who predictably says “I don’t mind” every year when you mention doing something for their birthday. It’s even more of a struggle when you’re one of those people who absolutely loves a birthday and he’s not so fussed. After a bit of thinking, I remembered that we’d talked about how cool The Alchemist looked after seeing it on someone’s Instagram, and thought this would be perfect.
Although you can visit anytime (well you’d hope so, it’s a bar…), I chose to book the Cocktail Masterclass, as I thought it would give a bit more of an experience to remember. For £35 each, you can book for up to 12 people to learn to make 4 different speciality cocktails that they serve – especially great as you actually save money on the cocktails and you get to make them yourself – win win!
We weren’t really sure what to expect when we arrived as we were seated in a sectioned off area of the bar and had assumed we would be sitting round a table. We found out once we started that we would actually be behind the bar making the cocktails which was a nice touch – it gives you more of an experience as you’re using the actual equipment and area the bartenders would use. We were given our first drink pre-made as a welcome, while our host talked through the cocktails we’d be making and what to expect.
A word of warning if you’re going for your birthday/another celebration – you WILL get singled out to make the first drinks with the host! Reece usually hates stuff like this – sorry Reece! – but our bartender made it fun. After his solo demonstration we took to the bar in small groups to have a go ourselves. Luckily there was no bottle-flipping involved otherwise this could have been a disaster for my clumsy self, but learning to count measures straight from the bottle was a challenge in itself – I think we probably got more on the bar than in the glasses the first few times!
After the first more “basic” cocktail, we moved onto the drinks The Alchemist is famed for. Spoiler alert – their secret to the amazing smoky drinks is dry ice (although not too much of it as one of our friends found out otherwise you’ll freeze the entire glass!) The ingredients for these drinks are mixed beforehand, then poured over dry ice to create the mystical effect. I have to admit, this was pretty cool – although I’d seen in on loads of people’s Instagrams, it was even cooler in real life, so if you go I’d definitely recommend trying one of these! We didn’t actually make the exact cocktails mentioned on the website, so unfortunately I can’t name them, but they all tasted great just the same!
I’ve never done anything like this before, so have nothing to compare it to, but I’d say his was definitely an experience worth paying for! We all had a really great time and a lot of fun, and people are still talking about it now. We’ve all said we would definitely go back for drinks and food there too as it’s really reasonably priced for a London bar – no more than you’d expect to pay for cocktails anywhere else and they’re so Instagrammable so what’s not to love!
Their website is beautiful, and matches the aesthetic of the place perfectly, so is worth a visit even if you’re not thinking of visiting, for anyone interested in branding/ web design! You can find it here: