Birmingham is buzzing with new bars and restaurants opening at the moment. The latest addition is The Alchemist, housed underneath The Grand Hotel restoration on Colmore Row, next door to sister venture Italian restaurant Gusto.
Owned by Cheshire-based Living Ventures, which also encompasses The Botanist into its family, they are already well established in the North of England,with branches in Alderley Edge, Manchester, Liverpool & Leeds to name a few.
I was invited to the VIP launch as award winning Brumhour’s plus one.
The place is beautifully furnished with copper-coloured fixings and glass cabinets full of a wonderful and eclectic mix of collectables.
We were given a lovely welcome drink of Peaches & Crème – Briottet Peach and Pink Grapefruit, Lemon and Prossecco Fizz. A sweet refreshing taster of what was in store, it went down a treat. We’d also ordered some spirits from the bar – Portobello Gin & Tonic (sorry no picture) for myself (sadly no Langleys!).
What caught my eye was a rather futuristic looking stand, looking rather extrinsic to the backdrop, which they had both upstairs and downstairs. Turns out this is a Mist Bar and you can sup in different flavours of alcoholic mist through a straw. The upstairs one was mint chocolate flavoured; the one downstairs was rum flavoured.
Heading downstairs to the basement bar, it was spacious with high ceilings yet cosy enough for an intimate gathering. Being a enthusiast of all things storage, I particularly liked the little drawers against the back wall. Imagine my disappointment that they didn’t actually open! I half expected to find some hidden gems in there. I love all types of storage and these made a beautiful backdrop.
The glass cabinets showcased an eclectic mix of eccentricities, two headed bird anyone?
I also sampled several other drinks whilst enjoying the surroundings.
Wow Woo! – Ketel One Vodka, Briottet Peach, cranberry, citrus, gold. A pretty and glittery concoction.
Caramel Rum Punch – Appleton Signature Rum, Grand Marnier, watermelon, lime, pineapple, fire. Nice sweet caramel undertones with chunky cinnamon stick.
Bubblebath – Tanqueray Gin, Aperol, Chambord, Lemon, Apple, Fairy Liquid – a favourite of the night if only for the Fairy Liquid non stop frothiness!
Candy Crush – Ketel One Vodka, Rhubarb and Rosehip cordial, Lemon, Egg White, Candy, Pink – sickly sweety as it should be! This is perfect as a dessert on its own.
Smoky Old Fashioned – Woodford Reserve Whisky, maple syrup, dilution, Jerry Thomas Bitters, smoke. Self pouring from separate glass flask, it felt like being back at school in the science lab! Although not clear in the photos, it was smokin’! I’m not a huge whisky fan unlike Mr Brummie Gourmand and enjoyed more of the theatrics of it.
During the evening, I also sampled some tasty appetisers which I would happily eat again:
Pork bon bons – delicious Middle Eastern flavours encased in a crunchy coating.
Prawn with jalapeno salsa – crunchy and very moreish
Cheese quesadillas – fluffy with a lovely, scrumptious salty filling
The Alchemist is located in Colmore Business District, attracting a lunch and after work crowd. It’s somewhere I would happily visit again; my aim, as with most cocktail places we have visited, to work my way through the entire cocktail menu!
Disclaimer: For this evening, Wifey was a guest of #BrumHour and the team at The Alchemist, this provides no bias to the post. This blog is our own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.
Where: The Alchemist, The Grand, Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2DA
Who: The Alchemist