This Three-Story Cartagena Bar Is Making Some of the Best Cocktails in the World

I shouldn’t have actually been surprised that my night at Alquímico was one of the very best experiences I’ve ever had at a bar, as it was just recently called the tenth best bar in the world. However I ‘d never ever been to among the ten finest bars on the planet previously, and I didn’t understand exactly what I remained in for.

Found in Cartagena’s Old Town, Alquímico is set within an ornate old estate that reflects the neighborhood’s historic architecture, with 2 indoor levels and a 3rd roof flooring. Art Deco information, a grand double-sided staircase on the very first flooring, a veranda on the 2nd, and classic accents like crown moldings create a sense of grandiosity as soon as you step within.

While the space itself is enough to make you keep in mind a night at Alquímico, deemed the very best bar in South America by the World’s 50 Best Bars, the imaginative menus– a various one for every single flooring– make it one of the coolest cocktail experiences you’ll ever have.
Floor 1 – La Mansión
Floor one is where you’ll have your first mixed drink of the night, and its menu is fittingly more cerebral– the bar describes its very first level as “the essence of Alquímico.” The beverages on this floor are special to the bar and extremely creative, featuring spirits infused with flavors like corn, green tea, or perhaps cheese. These are the type of mixed drinks that you want to believe more about; they should have to be drunk and enjoyed before you’ve had three espresso martinis.


While on flooring one I tried the Té Caribeño, a tart, earthy, and subtly sweet concoction of Tanqueray Rangpur gin, Maraschino liqueur, a green tea infusion, dehydrated coconut, Peruvian groundcherries, and lime juice. (Alquímico just recently redesigned all of its menus, and a server informed me that this was her favorite out of the brand-new drinks.).
Floor 2 – El Balcón.
The second level of Alquímico is devoted to classic cocktails, which you can sip on the grand balcony while peering down at the flooring below. None of the drinks on this menu, however, are straightforward versions of the timeless cocktails you might understand; the bar puts an unique spin on every one. I attempted the Clear Espresso Martini, which, as its name shows, was totally clear (rather of the typical brown) and flavored with a hint of cardamom. The Ayu, or House Highball, includes coca cordial and orange bloom, while the Tomoji (House Mojito) adds lemongrass and sage in with the usual mint and lime.

None of these brand-new takes on traditional drinks felt gimmicky, either. Even the Clear Espresso Martini, which might easily depend on its color alone as a selling point, was amazingly tasty with warmly spiced notes from the additions of cardamom and cocoa.
Flooring 3 – Terraza.
Floor number 3 screams “fun,” which seems suitable since it’s where you’ll end the night. Located on the rooftop of Alquímico, you can look out at the night sky while dancing to reggaeton and remixes of pop hits.

I had the Mandarino, a citrusy mix of gin, Alquímico’s own mandarin-lemon liqueur, pineapple draw out, lime juice, and bee pollen. Bright, juicy, and revitalizing drinks like these are exactly what I want at the end of the night. I don’t need something as strong as a martini (can you inform I think about everything in terms of martinis?), and a big glass loaded with ice and something incredibly rejuvenating is ideal for sipping in the hot Cartagena air.
The majority of the cocktails, no matter the flooring, depend on fruits, herbs, and other natural active ingredients. Perhaps the best part of Alquímico is how it flaunts Colombia’s biodiversity and native active ingredients. Co-owner Jean Trinh really bought a farm in the nation’s coffee area in 2019, which now provides the bar with much of this produce. So when I state “Alquímico’s own mandarin-lemon liqueur,” I suggest that quite actually.

If that wasn’t enough, Trinh likewise used the farmland to house and feed his staff throughout the early part of the pandemic, when the bar was required to close. It’s this respect for the earth and what it can produce that adds an extra layer of magic behind Alquímico’s drinks.

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