The buzz: Cozied up next to Snapper and just across from the long-established Cheap Charlie’s on the infamous alley off Suk 11, The Alchemist is named after Paulo Coelho’s best-selling novel. It’s run by former radio DJs Taps and Saloni, who have opted for a mix of the casual but hip, with funky tunes and refreshing tweaks on classic cocktail recipes.
The décor: The small room contains a number of basic square tables, but the prime spots are at the lengthy wooden countertop, complete with cute bag hangers. The walls are bare red brick, bearing chalk writing and paintings, while the layout suggests a grab-it-at-the-bar tradition. Outdoor seating is available, too.
The music: Funky house fills the air at optimum drinking hours, but a jam night, tentatively set down for the first and third Sundays of the month, provides a little more spontaneity. If you’ve got one, you might want to bring your own instrument.
The crowd: Sukhumvit Soi 11 locals and expats craving some after-dinner drinks.
The price: Pocket friendly. Standard cocktails range from B180-200, with four signature ones at the upper end of that spectrum. The Secret Garden will remind you of a Mojito, but uses coriander instead of mint leaves—fear not, there’s also plenty of lemongrass, ginger and passion fruit. Brazil in Bangkok is a sweeter concoction made with cachaça, apple, mint and lime, while Make Me a Spritzer is a white wine version of sangria with lots of fruit and a refreshing dash of soda. Martini lovers can choose from the chocolate or espresso variations, or just stick to the classic dry. Leo, Singha, Tiger, Heineken and Asahi are all B70 by the (small) bottle. Order at the bar and don’t be shy to customize your drink (if the bar is not too busy). Hungry? The ham and cheese toast (B120) is a good drinking companion, along with some chips.
Why you’ll come back? Even if you’re somehow not charmed by the friendly atmosphere (and owners), the B100 Mojitos from 5-9pm are a good excuse to turn up early. Otherwise, The Alchemist is a sound spot for an after-dinner tipple or even more. Vasachol Quadri