Few places in Leeds do cocktails quite like The Alchemist, with its Trinity outpost boasting a literal book full of magical, wonderful, bizarre concoctions to try. And it’s not just the drinks that’ll wow seasoned cocktail aficionados… the food is pretty good too. We went down to see if The Alchemist has still got it.
Even on a Wednesday night, the bar was packed. Skipping the wrap-around balcony, we were seated in the restaurant area and taken through the cocktail list. Be sure to factor in some serious indecisive moments as you flick through - if you went to the Alchemist and ordered a mojito, did you even go?! I take my time assessing which concoctions will offer the best Insta moment…
I opted for the Lightbulb Moment (£8.50), one that promised a dash of theatrical molecular mixology with a refreshing blend of Tanqueray gin, Pimm's, Double Dutch ginger beer, raspberry, lemon and mint. The waitress brought over a glass with ice and the cocktail itself which was presented in a bulb flask. Pouring the cocktail over the ice, it began to bubble and smoke and I suddenly felt like I was mixing potions. So easily pleased.
Other options include the Colour Changing One (£8) and Smokey Old Fashioned (£8.50) which is literally smoked at the table using charred oak. As for the food, the menu is varied; with your usual suspects like burgers and wraps alongside world-inspired dishes like katsu curry (£13), jerk chicken (£13) and lamb rump with kofta (£17.50).
Drawn in by so many tempting starters, we settled on mac ’n’ cheese bites (£5.50) which were deep-fried and served with a tangy chipotle mayo; much like an American-style arancini. Duck spring rolls (£6.75) were lighter, crispier and juicier than any I’d had before, while the beef ragu (£13.50) was far from the usual pasta dish; think sesame noodles, spicy kimchi and toasted coconut with a real flavour explosion.
For the main event, I ordered the Cajun breaded halloumi burger (£12) which was stuffed with avocado and came together with The Alchemist’s signature ‘next level’ burger sauce; tangy and sweet, with crispy shallots. Choose the ‘salt n pepper’ upgrade to your fries and you'll get them ladened with onions and spice.
Although dessert included a cotton candy baked Alaska, I couldn't face the sugar rush, opting instead for a pudding of the liquid variety. The Banoffee Manhattan (£9) was a sweet mix of Monkey Shoulder whisky, banana and espresso topped with creamy banoffee foam. What a treat.
The DesignMyNight Digest
From weekend brunches to evenings filled with cocktail mixology and quirky masterclasses, The Alchemist proves why it’s become a household name in the drinks industry. If you’re after a dazzling experience with the photogenic food and drink, then you can’t beat this Trinity bar.