Drink of the Week: Getting a Little Somethin' Somethin' With Vokahh at Alchemist

Lou Bustamante
The ballpark portion of China Basin is great for many kinds of drinking, but up until now, seriously delicious and well-crafted cocktails worthy of arriving late to the game for was not one of them.

Perched directly above the newish Thai restaurant Root sits Alchemist, a dark, steampunk-inspired bar. Pipes, gears, and dark wood with copper accents make you feel like you're in the Victorian future, and large comfortable leather couches making lingering way too easy. Silent movies project on the wall, making the space feel even more future-retro, but the modernist theme ends at the décor.

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Lou Bustamante
It's ok--get grabby with the Stop Fenneling Me cocktail
The bar staff is like a Super Friends of bartending with owner Kinson Lau (formerly of Gitane), lead barman Seth Laufman (Comstock, Burritt), Gabe Lowe (Kronnerburger, Beretta, Locanda), and David Jones (Burritt Room) mixing away. The creativity and sense of humor show up in drinks like the deliciously savory Stop Fenneling Me ($11, gin, manzanilla sherry, falernum liqueur, fennel bitters, apple dusted with fennel pollen) and B.A. Baracus ($11, scotch, lemon, ginger & habanero syrup, cider).

Perhaps it was the the retro feel of the place, but while the original cocktails were all delicious, it was the take on the classic Moscow Mule called Somethin' With Vokahh ($11, vodka, elderflower liqueur, thyme syrup, lime, ginger beer) that refreshed and impressed. Not usually being a fan of vodka, I found myself reluctant to like it so much, but you can't deny a great drink.

"I would constantly get asked by guests for 'something with vodka,' so I thought it would be funny to offer them just that," explained Laufman of the name of the drink. So he gave them exactly that, but managed to keep it interesting enough that it might convince those of us who swore off vodka to ask for Somethin' With Vokahh.

Somethin' With Vokahh
By Seth Laufman

2 oz. Vodka
½ oz. Pür Elderflower Liqueur
½ oz. Thyme simple syrup
¾ oz. Lime juice

Ginger beer

Combine vodka, elderflower liqueur, thyme syrup, and lime juice in a Collins glass. Top with ginger beer and fresh thyme sprigs for garnish.

Alchemist Bar & Lounge, 679 3rd St. (at Townsend), 734-6948

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Location Info


Alchemist Bar & Lounge

679 3rd St., San Francisco, CA

Category: Music

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