Cocktails In a Science Lab

by Alina Radoi

Mixology in Bucharest

It was Friday night and the streets of Bucharest were coming to life. The old buildings and their architecture were beautifully clashing with the modern music coming from the pubs and discos in the city center.

Since my friends from Spain came to visit for the weekend, we wanted to try something totally different. In the old city center of Bucharest, hidden in plain site, we found this place called the Cocktail Laboratory. What we never expected, was a totally new and wonderful experience.

We entered the bar and it was as if we had literally entered a science laboratory. The bar was designed as a lab table with drawers of “substances” surrounding it. Erlenmeyer flasks, beakers and test tubes were filling a glass drawer behind it. Also, the bartenders were wearing white lab coats.

On the walls, there were periodic tables surrounding the place and if in high school we sometimes skipped Chemistry, this was definitely a Science lesson that we did not want to miss.

We sat down and waited for a waiter to bring us the menu. Around us there were books filled with cocktail recipes and the room was brought to life by the music and the people dancing around. After a short while, the waiter came. However, there was no menu in his hand.

A bit strange, we thought. He explained to us that the reason that they had no menu was that everything was custom made. He told us to pick an alcoholic base like: gin, vodka, rum or anything we wanted. Then, he asked us to tell him whether we wanted the drink to be sweet, sour, fruity or spicy. I chose a fruity gin based drink.

A couple of minutes later, the waiter came with our drinks. To our surprise, they were brought in Erlenmeyer glasses. The 10-year old me who had wanted to become a scientist would have been proud.

We went on and clinked our glasses and proceeded to drink. They were heavenly. It was as if the bartender had read our minds and brought exactly what we had been thinking about, if not better. All of us were happy with our choices. Even one of my friends who opted for a spicy drink.

We stayed for a longer while, danced a little bit and then, when it was time to go we asked for the check. We were somehow expecting the check to be something science based, since everything else was fitting in the theme.

When it was time to pay, it did not fail to impress us, because the check came in a syringe. It was definitely unexpected. We thought it would be another glass, maybe a test tube, but this exceeded our imagination. We paid and left the place, after a mixology lesson that we would not forget too soon. We promise to come back if we were ever reunited in Bucharest and then went strolling down the city streets letting ourselves drawn by the magic of the city.