Alquimico, the craft cocktail bar in Cartagena, has once again secured its place on The Best 50 Bars list. However, this time, the Cartagena establishment ranks ninth, solidifying its status as the best in Latin America and placing it among the top 10 bars in the world, according to the prestigious list led by Sips in Barcelona, Spain.
This Colombian bar offers a captivating sensory experience for its patrons. Situated within a stunning republican-style house in the heart of the old city, Alquimico offers a diverse selection of cocktails infused with local fruits, and an introduction to various regions of Colombia, catering to both domestic and international tourists.
Alchemical is housed in a traditional building within a colonial property that is part of the work of the renowned French architect Gaston Lelarge, known for significant projects such as the Marroquin Castle, San Francisco Palace, and the Cartagena Club.
The bar boasts three floors. The first floor invites patrons to explore various Colombian departments, while the second floor provides an opportunity to savor exquisite craft cocktails. One of the most enchanting spaces is the rooftop terrace, which provides a welcome escape from the Caribbean heat and offers exceptional views of the walled city.
Sourcing from a Coffee Region Farm
During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, some of the establishment’s team members decided to embark on a parallel venture that later became a supplier for the Cartagena bar. They initiated agricultural activities on a farm in the coffee region, launching the “From the Bar to the Farm” project. The primary objectives were to “work the land, learn, connect, and sustain themselves from it.”
Over several months, they developed a project that would supply some of the bar’s ingredients in the future, providing a home for the family of each team member who chose to embark on this unique adventure.
Among the various creations made using the farm’s products, Alquímico proudly highlights “Xuan,” a cocktail that incorporates ingredients they cultivate themselves, such as calendula and chamomile, along with a citrus/passion fruit blend from their coffee farm.
Entertaining Cartagena’s Nights Since 2016
Alquímico is owned by Jean Trinh, a Frenchman of Vietnamese descent who opened this splendid venue in 2016. Trinh, hailing from a family that operated various bars and restaurants in France, made the move from Paris to Cartagena in 2013.
In mid-2014, he launched a pop-up bar in the Getsemaní neighborhood of “La Heroica.” This concept involves venues that are not static but aim to offer an ever-changing and unrepeatable experience each time.
In March 2016, Alquímico finally opened its doors. It began with just five employees, and within four years, it had expanded to a team of 60, occupying the entire three-story mansion in the city center. They now serve an average of 850 customers every night. In that same year, they made their debut on The Best 50 Bars list for the first time.
Since then, the business has continued to flourish and establish itself, culminating in 2023 with a spot in the world’s top 10.