Sidle up to Alchemy Bar on board Carnival Cruise Line ships and feel the power of Bacardi’s cocktail therapy. You don’t order drinks, you order cures and the skilled mixologists have the unique solution for whatever ails you. With drinks called potions, antidotes and elixirs, you’re sure to feel your best after enjoying one before or after dinner. Dressed in white lab coats and sporting a smile, bartenders serve up specialty-infused cocktails like which often involve singeing an herb or spice and letting the smoke fill the glass prior to the first pour. Their techniques extract the essence of each plant, fruit or spice to create drinks visually beautiful and with incredible depth of character.
Talk to the Pharmacist
Alchemy Bar isn’t the place to order a plain old vodka soda. Instead, mixologists guide guests through a menu featuring some unusual additions to your favorite spirits. Herbs like basil, mint, lavender and rosemary add their own characteristics to each cocktail and help patrons think outside the box when it comes to their drink order. What does each herb add to the mix? Let’s find out!
A staple in drinks like Bacardi mojitos or a mint julep, this fresh herb is found in several drinks at the Alchemy Bar. A mint sprig adds a bit of fresh contrast to a drink that’s sweet or bitter. You can find mint leaves muddled at the bottom of a drink or added as a garnish for the top. When added as garnish, you might see your bartender smacking the leaves between their hands at first. This warms the leaves up and releases the essential oils which add the fresh, minty flavor to the drink.
If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, you’re no stranger to basil. However, this herb garden staple is a great addition to a drink thanks to its sweet and subtle notes of black licorice. At Alchemy Bar, you can find basil added to citrus-based drinks, giving an added boost of antioxidants. The leaves release the antioxidants in the essential oils when muddled. Add basil to a Grey Goose Vodka Soda for an invigorating twist on an old favorite.
One of the most popular flavors to add to a drink, oranges are used extensively at Alchemy Bar in ways you might not have seen before. Orange peels are singed with an open flame to release the citrus oils before the garnish is added to the drink. If you’re looking for a cocktail with notes of orange, try an Old Fashioned with Bacardi 8 (aged 8 years) garnished with a singed orange peel.
A herb you’re sure to find on your lamb chops, rosemary is one of the sharpest flavors on this list. It carries hints of pine and only a small amount can add an impressive kick to a drink. To kick a Bombay Sapphire Gin and Tonic up a notch, add a sprig of rosemary and a fresh squeezed lemon.
It’s two parts science, one part art and that’s what keeps people coming back for more. Want to test your hand at craft cocktail making? Try the recipe below!
Recipe: The Quick Fix
- Bacardi Rum
- Grey Goose Vodka
- Bombay Sapphire Gin
- Pernod Absinthe
- Citrus Peels
Add a splash of citrus juice to 1 part Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, Bacardi rum, Midori and a half-part absinthe in a shaker. Shake, then pour over ice in a highball glass and top with a splash of Sprite. Garnish with a singed lemon or lime peel twist for added flavor.