Apothecary Lounge is a relatively new bar on
We were denied roof deck access (the deck’s not that large, and the people occupying it weren’t budging), so sat at the bar on the ultralight metal stools in front on the green-glowing wall of cube shelves behind a bar brimming with tincture bottles filled with herbal essences, small bottles of fine liqueurs, and other special ingredients.
The menu lists all of their intriguing drink specials, including the many, many ingredients in each drink. It’s going to take you a good ten minutes to decide what to order. Just remember that the pleasant, and very busy bartender had patience with you as you decided, so please have patience when they make your drink; it takes a while, and your drink order just went to the back of the line.
How they remember what goes in each drink, which tincture holds what, and where that bottle of liqueur is is quite a feat. I don’t think any of these bartenders are drinking on the job, or else they couldn’t do their job.
I had a hard time deciding on a drink. I ended up ordering the Rustoleo with Brazilian Cachaca, Flor de Cana Nicaraguan Rum, honey liquor, acai, fresh blueberries, lemon, chocolate mole bitters, and European bilberry extract. Told you the ingredient list is long!
The drink smells of honey and, with a drop or two of chocolate mole bitters, the first sip is a touch dark and smoky. The drink is delicious, but is not earth shattering. And I’m sure the alcohol negated any of the anti-oxidizing, vision restorative properties of the bilberry that the drink description hinted at.
My partner ordered the Immunity Idol with Hendricks Gin, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, fresh pineapple and orange, champagne, orange bitters, Echinacea, hawthorn root, elderberry liniment, and inebriated berries. Also a good drink; more fruity and girly than the drink I ordered.
At $10-$14 a cocktail, drinks are pricier than at your average bar. The question is, is the drink worth the price?
Yes - The work the bartenders put into making your drink, and the ingredients that are used in the drink certainly justify the price.
Maybe - Taste-wise, I’m not sold just yet. The two drinks we sampled were good (there are more to be sampled, and maybe I didn’t hit my drink), but nothing so crazy-remarkable that I'm planning a return visit soon.
No - Health properties? Don’t fool yourself. I’m not knocking herbal medicine, but a drop of Echinacea extract in a cocktail is not curing anyone of anything. It’s a harmless and fun gimmick that hearkens to the olden days of pharmacies dispensing herbals in alcoholic potions.
Apothecary has a small food menu, too, but we skipped it. The two parties on either side of us seemed to be enjoying the food. Beer and wine can also be ordered, but why? You’re there for the cocktails.
We concluded that Apothecary is a great bar to take your out-of-town clients. Apothecary is conveniently located to downtown hotels, has a novelty factor that will delight (drinks, not the dark and sparse interior), plus you can expense the drinks. Everyone wins!
102 S. 13th St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
Tues.-Sun., 5 p.m.-2 a.m.