Quicktake: L’Alchemiste is a cocktail lab in Boulogne- Billancourt making some tasty bottled cocktails to go.
I usually plan my seasonal home bar menus with great pleasure. But… with all the confinement and quasi-confinement and Covid business, I’ve spent nearly all of the past year hiding away in the country house rather than home-entertaining in Paris. Instead of seasonal cocktails to share with friends, I’ve mainly been doing comfort cocktail pairings for myself. Imagine my delight when I got a surprise delivery from l’Alchemiste: a bottle of their new Milk Punch de Printemps, a liquid springtime celebration!
As Paris is back on lockdown, it’s nice to know that there’s another worthy option for to-go and delivery cocktails from l’Alchimiste. L’Alchimiste calls itself a unique place between an artist’s workshop, a chef’s kitchen, an experiential bar and an herbalist, open to the world. The location is the Parisian suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and the creative mind behind the cocktails is Matthais Giroud, a globe-trotting gastronome with a penchant for mixing. Inspired by his extensive travels and work in beachside bars as well as trendy hotels, he creates unique experiences with his drinks and classes. In his word he takes you on a ‘voyage’. So, if we can’t literally be travelling at the moment, at least we can get a little of it in a glass.
Since September, he’s been offering cocktails classes with the theme of “voyage”. Though I haven’t tried the classes so I can’t speak much to that, I have tried his latest bottled cocktail and have only good things to say. The Milk Punch de Printemps is a clarified milk punch with a rhum base with floral and citrus notes. I always worry this kind of thing may be too sweet, but this was just the right touch of sweet in an otherwise dry and refreshing drink. On first taste, it may even seem simple. But, an elegance that appears effortless is a lovely thing. And once you realize the work and and time required behind the scenes (the pineapple infusion, the recipe creation, the clarification process) you better appreciate what it takes to pull it off while making it appear easy. If this is indicative of the rest of the cocktail range, I give it a thumbs up.
The Milk Punch has been made in a limited edition. A 500ml bottle of the punch or other 2 cocktails on offer go for 35 Euros. Non-alcoholic options go for 22 Euros, and though I haven’t tried them, I can see from the ingredients they aren’t just phoning it in. Their signature Le Five features ingredients from five different countries such as the Verjus Bourgoin from France and Shiso leaf from Japan.
In addition to the cocktail courses and bottled cocktails, they also have a small selection of bar tools in the online boutique. One of the highball glasses came with my springtime punch and I just love it. So, I can attest to the quality and seeing the nice price in the online boutique, I’ll be ordering some more of those for my home bar for sure.
So thanks to l’Alchemiste for sending me a little springtime joy. I look forward to visiting the workshop when things return to something more normal (hopefully soon!)
70 Route de la Reine