Cara finally visits Hokus Pokus, the mixology bar that has long topped her list of places to try. 

Hokus Pokus is a London’s ‘underground apothecary bar’ led by the brilliant mixologist Greg ‘Doc’ Chudzio just a stone’s throw from King’s Cross.

It’s a living tribute to the rich history of the local area. In particular, the bar takes its inspiration from 19th century characters like Dr James Morison, who in 1828 opened the “British College of Health’’ just down the road and who famously claimed his vegetable pills could cure any ailment.

Fast forward a couple of centuries, the potions and elixirs found at Hokus Pokus – some of which are infused while others are pickled, smoked or even set on fire – don’t lay claim to any health benefits, but will certainly help improve the mood!

Hokus Pokus  is relatively new to the bar scene having just celebrated its 2 years. I pretty much have known about it since its opening  through many recommendations and word of mouth.

At some point I even had 2 first dates planed and cancelled there, not at the same time of course. That’s online dating for you, often rather flaky. Fast forward I’m finally here. And the wait was well worth it.

Let’s start with the crucial part – mixing and creation of cocktails. It’s spectacular to say the least. The alchemists at Hokus Pokus combine numerous processes, including infusions, fat-washing and extraction, with a myriad of house-made liqueurs, herbal infusions and pure fruit extract to create a quite extraordinary list of libations.

The compact cocktails book includes impressive cocktails from molecular to smoked and a whole chocolate infused page to name a few.

First round of cocktails was from the molecular collection. Molecular Martini served in a stemless martini glass. It’s the perfect balance of sake, white vermouth and yuzu juice featuring three colour coded pearls of bursting flavours.

I have to admit my immediate thought was a slight worry because they looked like mini boba pearls, often found in bubble teas. I’m a classy tapioca girl with disapproval of fruit bobas, primarily because the shells of boba tend to resemble fake caviar with rather sugary fillings.

But this is very different although the caviars look quite bright with green, red and purple, on the tongue they are natural and fruity. We are told they are prepared in house from natural fruit infusions.

Also, no sip is the same as you end up with unique combinations of those three flavoured caviars each time revealing different strengths of flavours every pop.

As already  mentioned my guest’s  cocktail also comes from the same page, it’s Tot & Voltaire. Strong but smooth stand of peach infused Black Tot Caribbean blend rum, blended with crisp green apple and Xin Voltaire Aurelie sorbet.

It’s a lighter less sweet  version of mango lassie but more refreshing  too, on my next visit I’d definitely order it myself, it’s also just right to cool down on a hot summer day.

It’s paired with an oversized rain drop like orange caviar and smaller pomegranate drops. For a full experience my guest is advised to have first sip of a cocktail, then have the orange drop followed by more cocktail sips and caviars.

Not all cocktails require strict instructions though. My Coffee & Orange Chocolate for instance, which again I was slightly hesitant of ordering is just designed for sipping. I generally don’t like orange flavour in cocoa nor white chocolate, which this cocktail has both.

Except it’s a quality chocolate liquor with homemade coffee Boatyard vodka, well fitted for liquid chocolate moments.

For my guest it’s a quite a special cocktail with a slice of wagyu salami and wagyu-washed Michter’s US blend of vermouths. It’s a distinctive flavour of savoury yet a little buttery wagyu notes balancing the barrel aged vermouths well.

It’s served simple and straight in a sherry like glass to enjoy all of its glory without any unnecessary distractions from the ice.

I could go on and on about the cocktails. But it’s not just the drinks that are anchored by King’s Cross’ heritage and location.

Hokus Pokus décor should not be ignored, with retro-futuristic steampunk engine room brilliantly imagined by Henry Chebaane, is similarly inspired by Victorian science, quack medicine, alchemy books and esoteric literature.

Next time you are in the area, or inLondon for that matter, as Hokus Pokus’ alchemist approach to cocktail making deserves a go, pop in for a cocktail or two, you won’t regret it.

On the contrary the quirky and awe-inspiring theatricality and flavour profiles will surprise even the most well cocktail travelled.

Hokus Pokus – Alchemy Lab,  The Megaro Hotel, 1 Belgrove Street Underneath, London WC1H 8AB