Like the pharmacists of centuries past, Apothecary trades in potions to soothe your troubles. Mixologist-in-chief Leon Lee lovingly blends medicaments like brandy, gin, rum and whiskey with fresh fruit, homemade bitters and mixers to dispense cocktails to savor. Try the Sazerac-1838 or the Martinez cocktail – the original martini. The drink list adds depth to your experience with biographies of older cocktails, exemplifying the management’s obsessive attention to detail. A menu of Creole dishes, designed by Bei chef Max Levy, provides further nourishment for the soul. And just as the drinks feature bitters and fruit juices prepared in house, the dishes feature house-smoked meats, sausages stuffed on the premises and vegetables pickled in Apothecary-branded brine. And that's only the half of what these tireless innovators get up to when they put their minds to it.
- Sanlitun 三里屯
- 3/F, Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District
- Tue-Sun 6pm-late (kitchen closes 1am)
- 5208 6040
Map of Apothecary
User reviews of Apothecary 酒术
This place certainly has an amazing range of cocktails that I've never heard of. The fact that none of the four of us liked our cocktails (or each others') was probably due to our unrefined tastes rather than poor cocktail construction - and it's not like the menu doesn't go into quite some detail about the attributes of each drink.
It ain't cheap, though. And try to avoid the rather soulless corridor at the back of the bar where you'll be seated once the main bar area gets full.
Had a great Whiskey Sour there. Will go again.
Saturday night. Apothecary gets loud - atmosphere aiming for intimate (low light, candles, dark woods everywhere) but the amount of noise kills it as a date spot for me. Book before you go, definitely. Drinks were good - I tried an Earl Grey cocktail inspired by something called a MarTEAni and a recreation of a Dale DeGroff cocktail. The latter was not as good as something actually mixed by Dale DeGroff, but both were still quite good. I don't know if they're 25-kuai-better-than-Mao-Mao-Chong good, but they've got way more options. Every drink has an introduction and a description, a nice touch.
Food-wise, I had the pulled pork baguette and a black-eyed pea soup. Pulled pork was lukewarm and not particularly juicy - Home Plate does it much better. Soup was well-spiced but brothy rather than creamy, which made me sad in the mouthparts. This would be more OK if they (a) didn't charge so exorbitantly for bar food and (2) didn't pre-prep everything, and just heat before serving. I wouldn't come back for the food.
Service was patchy - lack of cutlery, difficulty getting a waitress, difficulty making myself heard to a waitress - but all was forgiven when we left and our waiter came rushing out after us, brandishing my partner's smartphone. I'd give it a 3.5 - it's too loud, they overcharge and if even my local at home cooked to order, surely Apothecary should do too.
Run by a cat from New Orleans (though claimants to Cajun-Creole heritage stretch well into Mississippi and Texas. I, a Cajun, would know!), Apothecary blushes from the love of its management. It boasts a creative array of tinctures both novel and antique, perhaps the best in Beijing (if not China), with only MaoMaoChong as a viable contender.
Whatever alchemist conjured this place is a testament to looming magick in Beijing. The mysteries make manifest in his having created life from the abyss that is Sanlitun/ChaoYang, and in this refreshing Oasis one is surprised by the tending hands belonging to local Chinese kids, astonishingly capable of making a proper cocktail.
If you have to go to SanLiTun, bail on your worthless raver friends and go get yourself a Sazerac.
This place oozes class. The cocktails are sublime and made with care - Hot buttered rum, try it, it's like Christmas in a glass! The only reason I've not given it five stars is because when it's busy, you don't get served that quickly and because of the stupid no standing policy - I understand it's to make it less crowded but still, annoying.
Overall though, love Apothecary.
Excellent cocktails. It takes a bit too long to deliver the cocktails when it´s full.
Nice and attentive service.
Also nice food, i love the sweet potatoes and the fried chicken there.
I went to Apothecary 2 days ago...... of course without any reservation, as i never did a booking to go for drinks.
At the door, we didn't even open the door and the waitress told us that if we didn't have a reservation we can get in.
I was so upset and i tried to get in again yesterday without reservation and i can say that is one of the best cocktails i never had
Too many rules to have a drink guys !!
But great cocktails.
The rib and brisket plate drew me and a friend in for a try. Had read about the 1 kilo plate for 2-3 to share and was hoping there was a smaller offering as we where looking to snack not gorge. Pleasantly relieved to find a half order (150￥) available so wouldn't have to plead. Gin martini was spot on except only one olive with pit. Asked for two more and the response was 3￥ per. Mojito was excellently composed with very fresh mint. (The two drinks together were 115￥). Drinks needed ~15 minutes and a reminder. Food about 30+ minutes. Explanation was the ribs needed to be cooked more which gave me a little pause as a sorta serious home BBQer myself. (Slow cook BBQ is either "ready" to serve with warming/finishing or its just not legit in my book.) Food was presented nicely with small sides of beans and red cabbage slaw which were flavorful compliments. Brisket was satisfying with ample smoke and a nice spicy "bark" on the surface. A mustard sauce was a surprisingly tasty contributor which I've never tried on BBQ before. Ribs (only 2), were disappointing. Undercooked rare meat and chewy fat revealed the lack of time in the smoker. (Perhaps they ran out and tried to rush it?). On the upside, the savory spicey surface rub enticed us to chow'em down. If this was suppose to be half of the kilo plate, the sides and bread are needed to get you close to the implied weight.
The subject line tells my first two feelings about this place, next, the buttermilk biscuits are a treat and the fried chicken is on point, was only available on Sundays, not sure about now.
What don't I like? The prices hit home a little bit, but I am willing to pay extra for the ambiance of the place, I just wish the drink process was about 30% faster. When the customer notices that drinks are taking a long time, it just shows me there is a problem, we know its high class so 5-7 mins longer is ok, but 20-25 mins for a drink...at a bar...that's just ridiculous IMO. So, I love the place, never had a problem with the managers or anything, so I give it 4.2 stars.
Was absolutely packed on the Friday we went, so we had to wait for a seat.
Didn't mind so much because we used that time to peruse the cocktail list, which was epic.
Each drink had a detailed description but surprisingly, there were NO pictures.
Knowing I was in good hands, and faced with such a selection, I decided to order something completely different to my usual.
The result was not as rewarding as I had hoped. Sure it was an expertly mixed drink, but too strong for my tastes. My fault, I know. The bartender offered to tweak it though, twice, which says a lot - they actually care about their 'creations'.
Music was unobtrusive and there was a nice relaxed atmosphere. Most people, like us, seemed to be chatting amongst themselves in their own little groups. There didn't seem to be much mingling.
It was an overall pleasant visit, but didn't 'wow' me like I was expecting.
Will give it another shot though, as they are always experimenting, offering up new drinks. Great concept!
Whoever is the owner they have inculcated an attitude .Something like if we are good why should we care so much for customers !
The wait for the drinks can be too long. The bartender sure does a good job of mixing and making good cocktails but the prices hit the roof.
You cant drink too much here. Thats the problem else you will be ripped off.
They try to sell the food too much. If you say you dont need the food ,they get disappointed perhaps the waitstaff or the supervisor has a target to sell ?
Not a place for me where I will go to drink regularly .
Yes they make good cocktails.
Watching bartender Carl Wen mix a drink is like watching Dumbledore do his thing (yes, the drinks are so good it warrants a Harry Potter reference). Sunday nights are best - the place is empty and you get to have it all to yourself. Bring a few friends and chat up the seriously talented bartenders; don't forget to ask them how exactly they made the infamous balls of ice. If you're in need of some snacks, try out the charcuterie plate, loaded with a variety of amazing picked vegetables, or the sweet potato fries. My mouth is watering already.
Depends on what you want from a bar, if you only want quality drinks that are very pricy, you should go there. But if you want good drinks and good service, this is not a place where will make you happy.
What will you do if people complain about your bar - drinks are too small, barmen who work for you are not able to make some simple drinks etc. Ignore and not change anything or do some changed in order to make your customers happy?
If you want regulars to come back, you MUST make them happy, if you always make them happy, you will only get one time customers.
Of course, some people just don't give a damn.
What a great location and what a funny idea. The Apothecary is a really nice alternative to all this ordinary bars around the city. Nice atmosphere to hang out with your friend or meet new ones. The cocktails are on a good level and my favorite, a simple mojito, is well mixed. Only four stars cause the drinks are just good and not a**kicking. But if try it out if you are around the sanlitun area.
I heard a lot of good things about this place, and being tired of shit drinks that many places in beijing serve, gave it a try for after dinner drinks. Nice atmosphere, great with few friends. Drinks are fantastic and meticulously made. I asked one of the staff what her recommendation was, I tried the a strawberry infused tequila. Yummy!
Apothecary is quickly becoming my favorite bar in Beijing. The drinks are creative and delicious and made to perfection. The waitstaff is very friendly and helpful. Because there are so many choices, I always ask the waitresses for a recommendation and they've never failed me yet. The atmosphere is great too: very relaxed, not too loud so you can chat with friends but not so quiet that it's awkward. It's a great way to start your night or a great way to spend your night.
Go on a Wednesday for the 100 rmb Tasmanian oysters (for 6)…and to try the rest of the interesting Creole menu. The bread basket (25 rmb) was a surprising treat with corn bread, sweet potato buns, biscuits (the American kind...) as well as baguette slices. (The latter being slightly redundant.) The pea soup was superb, flavoursome and hearty with slices of homemade sausage in it. The ribs were tasty. And we had an excellent endive salad too. For a different and rewarding Sanlitun dining experience, Apothecary is definitely worth trying.
This has become my favorite place to grab a cocktail in Beijing. All the drinks are made precisely and impeccably, and are crafted with minute detail. Home-made bitters, ice that amazes me still, and a blend of nothing but quality ingredients. All drinks I've tried have been amazing, even the ones that wouldn't be my usual cup of tea, or whiskey.
The food that I've tried occasionally lives up to the same standard that I know from the drinks. The sweet potato fries are perfectly fried and seasoned (this is the only place i've liked sweet potato fries). The garlic bread is tasty. And a sampler platter with an unpronounceable creole name has the best bacon, and several other delicious hot and cold meats.
Great bar. It's my favorite place to get a drink in BJ. You will be very satisfied by the attention to detail in all drinks they mix. It's a great bar to drink and talk. You can hear yourself think clearly and with the warm atmosphere there, you actually want to hear what you're thinking.
One issue I have is that there are TOO many drinks to choose from. Reading the menu thoroughly takes about 45 minutes and after about 20 drinks everything becomes a blur (pun intended).
They snootiness of the service is somewhat uncalled for, but it's part of the concept of the bar. They have a great product and they know it. They are sophisticated and have thought out everything, your opinion and needs don't matter.They know best. So, don't fight the current, let it sweep you along and you'll be out to sea in no time.
For sure, the Place to be Seen in the Sanlitun area. Impressively upmarket, outstanding cocktails and warm atmosphere. It took a while for this bar to shake off its rudeness/service issues, but now the staff is much more personable and the bartenders are the best in town. Menu is tasty but would love to see more variety and the wine selection needs much more attention. Still the Martinis and signature drinks are top notch, the music is good and the people watching the best. One of Beijing's best nightspots!