When it comes to post-work drinks and late night cocktails, Kings Cross is unrivalled. From Coal Drops Yard to the canal-side eateries, there’s plenty to choose from before you hop on your train, or Tube, and into the night. And now, creative cocktail bar Hokus Pokus Alchemy Lab has arrived to offer an enchanting array of cocktails that will cure all that ails you.
Newly opened in late October 2021, located in the five-star Megaro Hotel, Hokus Pokus Alchemy Lab draws inspiration from an 1800s physician, Dr James Morison, who believed in using vegetables and their botanical compounds to cure all illnesses. At the Kings Cross bar, the botanical ‘remedies’ are distilled and served on the rocks, and aim to provide the cure to terrible Tuesdays and despondent long days.
The carefully curated cocktail list was crafted by Tomas Vykopal, who has previously worked at innovative drinking establishments like 108 Bar, Mr. Foggs and Buddha Bar. He has concocted a series of botanical cocktails, including the Jamesizz, inspired by the classic Ramos gin fizz created in 1888, and made with Tanqueray no.10, homemade sage and pink peppercorn syrup (Hokus Pokus create all their syrups in house), citrus juice, aquafaba, cream, and peach and jasmine soda. Another is Hokus Without Pokus; a refreshing gin number, which would serve well as an aperitif before a meal.
While Jamesizz and Hokus Without Pokus were our favourites, you’ve got to try some of their weird-but-wonderful creations too. We loved the Feather Mutant is not far off a traditional Old Fashioned, Louisville style, but with an atypical twist… it is infused with duck fat! Surprisingly, the result is a smoother taste to the bourbon, and thanks to the angostura bitters, it smells lovely too.
The team at Hokus Pokus aim to be as sustainable as possible when creating the cocktails; they use all parts of the fruit, whether it be for garnishes, syrups, juices, or all three. This results in beautiful, and rather unique, presentation too. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly, encouraging you to ask questions. They will guide you to make the right cocktail choice(s) for you.
It’s not just the bar’s inspiration and cocktail list that’ll transport you back in time; the interiors will do so too. Designed by experiential designer and philosopher, Henry Chebaane, Hokus Pokus’ interiors honour its King Cross location and the heritage of the area. With exposed copper piping, intriguing mood lighting, and visible electrical circuits, the overall effect is a fascinating blend of 19th-century apothecary and steampunk engine room vibes.
The intimate venue has only a 100-person capacity, making it a rather exclusive affair. You can start your evening with a couple of drinks at Hokus Pokus Alchemy Lab, before heading to the Magenta Restaurant upstairs, or instead drop by post-dinner. On some nights, there’ll be a resident DJ, pumping tunes, as well as impromptu guest artists at the striking DJ booth, making it the perfect late-night destination.