For most of our readers, Stockholm is not part of the usual pub crawl circuit. That, however, doesn’t keep the Consumatorium team from covering all the bases for our international and traveling followers. And what better bar for us to cover than the Pharmarium. It was, obviously, meant to be discussed here by virtue of how close it’s name is to that of our favorite mixology blog.
Pharmarium is located in the main square of Gamla Stan, the Old Town of Stockholm, where Stockholm’s first pharmacy opened in 1575. It’s small, but has a great atmosphere and plenty of cozy seating for sharing a great cocktail with that special drinking buddy. An elite team of Consumatorium reviewers flew in to do a thorough review of the bar.
The bar puts the term craft into craft cocktails with ingredients that range from herbs and spices to stuff they picked off the street earlier in the day (just kidding on that last part). While they’ll be happy to make you a classic cocktail, they’d prefer to offer up one of their completely original ones.
One of the unique features of this bar is that each drink is served with a dissertation about its creation, its ingredients, the tastes that will be experienced and the process for drinking it (you’ll see what I mean).
I started with a Calidum, which combined Rum, Absinthe, house made Licorice Liqueur, Rosemary and Fennel Pollen. This was served hot and tasted like a licorice Hot Toddy. Very tasty, although I didn’t know before hand that it was going to be hot and it took me a few sips to get my head around the taste.
Another member of the team had the Granatum with Aquavit, Calvados, Lemon, house made Grenadine and a house made Campari candy. It was advised that a small piece of the candy be eaten before each sip of the drink to appreciate the sweet and sour contrast as intended.
The third and final member of the team had a Roses of Gold with Vodka, Lemon, Gold Powder (yes, you read that right), house made Garden Elixir (secret sauce), topped with Champagne. The Champagne overwhelmed the taste in this one. If you’re a fan, you’ll like the contrast between the lemon and Champagne, a bit like a French 75.
For the second round, I asked for a Sazerac. The bartender reminded me that I could get a Sazerac anywhere and recommended that I try their house specialty, the Delirium. It was sound advice. This drink was out of this world and clearly something I wouldn’t make at home.
It combines Mackmyra Brukswhisky (a Swedish Whiskey), Buffalo Trace Bourbon, citric acid, simple syrup and birch bark smoke (that is, the smoke from burning some birch tree bark). I told you I wouldn’t make this at home. I’ve seen small smokers made for this purpose, but it always seemed like too much work to me. It’s served in a vessel (see picture) that keeps the smoke hovering over the drink once it’s served. The bartender told me to keep it there for 2-3 minutes, warning me that no one likes cold smoke. When the top was removed, the smell of the smoked birch bark was overwhelming. Once I tried the drink though, I was greeted with the sweet tastes of the Swedish whisky, mellowed by the citric acid. Sort of like a whiskey sour, but a bit sweeter and more mellow. A fantastic combination that I’m sure I won’t have again until I next visit Pharmarium.
A great place and highly recommended if you find yourself in Stockholm looking for a lesson in creative, unrestrained mixology.