If anyone follows the Apothecary 87 brand closely, you will notice we are heavily influenced by the 1920's and prohibition era. Whether that be through our products, our visuals or other ways we communicate, it is an era which inspires us greatly. Something we will expand on in another blog post.
During this particular era, alcohol was banned under the Volstead act and thus the 'Speakeasy' was born. Also known sometimes as a blind tiger or blind pig, these hidden yet highly illegal drinking establishments came into prominence between the 1920's and early 30's.
Speakeasies largely disappeared after the probation ended but many themed bars still exist across the world. Our leader, Sam W Martin, is potentially the biggest fan of speakeasy bars currently living today (Not a fact, but he's like a bloodhound sniffing out these secret establishments), and is keen to sample as many as he can during his travels to different countries.
We did our own research and asked Sam what his favourite speakeasy bars have been during his drinking years (This man can drink spirits like no other, knows his cocktails and certainly lives up to his Instagram name @drin_king)
So here is the Apothecary 87 top 5 speakeasy bars to visit:
1. The Blind Librarian
First on the list and yes, we might be slightly biased with this one but this does not have any bearing on the quality and experience of this drinking establishment. Owned by Jimmy Cutthroat and based in Bawtry, Doncaster (UK), you enter this awesome hidden venue through a bookcase. Once you are through, 1920 pretty much smacks you delightfully in the face. The look and feel of the place is just awesome, really taking you back in time with the decor and hospitality. So many different drinks to try and the food menu will keep you standing, as you no doubt get a wee bit tipsy.
Check out The Blind Librarian
2. Evans & Peel
Outside of The Blind Librarian, this is Sam W Martin's favourite speakeasy bar and it's fairly easy to see why. Masquerading as a detective agency, to gain entry you have to submit your case. The detective (or doorman) will then ask you questions about your case on arrival. If you're lucky enough to be let inside following your creative story and answers to the detectives questions, you can experience awesome cocktails like the 'Cold Fashioned' a remake of the old fashioned. If you want to experience 1920's theatrics with your drinks, ladies and gentlemen, this is your establishment.
Located in London, take a look at Evans and Peel.
So, if you ever find yourself out in Hong Kong, you might want to check out Stockton, a very secret cocktail/speakeasy bar. This isn't your average bar in Hong Kong. The secluded location - down an alleyway just off Wyndham Street and up a short flight of stairs, will take you back to 1890 London. That's if you get past the doorman. The most amazing thing about this place is the attention to detail throughout the establishment, especially the cocktails as each comes with an historical and accurate story.
If you like your rum and whisky (and you're in Hong Kong), check out Stockton
4. Please Don't Tell
Well it isn't your average speakeasy bar, but what speakeasy should be average. Based in New York, you gain access to 'Please Don't Tell' via a telephone booth, which is located in a hot dog bar, yes you read that right!
This truly is the best of both worlds, as you can soak up the amazing cocktails in one of the classiest establishments on offer in NYC and then nip back into the vintage phone box and as if by some Dr Who time lord magic, you end up back in Crif Dogs.
If you're up for some entertainment, awesome cocktails and a spot of time travelling, Please Don't Tell is worth a visit.
5. Black Rabbit Rose
In the words of Sam W Martin, 'this is a speakeasy in the loosest sense'. He isn't wrong. The Black Rabbit Rose, which is located in Los Angles, is a total mashup of 'West meets East' and 'Speakeasy' meets the magic of Hollywood. The tagline 'expect the unexpected' certainly rings true.
Magicians, gorgeous food, burlesque shows and cocktails that will probably make you feel like a bit of a wizard by the end of the night! Just don't go flashing your wand about.
For mystery, illusions and cocktails, check out Black Rabbit Rose in LA.
If you know of any speakeasy bars that we can add to our list, please let Sam and the Apothecary 87 boys know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org