In a former two-story mansion that dates back to 1910, Cartagena’s newest cocktail bar, Alquímico, is a step above the average local watering hole, and resembles a Manhattan speakeasy — complete with elevated offerings, built mostly around its house-infused rums. “In Colombia, tropical fruits are usually used to make juices, but nothing else,” the owner Jean Trinh says. “I opened Alquímico because I wanted to use Colombian products like fruits and rum and spices to make good cocktails.” On Fridays and Saturdays, the rooftop terrace provides outdoor dancing. And in the coming weeks, Trinh — who also opened the city’s popular-but-now-shuttered El Laboratorio — plans to introduce a full menu on the second floor.
Below, Trinh shares how to recreate Alquímico’s ginger rum infusion — and shake it into a refreshing cocktail.
Alquímico’s Ginger-Infused Rum
1 liter white rum
2 vanilla beans
1 pound ginger root, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons sugar or simple syrup
Place all the ingredients in a clean, air-tight jar (such as a mason jar). Store the infusion in a cool, dark place for two months, shaking it three to five times a day. After two months, strain before using.
The Salitre Cocktail
2 tablespoons small lime wedges, plus more for the rim
2 tablespoons sugar
2 ounces ginger-infused rum
Rose salt, for the rim
1. In a shaker, crush the two tablespoons of lime wedges and sugar together.
2. Add the ginger-infused rum and cubes of ice and shake for about 15 seconds.
3. Rub a glass rim with a lime wedge and dip it in the rose salt. Pour in the cocktail, unstrained, and serve.