★★★★ | The Lost Alhambra, London
Step into place – a place worlds away but right in the heart of very very busy Leicester Square. Step right into The Lost Alhambra.
The Lost Alhambra is a basement cocktail bar right between a pub (The Moon Under Water) and TGIFridays. Once you go downstairs it’s like another world – a space very unique, dark, and a but forbidden. Beautiful yet futuristic interior, succulent lighting to set the mood, and a cocktail menu that will knock your socks off.
Open for only one month, The Lost Alhambra is setting new heights in the cocktail world. Part of the Adventure Group (which also owns themed bars The Escapologist and Blame Gloria, among others), this venue was literally lost, when known as The Alhambra Theatre, and 100 years since it closed its doors, the space has been revived into one of the most progressive bars in London. And the cocktails – all very different and unique on their own merit.
A multi-page cocktail menu will make it very hard to make a decision. But try the Razzle Dazzle. It’s literally sparkling (thanks to the glitter) and is very sweet thanks to the ingredients of passion fruit liqueur, peach schnapps, triple sec, and also includes lemon juice, vodka, and fresh egg white. And it’s a beautiful looking drink. Another sweet one is the Pisco Inferno. Made with pisco, passion fruit, peach liqueur, vanilla, ginger ale, the catch here is that it’s served in a disco ball – Disco Inferno time! The blend is delicious (though I wish the disco ball would’ve been bigger!).
If you want something fiery – go for the Flaming Zombie – because it literally arrives to your table on fire! With two types of Bacardi Rum, with triple sec, mango, fresh lemon juice, and pineapple juice, it’s got quite a kick to it – and while it’s a strong drink, the pineapple soothes the flavour.
How can you miss with the Porn Star Martini? It’s everything you always wanted in a drink – and The Lost Alhambra knows how to make it! The apple juice and passion fruit blended with the vodka makes it a passionate and tasty drink – and there’s the requisite shot of Prosecco to go with it – your choice to mix it in or drink separate – my companion preferred it separate – but it’s up to you!
Also up to you is whether to have a non-alcoholic choice – and The Lost Alhambra has many choices. The aforementioned The Matinee Porn Star has all the same flavours as the one above but without the Prosecco and vodka; while the Matinee Espresso Martini also has no vodka (it’s got a nice foam top to make it go down easy), while the Matinee Bellini strawberry and rhubarb with non-alcoholic Prosecco was yummy!
When you go to The Lost Alhambra (and trust me you’ll definitely want to go) – seek out Zsofia the Assistant Manager. She knows all the drinks very very well and if you can’t make a decision she’ll guide you! Or if not her than any other member of the international staff.
I definitely can see this place become the new go-to cocktail bar in the west end. And while the drinks are at West End prices (£10 to £11.50 for the alcohol drinks while £6 each for the non-alcoholic drinks and beer and cider), the venue is great (there’s even a lighted ceiling), and more importantly the drinks are superb. Go on….get lost in The Lost Alhambra.
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.