Potions – KL’s Gin & Cocktail Chemist of Yore
Step back in time to the days of old Malaya and colonial England, with stuffed leather chairs and butterfly collections. A time when medicine was a concoction of herbs, alcohol, spices and teas, and streets were roamed by the likes of Yap Ah Loy, Frank Swettenham and the Peaky Blinders gang.
This is the mood set at Potions, a hidden bar on Jalan Tun H S Lee, which specializes in gin and cocktails. As with the days of old, the ‘medicine’ served at Potions aims to cure our ills and imbibe us with a spirit of jubilation. And imbibe us they do!
While the cocktails invoke the names of harder narcotics, all the recreational refreshments here are legal, but still quite intense. Liquid Marijuana (RM45) is a very fun drink that glows with pleasure. It is gin infused with dill, topped up with white rum, melon liquor, maraschino liquor and lime juice. It has a grassy, floral taste that is a nice balance of sweet and sour.
Don’t miss your shot of Heroin (RM48), Potion’s play on a Manhattan. It has a dry, slightly bitter taste that comes from a mingling of whisky, dark rum, coffee kombucha, honey syrup and a hint of chocolate bitters. I enjoyed sipping this cocktail slowly but diligently down to the last drop.
We were enticed by the curry smells that permeated from the Ketamine cocktail (RM45). A sweet cocktail that is a concoction of gin, sweet vermouth, hay syrup, celery bitter and of course, a curry leaf. It was my partner’s favourite potion of the night.
I really enjoyed Prep (RM42). A perfect balance of spicy and sweet, Prep combines gin, Cointreau, aromatic bitter, honey syrup, mango with cili padi on the rim. The cili padi permeates the drink and awakens the senses with each sip.
While the cocktails are wonderfully restorative, Potions focuses on gin as its main ‘medicine’. You can choose from the more expected brands such as Hendriks (RM34 per glass) or Roku (RM32 per glass), or move onto more specialized brands such as Komasa Hojicha (RM 55 per glass) or Alkemist (RM42 per glass). We enjoyed the intense taste of Konomori Forest Gin (RM66 per glass) and the spicy aromas of G’vine Gin Nouaison (RM45 per glass).
If you are like me, alcohol therapy leads to hunger and munchies. You can easily pop down to either Timothy’s or Kafe Kleptocrat for a bite to eat, either before or after your ‘treatment’ at Potions. And there are a lot of other delicious local restaurants around the area as well if you are craving other flavours.
Finding the entrance to Potions is part of the fun. And if you make your way to the back of the wardrobe, you will find Narnia waiting. But don’t be shy to ask for help, because you don’t want to miss a visit to this ‘pharmacy’.
If you need to contact Potions KL, for a prescription or other they are located at 24A, Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, Just above Timothy’s Cafe. Call +60 1820 00262. Opening Hours, Tuesday - Sunday: 4 pm-12 am, Closed Every Monday.