For my first restaurant post I want to treat you to one of my favourite cocktail bars in all of Stockholm: Pharmarium.
You find it in Gamla Stan at Storkyrkotorget, right opposite the Nobel Museum. In the summer you can sit outside and look at the tourists and in the winter this remade old pharmacy is buzzing with life, music and happy people. There are many reasons why I love this place, one of which is that they have worked really hard to keep the old interior with the drawers that used to be full of medicinal ingredients. It gives the place a true vintage feeling which is enhanced by the lighting, decor (lots of old rugs everywhere) and a beautiful art deco marble bar top.
The other reason is, of course, their cocktails. Yes, they can make all the classics, just like any self-respecting mixologist/bartender should. But their strength lies in their signature cocktails. The menu changes a couple of times a year and always has a set theme (right now it’s called “Hocus Pocus”, inspired by voodoo, old magic and the American South). It’s never hard for me to find a favourite. The previous menu had the Tonka & Tonic, a G&T flavoured with tonka bean and their homemade blueberry tonic, it was to die for!
In The Woods and Tonka & Tonic
Being primarily a cocktail bar also gives them the advantage of letting the cocktails decide what food to put on the menu. Because at Pharmarium they don’t just make signature cocktails, oh no. They also make a signature dish that is perfectly paired with one specific cocktail. For example, the Tonka & Tonic was paired with duck breast that was served with a variation of beetroot, pickled onion and the best blueberry red wine sauce I’ve ever had.
One of my favourite dishes to date though is the carrot that was on the previous menu (seriously, that entire menu was probably their best so far!). Basically, it was baked carrot with carrot puree, shaved carrots in different colours, pickled rose petals & rose pepper, carrot leaves and a burned cream sauce flavoured with sea buckthorn. Simple, beautiful to look at and flavours working together in perfect harmony. Even my sister, who is quite picky with her food, loved it! I took her here for dinner last month and while she admitted that I was challenging her taste buds she also appreciated it and the craftsmanship very much.
Back: Avocado with coriander and Elevation cocktail. Front: Baked carrot with burned cream sauce and Planet Caravan cocktail.
I’ve been coming to Pharmarium since 2015 with both my friends and my boyfriend. At this point we have come to know some of the staff really well, which makes a visit all the more fun. I have enjoyed following their journey this far and it will be interesting to see what their future holds.
Oh, and if you ever get the chance, make sure you book a table. I promise you won’t forget it!
From the summer menu 2017: Amortentia (front) and Bad Juju (back)