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Alchemy

16-12 Xinyi Rd, Section 5, Xinyi District, 110, Taipei, Taiwan

By Stephanie Hsu

A BOOKCASE SWINGS back to reveal brick walls, brass fixtures, leather armchairs and a vintage upright piano – the usual accoutrements for the quintessential Prohibition-style hideaway, with high-calibre spirits and even higher-calibre bar talent.

The no-standing policy – and a live jazz band – draws an older, more subdued clientele in comparison to ritzy sister bar Marquee, downstairs.

The main alchemist is the soon-departing Angus Zou, an award-winning Taipei legend who, along with his team, has crafted a menu encompassing a wide array of vintage and classic cocktails that would please even the most serious of boozehounds.

However, this being Taipei, the presentation still tends towards a kitschy flair, as drinks are served up in a wooden box, wrapped in newspaper, and even ladled into a miso bowl.