A Dispatch From Inside the Underground Cocktail Club Pharmacie


The slim man guarding a cash box is the only sign that something’s amiss. I hand him $30 and enter a spartan cavern near an Eastside strip. Gathered around a fireplace are arty types in vintage cocktail dresses, flea-market tie clips, and $200 haircuts—all beverage enthusiasts lucky (or connected) enough to have been invited to the Pharmacie, a roving underground cocktail club run by two beverage-scene heavyweights.

Their goal is to open a bar, but until then the pair is raising funds with (illegal) evenings like this where drinks are mixed, imbibed, and discussed. As a bearded gent hands us the first of three cocktails—some sleek ginger-spiked variation on a daiquiri—one of the hosts sermonizes about the night’s theme: rum. Between drinks the crowd shouts over the guest-curated soundtrack (the last one came courtesy of indie duo the Watson Twins), the conversation moving from the drinks to exactly how everyone came to be enjoying swizzles together on a Sunday night. Sure, it can get precious, but the drinks are hard to argue with.