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Just What the Doctor Ordered

The Realm of 52 Remedies | San Diego, California

The Realm of 52 Remedies popped up on my radar today during my search for a restaurant that featured functional ingredients in the food and beverage program. Filled with excitement and suspense, I paced back and forth in front of address 4805 Convoy St looking for any sign of a speakeasy, with no luck. Reluctant, I opened the doors to Common Theory Public House, a new American style bar, where 52 Realms was supposed to be, I spoke with the host, and she said she could squeeze me in! Confused, I ask, “This is the Realm of 52 Remedies?”. She laughed and said it was in the back.  

Shortly, Jenny showed me through a back door of the bar into what felt like the waiting room of a medicinal spa oasis, the ‘Apothecary.’ A truly impressive transition into the feeling of the unknown with so much to be discovered. she explained that “ingredients are found in an ancient Chinese medical script. The script is also where we get our whole inspiration for our speakeasy. We have it printed on the wall here. It dates back to 200 BC, and it has a lot of precautions, elixirs, as well as recipes using these ingredients for medicinal purposes back in the day, You will also find the same ingredients in our cocktails as well as our theme. The script translated in English is called recipes for the 52 healings. So that’s where we get our name.”  

Since it is your first time here, you will stand right in front of the script, and you’ll want to just wave your hand over that silver symbol.” Magically the door opened into a whole different place! As I walked through the conspicuous entrance into the Realm, I was captivated by the ambiance, and it assured an incredible experience! I truly love when restaurants and bars step up to the plate in treating mixology as a culinary art. 52 Remedies absolutely appeared to be up to the task!  

Abraham greeted me as I nestled up to the bar. Although, earlier, I learned that they work with local vendors to curate fresh craft cocktails and even concoct their own drinking shrubs, “we make a lot of our house syrups, our basic daily mixers, all the infusion, and whatnot. We are usually pretty hands-on like it is a daily thing; every day it’s part of our prep.”  

Naturally, I requested the mushroom cocktail. Abraham sadly informed me, “You know, we actually on our first menu that we launched we did Shiitake mushroom cocktail. It was a low ABV sherry-based cocktail, where we did a shiitake mushroom with a bunch of different herbs and spices. And it was a little more like a savory take on Sazerac. But no mushroom cocktails on the menu today.”  

Okay, well, how about one of your most popular cocktails?  

“Yeah, sure! Our lead bartender here, his name is Lucas, and his company is called Cool Hand Co. We get our shrubs from him. This is the shrub that we will be using in the cocktail Lapsang Souchong.” He goes on the talk about the cocktail as he prepares: “So it can be a little bit of a salt, some honey that ginger turmeric pineapple shrub. Some lemon juice. And then we’ve finished choking Japanese whiskey with aquavit and we infused for like about 45 minutes in Chinese Flexi lapsing tea which carries a lot of like a barbecue smokiness to it, so it’s like a salty, savory cocktail but still very citrusy very refreshing.”  

10 points! It is a winner for sure. One sip and I was in love with the:


Toki whisky infused with Lapsang Souchong / barrel rested Blinking Owl Aquavit / pineapple turmeric shrub / honey / saline water / lemon juice / soda water  

Smoky and savory with citrus notes, and bubbly  

Lapsang Souchong is a black tea from the Fujian province of China, famous for its smoky aroma and flavor. Extra drying over a smoking pine fire, imparting a sweet, clean smoky flavor to the tea. 

The Realm of 52 Remedies