Brew magical cocktails at this Harry Potter-style bar in New York City


The Cauldron, a fantasy-inspired cocktail bar, is now open in New York City. Check out photos and video of the Harry Potter-inspired pop up experience.

Have you ever dreamed of attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, like Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermoine Granger did in J.K. Rowling’s best-selling books? What about just having a drink with them at The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade?

If you’re in New York City, you can combine your affinity for magic with newbie mixology skills at The Cauldron, an immersive pop-up experience that’s sure to delight Potterheads and fantasy lovers alike.

“We are a bit obsessed with making the magic from fantasy books real using science, technology, and design,” creator Matthew Cortland tells Culturess of his inspiration for the experience. “So much of the current technology around us today is a reflection of ideas from science fiction, and I think that we are now reaching a similar point with fantasy. We try to give guests an experience where they can live out the ideas that they’ve been reading about for years.”

The experience follows a sold-out run in London, and while it is not affiliated with the Harry Potter franchise nor any other specific fantasy realm, you’ll definitely be set for a magical and memorable evening.

A participant shows off his concoction. Photo courtesy of The Cauldron

Culturess got the magical opportunity to visit The Cauldron in New York City before it opened to the public. The enchanting experience begins with all students donning a black hooded robe and receiving their magic wands.

“The Cauldron is a way for adults to live out their childhood dreams while brewing alcoholic potions,” Cortland explains. “It’s a combination of hands-on learning with science and technology, and fosters interpersonal interaction between friends and colleagues. Immersive experiences are on-trend at the moment, and we are trying to kick that up a few notches.”

Ingredients can be found inside this wooden box that you open with your wand. Photo courtesy of The Cauldron

Once you have your cape and wand, the first concoction you’ll create at The Cauldron is Poetic Mead, also known as “Nectar of the Gods.” According to the class notes we were given, mead is believed to be the world’s oldest alcoholic libation and can give the drinker magical powers.

In order to sample the mead, students must use their magic wand to tap out the answer to a secret riddle. Then the drink, which is made with fermented honey, fruit and other botanical herbs, is dispensed from the dragon’s mouth into your chalice for you to enjoy. Bottoms up!

An attendee wields her magic wand. Photo courtesy of Cristina Gibson

The next potion we made was the Transformation Tonic, which featured gin, lavender and “butterfly wing serum.” The drink changes from a blue to purple color as you add ingredients. This cocktail proved to be the most popular one among the students at my table.

A finished Transformation Tonic. Photo courtesy of Cristina Gibson

The final cocktail of the class was the most complicated, and we actually made it in a cauldron, just like the experience’s namesake. It first required us to use a mortar and pestle to grind up a mixture of herbs and botanicals such as cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and thyme. Next, we added the fairy dust (which is really dry ice) and dragon’s tears before straining the final product into jam jars.

A bubbling Cauldron Cocktail. Courtesy of The Cauldron

Although the taste of our final cocktail wasn’t my favorite, this was definitely the most Instagrammable one, as the dry ice created a spooky, smoky effect.

The Fairy Dust Effect. Video courtesy of Cristina Gibson

Once students complete making their three cocktails included during the class, they can hang around to enjoy more drinks at the bar. The experience lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes and costs between $45-$55. While this is currently a pop up in New York on the second floor of Bavaria Bier Haus on Stone Street, Cortland says they eventually plan to make it a permanent destination.

“The NYC Experience is Volume I of our pop-up trilogy,” he says. “We are about to unveil and open Volume II in London, which will be refined and move to NYC in the new year.  So if patrons enjoy their time at The Cauldron NYC, we will be back with an updated experience before opening up something permanent in NYC.”

And even if you’re not in NYC or London, The Cauldron could be coming to a city near you.

“We are creating a pop-up experience that can be shipped and installed in cities all over the world,” Cortland explains. “After this finishes its run in NYC, we will be moving the pop-up to other cities in the U.S. for limited periods. We will also be doing the same in other cities around the world, such as Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei, Shanghai, Sydney, and Berlin.”

Eager to check out The Cauldron? Visit their website for their New York location here.