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Like potions class, but with booze

Tim Nelson
August 28, 2018

JK Rowling may be too busy tweeting to crank out any more Harry Potter installments, but the legacy of her fantasy novels lives on. Not only has she parlayed her writing into a movie franchise, a theme park, and the only lens through which an entire generation seemingly understands politics, there’s now something of a cottage industry around Hogwarts-inspired cocktails.

Starting in September, New Yorkers (and tourists) can attend “The Cauldron,” a one hour and forty-five minute cocktail class that combines the finest elements of both wizarding and mixology. Though not officially affiliated with the Potter franchise, fans of the books should still feel right at home. Guests can use an Internet of Things-connected wand to pour “Poetic Meade” (also known as the “Nectar of the Gods”), a honey wine famous in mythology,” according to a press release for the pop-up.

That’s not all, though. Attendees have access to a “wand-interactive workstation” at which they’ll mix up potion-making ingredients in their cauldron. Not only are these concoctions safe for muggle consumption, but they’ll also “change colour [sic], bubble, and smoke.”

Though the concept is based on a successful five-month run in London, it will come with its own New York-specific wrinkles. Chief among them is the ability to use one’s wand to pour a pint of “Hell Broth,” a limited-edition beer brewed in partnership with Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery. It incorporates pumpkin, marigold, and allspice, three ingredients that Cauldron claims were “used in real magical history.”

“Our goal is to use science, the magic of our world, to make that dream real,” said co-creator David Duckworth, who the press release bills as a molecular mixologist and cocktail experience designer. “American witches and wizards made up a large part of our customer base in London, and we are excited to bring this concept to them,” added technologist and other Cauldron co-creator Matthew Cortland.

For now, Cauldron NYC will run as a four-month pop-up out of Bavaria Bierhaus in downtown Manhattan, but the duo hopes to find a permanent home for the experience. Tickets are $45, and include access to a robe (though not a mixologist vest). No word if noted Professor Snape lookalike Trent Reznor will stand in for the dearly departed Alan Rickman and grade your potions, but you never know.  

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