Both happy hour connoisseurs and tourists mingle together on Stone Street, the popular cobbled road in the heart of the Financial District, sitting shoulder to shoulder and looking for the right beer and picnic table combo. In the summer, drinkers shelter under umbrellas from the sun and in the winter a committed few huddle by space heaters while most flee into the surrounding bars for warmth.
The atmosphere is almost European, and the Dutch roots of the strip reinforces the feeling with many of the bars working as German Beerhouses or Irish pubs. New blood is always welcome though and The Cauldron – while not strictly speaking new – is making itself felt on the cobbled road.
Ducking into the two-story space you’ll immediately feel transported out of the traditional Stone Street and into something entirely different. Walking inside, you’ll be struck immediately by the feel of a forest glen brimming with activity and, yes, drinks. Photos of famous magicians dot the walls and magical items line the shelves but the telltale sign that something is different is the sight of a customer refilling their drink at the Tree of Life using a wand.
The Cauldron uses IoT technology to add a magical flair to your happy hour, allowing for true escapism after a day of work. Wearing cloaks and brandishing wands for drinks it’s easy to buy into the atmosphere and submerge yourself into the interactive technology the Cauldron has created. Tapping the Tree of Life with your wand for The Cauldron’s Magic Circle, a pale ale collaboration with Sixpoint Brewery, and ordering “potions” rather than cocktails becomes all too natural rather quickly.
The experience is heightened if you’re willing to take their Potions Class on the second floor for $44.99. The Cauldron is debuting its second iteration, Potions Class 2.0, now with more cocktail creation options and more technology to interact with. Creating these potions is truly a one of a kind experience – even for an experienced cocktail drinker, and you may not recognize your concoction at the end, which isn’t to say it won’t be tasty.
Behind all the magic there is real molecular mixology at work, and you’ll be put to the task of implementing it, using a mortar and pestle to crush spices, mixing and stirring alcohols, and if your order the “Time Transfixed”, maybe a little fun with fire, supervised of course, by your professor. The entire class is designed for a terrific group outing and you’ll walk away with a healthy respect for the creative minds behind these creations.
The London based studio behind The Cauldron, The Magic of Things, has locations throughout the UK where the art of the magical bar is constantly innovated. While it’s first pop-up Potions Class in New York attracted over 50,000 participants it will be exciting to see how many people get involved in their new and improved 2.0 take. It shouldn’t be a surprise that a team so passionate about mixology has created a bar that blends and combines tech, magic, and cocktails into one giant interwoven experience and if there’s anywhere for such a melting pot of sensory, it’s New York City.
The Cauldron details
47 Stone St, New York, NY 10004; www.thecauldron.nyc
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