Thursday, December 8, 2022

Brew Up Some Magic this Halloween at NYC’s The Cauldron

ExperiencesThemed ExperiencesBrew Up Some Magic this Halloween at NYC's The Cauldron

by Spencer Bollettieri, freelance writer for Theme Park Magazine

Halloween is drawing near, and while many New Yorkers search the skyline for flying witches, many of them are busy in Manhattan’s Financial District brewing up for a busy season at The Cauldron. An already one-of-a-kind culinary experience, The Cauldron is celebrating by raising the bar and some Halloween spirits with potion-making classes and afternoon tea. However, the magic doesn’t begin and end in October, and for those seeking to sip self-brewed concoctions, The Cauldron bubbles all year round and has plenty to present.

Among many locations in Edinburgh, London, Philadelphia, and Brighton, The Cauldron in New York City is a dining experience that caters to those with a taste for the fantastical. Heavily themed, it’s the only place in Manhattan where guests can summon drinks from a tap with the poke of a wand, talk alchemy as they invent personalized tea blends, and learn how to mix up magical cocktails from experienced instructors like the delightfully colorful Professor Stone. The Cauldron is an involved and interactive restaurant with something to offer for people of all ages, and dietary accommodations, while also priding itself as an LGBTQ+ friendly safe space.

Potion Making and Wizard Afternoon Tea

Although typically offering a menu of pub favorites such as a flaming cauliflower dish and a selection of Dragon Wings, The Cauldron’s Potion Making Class and Wizard Afternoon Tea act as the restaurant’s highlights. The Potion Making Class is a by-the-spell book guided cocktail course (or mocktail for younger sorcerers) where drinks become mixed inside a fairy dwelling.

Meanwhile, afternoon tea is a self-guided experience where guests try out recipes via a downloaded digital menu or invent their own using mortars, pestles, and vials of provided ingredients. Both come with a borrowed magic wand that interacts with the restaurant, not unlike Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Adults and children alike use their wands to color tea servers, pour drinks, and solve simple puzzles to unlock boxes. The Wizard Afternoon Tea comes especially recommended for children as young as 5, with plenty of entertainment value as they nibble on scones, desserts, and a wide variety of finger sandwiches that come in gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and allergy-conscious options.

Halloween is when the Real Magic Happens at The Cauldron

Something is always happening at The Cauldron in NYC, whether it’s karaoke, trivia, or drag shows; however, Halloween is when the pub goes that extra mile on their flying broomsticks, and the 2022 season in particular plans to be one of their biggest yet.

“For us at The Cauldron Co., every day is Halloween, but now we get to share even more of that passion and enthusiasm with you through this unique food and beverage experience,” comments co-founder Matthew Cortland. Besides a delightfully decorated atmosphere (which a team of busy spiders stitched together, the staff claims), The Cauldron has special selections for the season. Although the pub offers a spooky-themed menu of extravagantly presented alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, The Cauldron’s Halloween experiences serve as the season’s highlights.

This year the pride of The Cauldron’s Spooktacular Potions Experience is a new drink called “The Blood of Your Enemies” that spent two years in R&D. Using “Creamed Unicorn” and homemade white chocolate bubbles, the specialty drink is brewed by guests with DIY chemistry. As part of the process, magic-makers conjure squishy sweets for the raspberry martini that jovially looks like maggots by mixing ingredients in a sodium alginate bath. Besides “The Blood of your Enemies,” The Cauldron additionally serves adult beverages like prosecco and Ectoplasm Shots or HallowCream Cider for children. As for those seeking an alternative, The Spooktacular Potions Experience selections also include mocktails everyone can order.

As for The Halloween Wizard Afternoon Tea Experience, not unlike the potion-making class, tea time comes with a warm mug of HallowCream Cider for children and prosecco for adults but also has a unique menu. Besides a selection of “sand-witches,” scones, and desserts,  guests have a collection of Autumn-inspired ingredients to create their own “Traditional Tea with a Halloween Twist.”  Or so inclined, wizards and witches can indulge in their specialty, “The Cauldron’s Spooked Tea,” a sweet-sour Earl Grey that older brewers can enjoy with a bit of gin.

Pumpkin Carving at The Cauldron

Although NYC’s The Cauldron offers all kinds of tricks and treats added to their two main sitdowns, it’s a unique third experience that makes their Halloween magical. From Thursdays to Sundays in October, The Cauldron teaches pumpkin carving. For a price of a ticket, The Cauldron provides aspiring jack-o’-lantern artists everything they need to create a ghoulishly grinning piece to take home. Over the 45-minute experience, participants can also enjoy a drink to get them into the spirit of things.

Only available between October 1st-31st, The Spooktacular Potions Experience, Pumpkin Carving, and The Halloween Wizard Afternoon Tea Experience are their most popular offerings, which, according to The Cauldron staff, book up pretty quickly. However, The Cauldron’s website offers reservations for those wanting to sit a spell. As for the rest of the year, The Cauldron is a unique place with personality for those seeking a bewitching environment and a more interactive experience.

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Feature image courtesy of The Cauldron NYC

About Spencer Bollettieri: As a biologist, journalist, and writer, Spencer Bollettieri has written for sites such as Screen Rant. Although mostly based out of New York, he’s traveled the world in pursuit of new stories.

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