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Guide: London's Best Immersive Cocktail Experiences (2024)

From serving time behind bars, to out-of-this-world journey to other planets, London has no shortage of great immersive cocktail experiences. Here's our pick of the five best on offer in the capital this year.

Gallery of London immersive cocktail experiences

Being immersed is often thirsty work... so we recently set ourselves the challenge of trying out some of the biggest and best immersive cocktail experiences that London has to offer. It goes without saying that this was a very rigorous undertaking and the fifteen or so cocktails we've had over the last few weeks were purely for research purposes. We took no pleasure in drinking them, even if they were all delicious...


 
Avora: A New World Immersive Experience

Two guests speaking to an Avorian at Avora

Photo: Avora


The biggest name in London immersive cocktail experiences - Inventive Productions - have three unique immersive cocktail experiences in the city. Their latest is Avora - which promises guests an out-of-this-world adventure on a far off planet. Based in Hoxton, this 1 hour 45 minute long experience is the most visually stunning of their shows. Set across three main spaces in their basement venue, it's taken a healthy amount of inspiration from the Avatar film series, and is the closest thing you can get to visiting Pandora this side of the Atlantic.


Guests are all given a jumpsuit upon arrival that's embroidered with the logo of Roscorp - a tech conglomerate they'll be acting on behalf of during their journey. We'll leave it up to you to decide if Roscorp's true intentions for exploring far-off planets are noble or nefarious (spoilers: they're not good..), but you're there in good faith acting as scientists on a fact-finding expedition. Starting in the Roscorp laboratory, there's a bit of hands-on mixology as you mix various test tube liquids together to create your first cocktail - which billows smoke once combined.


Later in the experience, you come face-to-face with the native Avorans who take a real interest in your lives back on Earth. Intent on learning all they can from their new human visitors, you may find yourself trying to explain the most basic of human concepts to them with mixed results. These interactions are all infused with humour and playfulness, and are the stand-out part of the show. Without spoiling what unfolds in the later half of Avora, the new equilibrium with the Avorans and Humans being on good terms is short lived, and you're soon confronted with Roscorp's true reasoning behind these expeditions to the luminous planet.


There's 3 cocktails included in the price, and unlike Inventive Production's other two experiences in this list, there's no need to bring your own spirits.


Scientist and Avorian at Avora speak to guests

Photo: Avora

Avora is a first of its kind cocktail adventure where guests can discover a brand-new world engulfed in mystery and wonder, brought to life through awe-inspiring theatrical sets, unique cocktails and a cast of talented actors. Step through the newly discovered gateway into the magical world of Avora! Meet with locals and explore the world to discover three extraordinary cocktails you will enjoy. Watch in awe as the world turns from day to night, and witness the mysterious and magical beauty of the lush new land. Be prepared, things are not what they seem, and you will have to make a decision on the fate of the world! Will you look to exploit it or will you help protect Avora!




Photos: Avora


📍 Hoxton 💰 From £40.00

🕒 Ongoing 🎟️ Book via avora-experience.co.uk

 
Moonshine Saloon: Immersive Wild West Experience

Moonshine Saloon

Photo: Moonshine Saloon


It's 1904 in the town of Coldwater. The sun is setting on the glory days of the Wild West, and everyone's attention has turned to what is next for those trying to achieve the American Dream. Within the confines of Moonshine Saloon, tensions are high between the Cassidy family and the local law enforcement. It's a year to the day since the Saloon's previous owner was gunned down in cold blood, and the Cassidy family are still looking for answers.


You've been invited by Clyde Cassidy, who is looking to expand their moonshine business nationwide. Though their wife isn't best pleased with the fact Clyde has been operating this clandestine operation out the back of the bar, business appears to be booming and you're there to ink a deal and get in on the action.


Across this 1 hour 45 minute experience, numerous scenes play out both in the main Saloon, and several hidden spaces within the Saloon. It's the classic story of the outlaw and local law enforcement butting heads, complete with shootouts and plenty of raised voices. Guests are kitted out with cowboy hats and ponchos upon entering, and their choice of spirits (which need to be brought with them to the venue) are incorporated into four cocktails across the show.


Those looking to be slightly more involved in the narrative can purchase option character add-ons, including becoming The Mayor, Deputy Sheriff or Brothel Keeper. Ideal for the outgoing types, they'll be called on throughout the show to add an extra layer of interaction. For our visit, the Mayor had to deliver a series of campaign pledges to ensure their re-election.


Moonshine Saloon

Photo: Moonshine Saloon

Howdy, y’all! Behind the swinging doors of the Moonshine Saloon, new outlaws can rub shoulders with the locals, try their luck at cards or dice games and enjoy a barrel load of illicit drinks. Just be sure to keep yourself quiet if the Sheriff is in town and asks any questions… he’s come close to catching Cassidy before!



Photos: Moonshine Saloon


📍 Liverpool Street 💰 From £37.00

🕒 Ongoing 🎟️ Book via moonshinesaloon.com

 
Alcotraz: Immersive Prison Cocktail Bar

The Warden at Alcotraz

Photo: Alcotraz


Likely the most well-known of Inventive Production's immersive cocktail experiences, Alcotraz has been a mainstay of the London immersive experience scene since 2017. Guests are invited to don orange jumpsuits before serving them time in this underground prison-themed bar, which will see them play a part in a rebellion against the venue's Warden, who has a firm dislike for all things alcoholic.


Upon entering, you're placed in a holding cell while you await processing. Soon you're led through a metal detector and handed your orange jumpsuit - a staple of the experience since its inception. Alcotraz operates as a BYOB venue, so your first task is sneaking your spirits into the cells without arousing suspicion - something that's made a lot easier thanks to the hollowed-out Bible you're handed by one of the prison's crooked guards.


Once inside your cell, there are 4 cocktails prepared for you with the spirits you smuggled in across the 1-hour 45-minute long experience. The wider story that plays out around you is a power struggle between Cassidy - one of the inmates who's parole has just been denied - and the Warden, who is hell-bent on maintaining order within Alcotraz.


There's a good amount of interaction with Cassidy, the Warden and the guards throughout the experience, who will all keep you occupied with a variety of tasks. We found ourselves folding laundry at one point - which led to us finding a blueprint inside one of the jumpsuits. There are also a couple of short excursions outside your cell, including getting your mugshot taken and for us, a visit to Cassidy after they're locked in solitary confinement. A potential visit to the Wardens office is also on the cards in order to plead your innocence.


Guests at Alcotraz

Photo: Alcotraz

Following a life of crime, the law eventually caught up with Mr Clyde Cassidy and his gang of moonshiners and bootleggers. After a decade of running America’s most notorious liquor smuggling empire, their criminal activity eventually led them to life behind bars at the newly established Alcotraz Penitentiary. Most of the details of the Penitentiary remain only in the knowledge of a select few Government Officials, however, what is known is that there are a collection of secret Cell Blocks dotted all over the country, which serve as home to the worst of the worst. Sometimes incarceration can’t change bad habits and the Cassidy gang have managed to turn the Guards of Alcotraz crooked, bribing them to help newly convicted inmates successfully smuggle in liquor past the Warden. Will you join the gang and smuggle liquor behind bars?



Photos: Alcotraz


📍 Hoxton 💰 From £39.99

🕒 Ongoing 🎟️ Book via alcotraz.co.uk

 
Phantom Peak - The Broken Chalice (Add-On Experience)

Leadbelly talking to group at Phantom Peak

Photo: Alistair Veryard


Phantom Peak is an immersive experience we've covered extensively on Immersive Rumours over the last 18 months. With four brand-new seasons on offer each year, it's a show that is constantly developing and changing. Guests are free to explore the 30,000 sq feet town of Phantom Peak for up to 4.5 hours at a time, jumping into any of the ten different storylines on offer at their own pace. With a large cast of actors scattered around town, guests can easily end up speaking to a dozen of Phantom Peak's townsfolk in one visit and only scratch the surface of what's on offer here.


Previous seasons have offered an additional cocktail experience on top of general admission in the form of a cocktail treasure hunt - going around town and gathering clues, guests were rewarded at the end of the trail with a trail card that could be exchanged for a cocktail of their choosing at any of the towns numerous bars.


For 2024, the experience has been overhauled in the form of The Broken Chalise - a new actor-led experience at a set time during each performance. With a limited number of tickets on offer for each performance, this intimate experience promises to test guests' limits and quench their thirst. As part of the experience, guests need to complete a series of group tasks to the satisfaction of Leadbelly, the town's Health and Safety Officer, against the clock. With a mix of physical and mental tasks to complete, it's a fun activity for larger groups on top of an already great immersive experience.


Considering the cocktails at Phantom Peak will run you anywhere from £9.50 to £11 each, and with an exclusive cocktail menu available only to those who take part in the experience, it's good value if you want to indulge in one of them anyway. For the avid Phantom Peak card collectors, there's also an exclusive trail card for those who take part in The Broken Chalice.

Photos: Alistair Veryard

Experience a thrilling new version of our Jonacocktail experience! Join an actor-led side quest that will test your limits and quench your thirst in this exclusive 20-minute experience, held at a set time during the main show. Includes an exclusive, off-menu cocktail and trail card.

📍 Canada Water 💰 From £39.99 (Show Admission) + £19.99 (Cocktail Experience Add-On)

🕒 8th March - Onwards 🎟️ Book via phantompeak.com


 
Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Poisoned Chalice Cocktail Experience

Behind the doors of the innocuous-looking Doyle's Opticians in Shepherds Bush sits The Mind Place - a speakeasy bar based on BBC's Sherlock series. Alongside the two escape rooms that also sit within the space (Sherlock: The Game Is Now and The Mind of Moriarty), The Poisoned Chalice is a cocktail experience that sees you solving a series of puzzles as part of a test from Sebastian Moran - Moriarty's right-hand man.


Perfect for those who like to drink and deduce, the experience takes roughly 90 minutes, though you can move at your own pace if desired. Alongside the cocktail you'll unlock and create by solving puzzles, a welcome drink is included.


Group solving puzzle at The Mind Palace

Photo: Nic Crilly-Hargrave

Discover the secrets of this Sherlock speakeasy by solving a test set to you by Sebastian Moran, Moriarty’s right-hand man. Sebastian has brought you here to test you. Can you defeat his maniacal mind and make the perfect cocktail? The Poisoned Chalice Cocktail Experience brings together the excitement of a mystery with the joy of a cocktail. Enjoy the thrill of solving the case and the pleasure of creating your own cocktail.

Photos: Nic Crilly-Hargrave


📍 Shepherds Bush 💰 From £35.00

🕒 Ongoing 🎟️ Book via thegameisnow.com

 

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