Alcotraz Prison Cocktail Bars are an immersive, theatrical cocktail experience where guests become inmates for the night whilst smuggling their own liquor past the prison warden. Last week I got to try out their Covent Garden experience with 3 friends..we genuinely loved every minute and it will certainly be a night we’ll all remember for a while. If you’re looking for a unique way to spend an evening with a group of friends I highly recommend a visit. Here’s the lowdown:
We ordered our tickets through Design My Night which we received alongside comprehensive details of how to prepare for the evening. We were instructed to meet our prison guard at a certain location near Covent Garden with a secret password.
From the moment we met our prison guard we became ‘inmates’ – each with our colourful criminal histories becoming part of the show. We were escorted into the ‘prison’ with the prison guards helping us change into our orange jumpsuits and hiding our liquor.
The next hour and half was spent in our very own ‘cell’. These come in various sizes depending on the group. All mod-cons come as standard including a (non-functioning) toilet!
I don’t want to give too much away about the plot as it will spoil the surprise but this was far more immersive than I expected. The warden and prison guards remain convincingly in character throughout with broad Southern American accents and a plot that really does leave you questioning where you are.
A roller-coaster of events, a few photo opps, four custom made (delicious) cocktails and a few rounds of Kumbaya later it was all over. We fell out of our cell with giggling bellies and big smiles on our faces. Prison life doesn’t seem so bad after all.
What you need to know
Alcotraz has cells in Covent Garden & Shoreditch and has recently opened their newest penitentiary in Brighton.
Tickets cost £34.50 per person. This covers the cost of the experience, your own mixologist and all mixers & garnishes. Inmates are provided with 4 rounds of tailor made cocktails during their sentence. I initially thought this was expensive but this is a theatre experience plus cocktails. If I were buying 4 cocktails in a bar at £10 per drink I’d end up paying more without the entertainment. It’s actually a really good deal.
Guests are asked to provide / smuggle their own spirits to create the cocktails. Two small bottles between 4 people was more than enough. Any left overs will be returned to inmates as they leave.
Guests can get as involved in the role play as much or as little as they feel comfortable with. However…the more involved you get the more fun you’ll have.
The experience lasts about 1 hr 40 minutes.
There ARE working toilets available as well as the defunct ones in the cells.
Check it out for yourself here.