I’ve often seen a cat without a grin, but a grin without a cat; well, that’s the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life. Before I could remark this out loud, the grin speaks. I’m the Cheshire Cat, and who might you all be? It’s neon smile glows, hidden among ivy and greenery. I introduce myself back; common courtesy after all. But this isn’t all fun and games—I’m on a mission to earn the Diploma of Tea Making by brewing a most delicious Drink Me recipe. Four vials—vials that aren’t so vile—each obtained by solving a riddle. And the Cheshire Cat holds my next puzzle to be solved for The Alice: An Immersive Cocktail Experience.
The Alice: An Immersive Cocktail Experience is a 90-minute intimate tea party that invites you to step into the world of the Lewis Carroll novel. Led by the Mad Hatter and March Hare, participants will enjoy three different cocktails, navigate a gorgeously decorated bar to solve riddles, enjoy some light painting, and even devour a cookie adorned with the words, “Eat Me”. This is a perfect experience for a night out with friends or a cozy date.
From the moment you find the door, you are immediately immersed in the world of Wonderland. Prop_dungeon does an incredible job at dressing the space as a whimsical tea party. A massive keyhole stares down from above the door, and a series of rabbits trail up the pastel colored stairs. At the top, a massive neon “The Alice” sign welcomes guests into its world. Massive neon mushrooms, chess pieces line walls, portraits adorn walls, and gorgeous ferns and vines dangle precariously from the ceiling. The room is full of small tables with mismatched chairs—and teapots cover all the tables. The eclectic mix of mismatched furniture, playing cards everywhere, and forestry truly make this feel like another world.
Yet, what’s an immersive space without interaction and actors? Luckily, this is another highlight of The Alice: An Immersive Cocktail Experience. The Mad Hatter and the March Hare serve as the main two actors—with the white rabbit serving as bartender for the evening. These actors provide incredible energy, improvising with audiences, cracking jokes with impeccable timing, and ensuring that the party is progressing forward. The Mad Hatter would regularly sit at our table, conversing with us and creating organic moments of interactivity. Further, the pre-planned story beats had us laughing as the March Hare made contemporary jokes and pop-culture references that proved this to be more than a Victorian tale.
The Mad Hatter and March Hare (who later became the Queen of Hearts) lead participants through a series of interactive party games to ensure the night is more than just a boozy tea party. This ranges from a series of riddles and puzzles to a game of “Tart Thieves” (a rendition of Mafia) to a painting lesson on the foam of a cocktail. The riddles themselves felt a bit underwhelming as they were on the generic side and all utilized a similar tactic to solve. I would have loved to see riddles that required a bit more teamwork, interaction with other tables, or even some physicality—instead of relying mainly on one team member and their use of logic. Further, the game of Mafia was fun and incorporated nicely into the story but lacked the weight of any consequence. Perhaps that’s the point as the Queen of Hearts played by her own rules, offing players as she felt fit, and ending the game when she felt bored.
The cocktail foam painting was a highlight of the night. With strawberry syrup, paintbrushes, and our third drink, we were tasked with painting anything we wanted, for the Queen to judge and award a winner. This felt inline with the Queen’s demands (painting roses red) and had a reward for the best painting (an extra shot from the White Rabbit). With this motivation, we wanted to do our best and win the prize. This was also novel and something I hadn’t seen at an event like this before.
Audiences were served two drinks and tasked to make the third themselves by completing riddles during the evening. The first was a delicious peach and vodka drink, topped with whipped cream. This was my personal favorite as the sweetness of the cream and the peach flavoring perfectly complimented each other. While unsure what exactly was in the second, it tasted of Chambord, club soda, and perhaps mint. We were the last group of the evening and the club soda had gone flat, giving this drink a rather lackluster taste. However, this cocktail utilized dry ice to perfection, creating enough steam and bubbles for everyone at the table, allowing for plenty of Instagram worthy shots. The final drink was a Tequila Sunrise, with egg white foam perfect for painting. There were plenty of other drinks available to purchase from the White Rabbit if you need a bit more—or one of the drinks just doesn’t scream “Drink Me” to you.
Ultimately, The Alice: An Immersive Cocktail Experience is a perfect night out with friends. The set design and acting are easily the highlights, and with the cocktails, this is easily worth the price of admission. The games, surprises, and immersion are only additions that help elevate the experience from a themed bar into a true experience that is worth your time. Go into The Alice with the expectation that you’ll have fun, have a drink or three, and play some party games. Just be curious and curiouser.
For more information about The Alice: An Immersive Cocktail Experience, checkout their website, Facebook page or purchase tickets here. For information about similar events, check out our Event Guide.