Mark Ludmon goes down the rabbit hole to explore a new pop-up bar in London
Colour-changing cocktails and other drinks inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are on the menu at a theatrical pop-up bar running in London until September.
The Wonderland Bar has been created by production company EBP and theatre company Les Enfants Terribles as part of their show Alice’s Adventures Underground at The Vaults next to Waterloo station. It is open to anybody with free entry, not just ticket holders.
Drink flavour innovators Smith & Sinclair have created the cocktails which include the Deluxe Tea Party Cocktail, a dark gin-based drink made with camomile, green tea, peppermint, Aperol, triple sec and spiced liqueur which changes colour after you stir it with a lemon lollypop. Others include Just a Half a Cup of Tea, a foamy gin, Earl Grey tea and citrus cocktail topped with popping candy, and Who Stole All The Tarts?, made with vodka and rhubarb shaken with lemon and sweetened with a dollop of jam, topped off with one of the Queen of Hearts’ jam tarts.
It ties in with the immersive show which takes the audience down the rabbit hole to experience an interactive, puppetry-packed fusion of storytelling, music, circus and spectacle, running to September 23. It was first conceived by Les Enfant Terribles to tie in with the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in 2015, going on to be nominated for an Olivier Award.
The bar itself, designed by Darling and Edge, features interactive experiences such as flamingo croquet, while characters from the show from the dodo to Alice herself sometimes pay a visit. Special “Unbirthday Celebrations” events will include the Mad Hatter’s May Madness Party on April 30, featuring a DJ until the early hours. Tickets will be £4 on the door.
The project is the latest from Smith & Sinclair to challenge perceptions of how alcohol can be consumed. Launched in 2014 with ground-breaking alcoholic cocktail confectionery, it has collaborated with brands such as the Tanqueray Experimental Garnish Bar at The Flavour Room, a month-long pop-up with Tanqueray gin in the Carnaby area of Soho in March.
The Wonderland Bar’s food is provided by festival favourites Saucy Chip including The Jabberwocky Burger, made Saucy Chip’s own sauce and two mustard fried beef patties, and The March Hare’s Saucy Mac, a classic macaroni made with four cheeses, topped with crispy onions.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday 5.30pm – 11.00pm; Friday 5.30pm – 2.00am; Saturday 1.30pm – 2.00am and Sunday 1.30pm – 6.30pm
The Wonderland Bar, The Vaults, Launcelot Street, London SE1 7AD
Pictures by Rah Petherbridge Photography