Doing time drinking – Alcotraz

Alcotraz is an immersive cocktail bar in London set in the heart of Brick Lane and is the only immersive prison type bar within London at present.  Alcotraz initially opened up as a pop up back in September 2017 created by Sam Shearman the founder of Inventive Productions. From January 2018 though it has now become a permanent venue. Sam was inspired by (you guessed it) Alcatraz. The entire venue can accommodate 40 inmates at any one time and throughout your sentence cell mates will be served four cocktails made from the liquor that you have smuggled past the guards.

My experience at Alcotraz

Sent to jail

Firstly upon my experience me and my blogger friends were gathered up into a ‘Pity’ by a few guards and told to be quite.


We was then ushered through the entrance of Aloctraz and given ‘Peels’ (orange jumpsuit) to wear for the remainder of our sentence (our timeslot 21:30 – 23:15 with experience lasting 1hr and 45mins).

I was struggling to get my leg into my orange ‘Pity’.

Guard “Lady, what are you trying to do? Get into that Pity!”

Me “I can’t get my leg in”

Guard “My three year old knows how to dress and you’re a grown adult”

At this point he had to come over to help me. How embarrassing everyone around me including my blogger friends found it highly amusing though.

Alcotraz Penitentiary

Alcotraz Penitentiary me

Me after I eventually got suited and booted.

Lock in

We was then marched on down passing a number of other cells we were then ushered into our cell complete with a bed, some stalls and a toilet for a seat. Some other cell mates that came in did not get a cell but a stall at the bar area.

Girls in Prison

Gemma of MuchingLondon sat on the bed along with Jess of EnjoytheAdventure, Katie of WhatsKatieDoing whom sat on the toilet all night and I sat on a stall.

Us prisoners doing our time

Once all of us inmates had been put away in our cells or sat at the bar the priest of the Aloctraz nicknamed Mr. Freeman gave us a spiel about fearing God and not to misbehave.

Prisoners of Alcotraz

Thankfully at this Alcotraz prison none of us our going to the ‘Stainless Steel Ride’ as none of our crimes were that great to take us down that ‘green mile’.  All our crimes were most probably the love of drink too much.

Us lady prisoners sat behind our cell bars doing our time waiting to be released and one of the other prisoners (a mixologist) every now and again popped into our cell and asked if we had smuggled in any contraband (meaning alcohol).

Alcotraz smuggling

Alcotraz smuggling

Giving over our contraband was like in a way demanding the mixologist we want to ‘Catch a ride’. Secretly we in turn at certain intervals throughout our time gave to him one bottle of smuggled contraband.  He then smuggled it over to the bar area under his jumpsuit. Thankfully he never ‘Keistered’ our contraband but close enough.

MixologistAfter mixing up a concoction he then came back with drinks made from our poison in tins (not glasses) making it really feel authentic like we was in a real prison. Most of the drink that me and my blogger friends smuggled in though were various types of gins.

I took through with me to share with my fellow cell mates (blogger friends) a 70cl bottle of Sipsmith London Dry Gin. Sipsmith are one of the best independent spirits in my opinion. Did you know they have been around for 189 years but it was only back in 2009 that they set up London’s first ever copper distillery crafting award winning spirits.

I also smuggled in a bottle of Dead Man’s Fingers which is Whiskey which I purchased from the award winning The Whisky Exchange retailer in London’s Bedford Street. I love this spirit shop as they sell so many varied drinks from vodka to whisky. Not only do they have an excellent selection of spirits but all come in so many various style bottles even small ones. So if you are looking for a spirit but a bit more unusual I highly recommend you go along there as I am sure you will find something out of the ordinary like say the Crystal Head vodka based drink.

My other blogger friends took in a Gin containing seaweed flavour, a bottle of Vodka and Whiskey.

All the cocktails made out of our drinks tasted great but most of them contained apple juice a lot of the time but I do like apple juice so no biggie.

However if you wanted some Pruno instead of cocktails you will be disappointed as there was none being made or served up in this prison not when we had our own contraband for the celled up mixologists to make us some sweet cocktails.

What is Pruno though you may ask? well it is a prison wine which is made from apples, oranges, fruit cocktail, candy, ketchup, sugar, milk, and possibly other ingredients, including crumbled bread.

Whist we was sitting enjoying our drinks and me chattering away with my ‘Monkey Mouth’ a guard comes in to give us the ‘No Smoke’.  So we was then all ushered out of our cell and put up against the wall.

The guard then came wandering out of our cell with a book about witchcraft in which he found hidden amongst our items.

Mr Freeman gives a bible bashing talk

Katie and Jess got summoned about this by My Freeman. He really laid into them and giving them a bit of bible bashing talk as he accused them of being the witch worshippers.

Afterwards it was back into the cell.

After my third drink my number was called out along with three other cell mates and were sent down into the hole as we was the most misbehaved cell mates of the night.  Well that did not surprise my friends at all so I was led upon down to the hole by Rice one of the guards where he gave me a right good spanking.

He didn’t actually in fact we played a game of cards 21 to win something a little special but I won’t reveal what as that is top secret between me and Rice and the other naughty cell mates. Afterwards once taken back to my cell my banged up friends ushered around me asking what happened and I told them that I got spanked. I am sure there was a few other bad cell mates though that should of gone into the hole but I think they had a ‘Juice Card’.

Sick as a dog

Now after having way too much fun and drink, yes I know only four cocktails but I can’t handle my drink, so to the toilet it is.

“Move over Katie cell buddy I need your toilet”

Upon us all drinking our last drinks and feeling really like our spirits are really going to leave us there is an exorcism performed by Mr Freeman.  He took out one cell mate a lady and sat her on a bench with everyone gathering around to watch this miracle being performed.  Even though it was amusing to watch the lady he chose did not act out along and was just constantly laughing. I so wish it was me that was in that chair as I truly would have loved to of acted out being possessed and putting on a deep devil type voice. Still though was funny. After the exorcism it was at this point that our time in Aloctraz was up and time for us to gather our belongings and head upon out back into the wide world again.

Break out

One disappointment that I must add was I was looking forward to having my photo with a criminal board but never did get the opportunity so I am unsure if they have gotten rid of them as I am sure I have seen other cell mates photos on Instagram in the past holding them up against them.

The whole experience costs £33.99 to enter Alcotraz but in my opinion considering you have to bring along your own alcohol I feel the price of entry is quite steep as there are other different type immersive bars in and around London that cost near enough the same but includes the alcohol within the price as well as an immersive experience.

However this was a highly fun event and I am not saying don’t do it as I totally want to break back in! Instead of ‘Rabbits’ wanting to escape I am sure there will be plenty wanting to escape back in.

Plus where else in London is there a themed prison bar nowhere.

To find out more about Alcotraz or to book click here.

Jess, Gemma, Rice the Guard and Katie

Thank you to the main guard (Sam the owner) who gave me and others from my blogger community the prisontastic experience of Alcotraz. All my opinions are my own.

Read the cell mates from Love Pop Ups London blogs from below:


United State Penitentiary

Did you spot the slang words throughout my blog and
if so did you know what they all meant?

Words and explanations below:

Catch a ride: A request to a mate to get you high.

Heat Wave: The attention brought to a group of inmates by the action of one or a few, as in ‘Jo and Gemma got caught with contraband, and now the whole prison is going through a heat wave.’

Juice Card: A cell mate’s influence with guards or other prisoners. ‘He should have gone to the hole for that, but he’s got a juice card with one of the guards.’

Keister: To hide contraband in one’s rectum. It is also known as ‘taking it to the hoop,’ ‘putting it in the safe’and ‘packing the rabbit.’

Monkey Mouth: A prisoner who goes on and on about nothing.

No Smoke: To follow staff’s orders without resisting or causing any problems, as in ‘He let the guards search his cell, no smoke.’

Peels: The orange jumpsuit uniforms worn by prisoners in some facilities.

Pity: Small group of prisioners.

Rabbit: An inmate who has a history of escape attempts or has plans to try to escape.

Stainless Steel Ride: Death by lethal injection.


See where this is located at via Days Out Now

Plus with Days Out Now you can discover other amazing places from all over the UK.


  1. louiseriis says:

    Oh My God! This is hilarious! I have never ever heard about this place – but I know a LOT of people, who would love to try this out! Being pregnant, this is probably not the best time for me to try this one out – and I probably wouldn’t be able to fit into that lovely orange jumpsuit! (In this case Orange is definitely not the “new black” 😀 I love your writing and I love your pictures (Tip: If your pictures are taken with an Iphone, they sometimes turn around, when you put them on your blog. You can fix it by mailing them to yourself through the app called Rotate Mailer. That worked for me back in the days. I now use another camera) 😉

    X Louise

  2. lovepopupslondon says:

    Thank you for your comment it is nice to hear that you enjoy my blogs I always try to make them amusing as well as giving useful information about the event.

    I am indeed using a smart phone I will most certainly download the Rotate Mailer you recommended.

    Thank you.

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