So how the hell does it work? You start by sitting down at a table in the sleek high-altitude environs of Baptiste & Bottle and ordering The Macallan Rare Journey. But before you get your drink, a staff member hands you an acorn. Then, a cart is wheeled out to your table containing a shallow wooden box lined with moss, vegetation, small tree stumps, and three empty glasses. You pour water from a small teapot into a wooden bowl containing cubes of dry ice, which then activates a thick plume of white fog. And now the journey has begun.
The unique presentation is designed to symbolize the forests where Macallan sources the oak trees it uses to make its casks. Raies says she came up with the idea herself “to bring the brand to life,” sourcing the materials everywhere from eBay to Hobby Lobby. Macallan first started utilizing VR at brand launch events around the world last spring, but Raies wanted to come up with an idea that utilized the technology on a more intimate and personal scale. She says for the London VR cocktail, you get a drink and then they play some VR, but nowhere else can you get the full experience of the story behind the booze as you see each ingredient brought to life. “It’s more memorable when you get to see, get to touch,” she says. “It’s an education tool.”