‘Harry Potter’ inspires most popular drink on the menu at Barcelona Bar in Hell’s Kitchen

The Harry Potter shot at Barcelona Bar includes props - yes, including a sorting hat, held by bartender Adam Bohanan on April 20, 2018.
The Harry Potter shot at Barcelona Bar includes props – yes, including a sorting hat, held by bartender Adam Bohanan on April 20, 2018. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Grab a drink at Barcelona Bar, and you’re almost guaranteed to hear the theme music to the “Harry Potter” films while patrons decked out in Hogwarts scarves and wands take shots.

The themed shot is one of more than 100 that the Hell’s Kitchen bar offers, and one of about two dozen that involve music and props. Since the bar opened in 2005 at 923 Eighth Ave., it’s also been its most popular offering, no contest.

“Those books have been popular now for decades,” said co-owner Jason Sturm, 42. “You have this growing populace that has been exposed to it, and is now of drinking age and likes to have these reminiscent things they feel comfortable with.”

The shot is still the most popular even after the bar stopped including fire in the presentation about a year ago. (“The long and short of it was, we were asked by the city to stop,” Sturm said.)

Glowing magic wands are waved over three
Glowing magic wands are waved over three “Harry Potter”-themed shots at Barcelona Bar. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

When people order the “Harry Potter” shot, a bartender presents a Sorting Hat, which “picks” one of the four Hogwarts houses, lends them scarves based on the house and glowing magic wands while the theme song plays.

“There’s not a script to it — each bartender has their own flair,” Sturm said.

The $8 shot itself is vodka-based and flavored to resemble the butterscotch-esque butterbeer (the drink of choice among wizards).

Sturm said it’s hard to gauge if there’s been an uptick in orders since “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” started playing on Broadway in March, but it’s helped keep it on people’s radar.

The shot isn’t the only one with Broadway relevance; the bar had already been offering a “SpongeBob SquarePants” drink when the show opened on Broadway last year, and one of the newest offerings is for “Hamilton,” complete with tricorn hats and fake pistols for props (set to, of course, “My Shot”).

“We try and stay current and see what’s the next fun thing,” Sturm said. “It’s an interactive drinking experience, as opposed to just sitting and having a pint.”

Drink to a Hogwarts house

If you shelled out hundreds of dollars to see both parts of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” you can get a little break on some pre-show cocktails. The Library Bar at the Hudson Hotel (358 W. 58th St.) is offering ticket holders 25 percent off its specialty cocktail menu inspired by the Hogwarts houses. There’s the Gryffindor (Lillet Rose, Campari, grapefruit and club soda), Hufflepuff (Cava, sugar cane syrup and ginger beer), Ravenclaw (bourbon, Pimms and Coke) and Slytherin (Hendricks Gin, St. Germaine, cucumber juice, simple syrup and lemon juice). For reading material, the bar also has a display of “Harry Potter” novels available by request. The cocktails are priced at $15 each and are available through May 11.