World’s first breathable cocktail bar opensBy Lucy Shaw
Food and drink alchemists Bompas & Parr have launched the world’s first breathable cocktail bar in London’s Borough Market.
Dubbed “Alcoholic Architecture”, the bar on Cathedral Street features a breathable cocktail cloud that guests can wander through and gulp up.
The immersive experience sees spirits and mixers turned into a cloud of alcohol with the help of humidifiers creating an environment of 140% humidity.
Visitors are asked to don protective suits and breath in the cocktail vapour, with the alcohol entering the bloodstream through the lungs and eyeballs rather than the liver.
“The installation draws inspiration from Borough Market’s produce, medieval history and weather to create a sci-fi fantasy where meteorology and mixology collide,” said Sam Bompas, who believes the humidity enhances flavour perception.
“Visiting the bar will generate the same sort of awe and wonder we have all experienced when gazing up at the night’s sky. Imagine Disney meets De Sade in Barbarella’s castle by way of Medieval Times with flagons of ale,” he added.
The duo worked with respiratory scientists to calculate a safe amount of time guests can spend inside the cloud – visits last 50 minutes and offer the alcohol equivalent to one mixed drink.
“We’re going for maximal intensity of cocktail experience. With every breath you take, you notice a fresh botanical or flavour in the spirit that can be hard to discern in a regular drink,” said Parr.
“When atomised, what we normally think of as drink becomes an immersive, habitable environment – a diffuse form of architecture,” added Sam Jacob, architecture critic and director of Sam Jacob Studio.
In addition to cocktail clouds, regular cocktails the complement the flavours of the vapours will be served at the bar, which runs for six months with tickets priced at £10 per visit.