Cocktail fans in London will want to take deep breaths when they enter a pop-up bar that opens on Thursday, July 30, on the site of an ancient monastery in Borough.
Alcoholic Architecture features a walk-in cloud of cocktail that's composed of fine spirits and mixer at a ratio of 1:3. It's made using powerful humidifiers to super-saturate the air. Alcohol enters the bloodstream mainly through the lungs but also the eyeballs. Guests are advised to "breathe responsibly."
It's the project of Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, two friends who specialize in experiences based around flavor.
Guests will descend through a series of dimly lit passages into a monastic-themed changing room, where they will robe up in protective clothing to prevent them from smelling like a cocktail when they go home. After that, it's into a crypt-like bar that appears to have been hewn out of rock. The drinks will be based on those made by monks, including Chartreuse, Benedictine, Trappist beer, and Buckfast fortified wine. From there, it is a short step into the cocktail chamber.
"Inside, the sound is modulated, so that it is like you are right inside the glass," Parr says. "It's a dense atmosphere that builds into a thunderstorm with lightning. It's a new way of experiencing drink, and it's social because it's an immersive shared environment. You all have the same flavor sensation. Alcohol tastes better, with more nuances: You can detect more subtle flavors when it is humidified."