The word Medieval was enough to get me hooked; then the words alcohol and breathable had me completely sold. I am referring to the latest venture by my favourite food magicians Bompas & Parr. Launching 31st July, the installation is a quirky descent through dimly lit stairways to the underbelly of Borough market. Here a small bar is set up, decorated by skulls and stained glass windows of saintly depictions, where visitors are invited to wear waterproof ponchos and sip on monastic cocktails, before making their way to the ‘cloud’. The cloud itself is a high humidity constant flow of air cocktails: it has no particular aroma (maybe a faint, fruity scent) and is so dense, you can barely see in front of you, making the whole experience fun and a bit surreal.
Bompas & Parr’s Alcoholic Architecture arrives in Borough Market, featuring a walk-in cloud of breathable cocktail as part of an installation that explodes drinks to the scale of architecture. In this fully immersive alcohol environment – the cloud is entirely composed of fine spirits and mixer at a ratio of 1:3 and made using powerful humidifiers to super-saturate the air – alcohol enters the bloodstream through primarily the lungs but also the eyeballs.
The actual liquid cocktails on offer are made using, of course, spirits created by clever monks: Chartreuse, Benedictine, Trappist beer and Buckfast, but modernised and presented in cute pewter cups or crystal like glasses.
Apparently it takes 40 minutes in the cloud to actually get drunk; we were there for under 30 so I did not feel the effects of the steaming drinks other than on my just blow-dried hair (yeah, genius idea) but loved the two cocktails we tried and certainly loved the entire session.
It does make for a different night out and a thought provoking experience: the question is, does breathing alcohol save on calories? Now wouldn’t that be the perfect situation?
Alcoholic Architecture runs until early 2016. Tickets must be booked in advance (over 18 only) and are available here for £10 – 12.50. Cocktails are extra.
I was a guest of Bompas & Parr on opening night. Opinions are my own; I was not asked to write this post.