Most bars require you to actually order a drink to get drunk. Sam Bombas of Bombas & Parr thinks that’s just wasting time. The U.K. architecture firm has just unveiled a new bar in London’s Borough Market which gets you drunk without drinking. It’s called Alcoholic Architecture, and its a bar defined by its signature cocktail: an aerosolized cloud of alcohol that patrons start breathing as soon as they walk through the door.
From cooking with lava to multi-sensory fireworks you can taste, Bombas & Parr is known for its whimsical and unconventional design approach. “One of the frustrations of doing things like flooding buildings with booze that people have to boat across before drinking it is that they are so short lived,” Bombas tells me. “We always wanted to open a bar and Alcoholic Architecture is the bar from our wildest fantasies, made into reality.”
Located next to the U.K.’s earliest Gothic cathedral, and on the site of an ancient monastery, Alcoholic Architecture’s conventional cocktail list sticks to a monastic theme: Benedictine, Chartreuse, Trappist beer, mead, and Buckfast, which Bombas describes as “a fortified wine so savage that Scotland’s Parliament is reportedly drafting legislation to stop the caffeinated intoxicant from entering their country.”
But the star of the show is actually invisible: the alcoholic miasma that permeates every breathable inch of the bar. A 1:3 ratio combination of spirits and mixers that has been aerosolized, the breathable brew is so potent that imbibers need to actually don special protective suits, to limit how much skin (and, more specifically, mucus membranes) are exposed to it. It’s apparently pretty heady stuff, which will get you drunk 40% quicker than drinking the same mixture in liquid form like some kind of pleb or something. And for boozy dieters, great news: that 40% reduction also applies to the calories you’re ingesting.
Of course, Bombas & Parr are incorrigible hedonists, so ultimately, they want you to supplement breathing in alcohol with more traditional drinks from their cocktail list. Which means that at Alcoholic Architecture, things are designed to get out of control very quickly.
“Picasso once said that good taste is the enemy of creativity,” says Bombas. “We love bad taste. It is very playful and polarizing. So with this we are really plumbing the depths. In many ways we are creating a modern version of a tiki bar. Through creating this faux fantasy land we give adults license to play in ways which they might not otherwise have.”
You can book tickets to attend Alcoholic Architecture for yourself here.