A for Alcoholic Air – Mad March Munch 2016 Alphabet Challenge

Make it short & snappy’

A for Alcoholic (and flavoured) air.

Swallowing cocktails is so tiring, in the busy ‘no time life’ why not just have a cloud of cocktail to inhale and absorb the alcohol even quicker? Or just flavoured ‘zero calorie’ air. That’s what some experimental companies are creating so I tested some out.

‘Just the facts please’

‘I’ve got a cup of tea, tell me all about it…’

The concept of gulping in lungfuls of flavoured air has long been used in shisha bars using pipes and hoses. Creatives in London have been experimenting for a few years taking this in a different direction. They have devised concepts from portable circus style whisky tornado cases with straws, bowls of mystical swirling fog tendrils and whole rooms pumped full of inhalable concoctions – mainly of the intoxicating variety!


Photo of Whisky Tornado from Bompas & Parr website, insert straws and breathe it in!

I’ve been lucky enough to sampled several puffs of vaporised alcohol or flavoured air, courtesy of the Robin Collective, Bompas and Parr, and Lick Me I’m Delicious amongst others. I particularly liked being able to breathe out alcohol through my nostrils like a dragon… a blue dragon at that, a far more magical and tasty version of a frosty winter morning and the volcano!

The latest iteration of this has taken shape in a converted monastery in South London hidden in the alleyways of Food Heaven Borough Market.

Bompas and Parr have used their flamboyant expertise and penchant for history and theatre to create an entire walk in room of alcoholic cloud. The idea is that you can absorb alcohol far quicker as it enters your blood stream directly through your skin and even eyeballs! The experience includes queuing patiently for a robed monk to guide you down into the historic building. You don a very fetching plastic poncho, enter a pre-bar, where you can purchase supplementary cocktails to ensure you have alcohol entering your system from a traditional sense too. Then on the invitation of a giant neon “Breathe Responsibly” sign you enter into a wet mist of G&T.

I liked the changing coloured lights which diffused and altered the colour of the mist. Tickets are for a set time, which along with keeping it feeling exclusive and an experience rather than just a bar, was good to keep things moving. I must admit, I didn’t really feel much of an effect other than getting quite damp, therefore I would recommend purchasing a cocktail too as the effect of having alcohol through your eyeballs must vary from person to person. Perhaps there was an optimal standing space I missed.

The Robin Collective, Lick Me I’m Delicious and others will probably continue to integrate this into occasional pop ups, but if you want to experience it beforehand, Bompas and Parr’s Alcholic Architecture will be on until July 2016. As it’s nestled right in the heart of Borough, near Vinopolis – there’s plenty of opportunity to join me and create your own alphabet soup challenge!


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