Fancy a drink? Well put away the glasses because all you need for this is to open your eyes. As part of the Brisbane Festival, the city will get the Southern Hemisphere’s first pop-up “cloud bar”.
"But what is a cloud bar?" we hear you ask. Good question! The bar, open from September 5 to 25 September is part of cabaret and dinner show Fear & Delight, and is described by organisers as a “gin and tonic-based weather system for your tongue”; vapourised alcohol is pumped into the air, where punters absorb it through their lungs and eyes. THEIR LUNGS AND EYES.
But before you have visions of people drunkenly stumbling out of the bar and creating havoc, director of the show, Scott Maidment, says the gin and tonic cloud isn't meant to be an easy way to get messy but an exciting stimulation hit to the senses.
“It’s also about tasting the juniper berries and things like that that are in gin and tonic,” Scott says.
Time inside the bar is strictly limited to 40 minutes, a time that organisers claim is just enough time to absorb the equivalent of “one large drink”.
And for those worrying about the effects for the morning after, fear not: organisers also claim absorbing alcohol directly into your blood stream and bypassing the liver helps to avoid hangovers. Hear that? NO HANGOVERS. Because SCIENCE.
"It’s actually healthier for you they say, because it’s not affecting your liver,” Scott says. Apparently the whole experience/experiment has purportedly been endlessly studied, examined, tested and pored over by biochemists and respiratory experts from the Centre for Altitude, Space and Extreme Environment Medicine to precisely calibrate the ratio of mixer to alcohol to ensure it's all safe.
The whole experience has been called “alcoholic architecture” by creators Bompas & Parr, a group that have been running a similar sort of bar in London since July. They say the whole experience is designed for “flavour perception” and “maximal intensity of the cocktail experience”. “With every breath you take,” creator Harry Parr said, ”[there's] a fresh botanical or flavour in the spirit that can be hard to discern in a regular drink.”
We can't imagine the health experts would be particularly thrilled with the whole experience. Drink responsibly, guys! Or should that be look responsibily? Breathe responsibly? We're not really sure...