Brisbane is set to welcome Cloud Bar, a futuristic new establishment where you can literally get drunk without even drinking.
We thought we’d seen it all
There are bars that allow you to pour your own drinks, bars featuring spas and bars serving up vegetable beers – but this one takes the cake.
Part of Brisbane Festival’s Fear and Delight show, Cloud Bar takes alcoholic vapour from gin and tonic and pumps it into the air where it is then absorbed directly into your bloodstream through your eyes, mucus membranes and lungs.
The bar is the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and will only be opened for the duration of Brisbane Festival, which runs from 5 September to 25 September.
The idea came from UK design team Bompas & Parr who opened their first Cloud Bar earlier this year in London.
One 40 minute session in the bar is the equivalent to that of a large drink and according to the designers the method (of inhaling alcohol) eliminates hangovers, cuts calories by up to 40 per cent and enhances flavour perception.
“With every breath you take, you notice a fresh botanical or flavour in the spirit that can be hard to discern in a regular drink,” designer Harry Parr told The Australian.
Before entering the bar, drinkers will be asked to put on a special suit to protect them against the powerful humidifiers used to saturate the air with the gin and tonic vapour.
So, is this method actually safe? At least one health professional doesn’t think so.
Director of the University of Queensland’s Alcohol and Drug Research and Education Centre, Professor Jake Najman says the method could increase the risk of alcohol addiction.
“Alcohol is very dangerous and it causes a lot of deaths, as well as social harm through injury and accidents,” he says.
“It’s a toxic substance that destroys brain cells, and if you’re inhaling it rapidly to get a quick hit you’re absorbing it much quicker than you would when you’re drinking it. This could increase the risk of addiction.”
“We’re worried that this will encourage people to vaporise their own alcohol and use the method outside of this room (bar).”
Professor Najman says it’s hard to know the full effects of the method, because it’s a new concept in Australia.
“The method was actually being used in America for a while and it was banned because it was considered highly dangerous,” he says.
“We are worried this will have negative effects and get people into some real trouble.”
“Maybe it does cut the calories out of the alcohol and eliminate some of the unwanted side effects, but I think there are much better ways of controlling your weight.”
Cloud Bar will run as part of the Brisbane Festival’s Fear and Delight show, in Southbank from 5 September to 25 September.