“Cocktails, bitch!” would have said Jesse Pinkman if only he had known about London’s Breaking Bad inspired pop up cocktail bar ABQ. And since we’re all trying to fill the void that the the end of one of the best TV series of all time left in our hearts, it seems only fitting that I went out and filled it with cocktails.
ABQ, which opened in London in mid-July, is not just another pop up bar. Set in a recreational vehicle (RV) in Hackney Wick, the bar allows you to experience a lab set-up where you can “cook” your own Blue Flynn meth inspired cocktails.
I got there on a freezing early Autumn Friday evening, only to find Walt and Jesse’s RV waiting from me right in front of a “Los Pollos of Hackney” fried chicken joint. Once the “cooks”, dressed in Breaking Bad’s signature yellow vests, let me into the RV, I was amazed to see a full-on meth lab just like in the smash hit TV series, complete with Walt Whitman books, a “Heisenberg” graffiti and a sad-looking pink teddy bear.
“Let’s cook,” said the organisers, and we all got down to business. Divided in tables of about six people, each section of the RV lab had to make its own part of the cocktails, whether it was mixing the cocaine-ish cocktail garnish with pestle and mortar or even using gas and dry ice to create a foamy Blue Flynn cocktail.
ABQ is a great experience to get to know people, work in teams and revive the Breaking Bad hype. Of course, it’s plain from the word go who’s the Jesse and who’s the Walt of each team: I most certainly was Jesse in the initial phases of the series, messing everything up: from using the Helium gas wrong or pouring too much dry ice into the mixture it was a miracle I didn’t blow anything up.
Initially set to run for just three months, the pop up bar has been so successful it has now sold out until October. With nearly 40,000 sign-ups to the bar’s newsletter, ABQ has been a smashing success for organisers Locappy, an events app dividing London in neighbourhoods to help create the community feel of each area. ABQ’s success is all the more impressive once you learn that its marketing was all done in-house by the team, led by the lab’s own meth cook and Locappy co-founder Giuseppe Sofo.
If you’ve managed to grab yourself a ticket for ABQ, consider yourself lucky. It’s a great night, one of the few in which you can feel entitled to scream: “Science, bitch!” over and over again without people hating on you.
Check out Italian Kingdom for the Italian review of ABQ.
Pictures: ABQ, Carolina Are