Jason Allen 14/08/18
Immersive cocktail experiences.
Apparently, the two have good chemistry.
Because ABQ, the BB-themed pop up set in an RV parked somewhere in East London in which you got to ‘cook’ a trio of inventive drinks, has gone permanent. And in a very impressive way.
Not only have they housed the entire RV within their huge new venue, but they’ve opened it out at the back, and added in an entire, chemistry lab-style cocktail bar which spins out into the larger seating area behind it. Then, they’ve thrown in a dedicated espresso martini bar (Dear Sunny), before finally putting a full-blown pizza restaurant out front.
Here’s the breakdown:
If you spring for the full ABQ experience, then you and your cook-partner will head into the RV parked in the middle of the venue, where you’ll be given yellow boiler suits and gas masks before getting a lesson in how to mix some extraordinary cocktails (that change colour as you drink them, for instance) using the lab sets & booze provided. Depending on how much you back your chemistry skills, you can plump for a relatively simple concoction like the Hit & Wake, a tequila-based espresso martini which you’ll top with amaretto bubbles using a syringe, or the 420, combining bourbon and ‘baked brownie sherry’, which you’ll top with your own CBD-infused Champagne foam and a flash of dried ice.
If you’re just dropping by, then you can just head to the cocktail bar abutting the back of the RV itself, and score one of their premixed, but equally inventive drinks – the Southern Masala, for instance, combines jalapeño-infused pisco with pineapple juice and ginger ale, while the Rubber Ducky muddles pink gin and raspberries with blood orange syrup and root beer foam. And naturally, you can get one of those molecular cocktails cooked up for you by the professionals.
Fresh from a post-lockdown redo, the lounge area at the front provides a foil to the illicit, moody vibes of ABQ with er… jungle walls and neon slogans. They have a stellar menu of espresso martinis – from the original, to the Indian Summer with rum, apricot and mango; the Flat White Bro with almond milk and vegan Baileys; and the Coffee & Cigs, combining the classic base with mezcal and smoked ash.
Finally, if you’re looking to fuel up after all that boozing, there’s their pizza joint, from which you can score dough disks with classic toppings like Pepperoni and Fiorentina, to the Sweet Chic, with ricotta, chicken, goat’s cheese and honey.
Thankfully, they cook those for you.
NOTE: ABQ London is open Wednesday-Sunday. Bookings aren’t essential, but recommended if you want to guarantee a place in the RV – you can make one at their website right HERE.
ABQ London | 18 Bohemia Place, E8 1DU
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18 Bohemia Place, Hackney, East London, E8 1DU
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