Breathe, hold, repeat

Updated: Jan 19, 2020, 08:33 IST | Anju Maskeri | Mumbai

Why drink your shot when you can inhale it? An Andheri restobar brings the craze sweeping bars in the West to aamchi talli Mumbai

Although in the West, vodka is the preferred spirit to turn into alcohol mist, at this Andheri restobar, you can opt for any spirit of your choice to fill into a disposable balloon and inhale. Pics/ Ashish Raje
Although in the West, vodka is the preferred spirit to turn into alcohol mist, at this Andheri restobar, you can opt for any spirit of your choice to fill into a disposable balloon and inhale. Pics/ Ashish Raje

While browsing the Internet, Jaasjyot Surri, CEO and co-founder of SJI Hospitality & Foods Private Ltd., came across a report on alcohol mist, a bizarre trend that has caught the fancy of bar visitors in the UK and the US. The accompanying video showed guests inhaling vaporized vodka from balloons. "I tried to find out if Mumbai restobars were offering this," says Surri. When his research showed no results, he decided to import the technology from America and introduce it at his Andheri nightclub, ABCD-Any Body Can Driink.

It's been a month since, and the sales are seeing a steady rise. Funnily, Surri is a teetotaller. "I haven't had a drop of alcohol in my life so I will have to rely on your feedback on whether this works or not," he laughs.

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The technology essentially consists of a compact machine that fills disposable latex balloons with a fine mist containing micro-droplets of liquid. While the norm has been to serve vodka, ABCD serves it with a premium spirit of your choice. We opt for a Chivas Regal 12 years. While the company recommends six shots an hour, Surri has reduced it to three in 60 minutes to ensure you don't overdose.

First up, the machine is filled with a bottle of liquor. The machine transforms the alcohol to a fine mist containing micro-droplets of liquid alcohol which are filled into a latex balloon. The shot is then inhaled. "The kick is equivalent to a 30 ml shot," says Surri.

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But there's a method to the intoxication. Once you breathe in the alcohol mist from the balloon, you have to hold your breath for 10 seconds. "When we did the first trial, our worst fear came true. Out of six, four volunteers said they felt nothing. Two said they felt something. They did it all over again, correctly this time. The first time they felt nothing because they had unwittingly exhaled," Surri explains.

So, the faster your intake, the stronger the effect. What the mist does is that it bypasses the process of drinking and directly enters the bloodstream. "The system is designed to allow only 1/60th the amount of a normal 30ml shot, which is less than a single drop of alcohol. It uses a tiny amount of alcohol per shot and each one has only 1/60th of the calories of a regular shot," says Surri.

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We begin to feel a pleasant high almost immediately, which brings out the true flavour of the liquor, making it an unexpectedly aromatic experience. Despite being a whiskey drinker, this writer enjoys the taste of the orange flavoured vodka more.

What's interesting is that the inhaled alcohol also leaves your system faster than the traditional alcohol shot. In the next 30 minutes, we are good to go, and able to punch out this article in 20 minutes flat.

Jaasjyot Surri
Jaasjyot Surri

30ml
The equivalent in liquid alcohol of the inhaled shot

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