‘Breaking Bad’ themed bar, ABQ, offers the ultimate molecular mixology experience in London


Every once in awhile, there are things that come along to where you think ‘why didn’t I think of that’. Unfortunately, another one of those instances hit me recently when I discovered there is a Breaking Bad-themed bar that is setting up shop permanently in London.

ABQ, which started out as an innocent little pop-up bar housed in an RV in Hackney Wick, has set up shop once again in the East London locale after a short stint earlier this year in Paris. Should you find yourself needing to fill the Breaking Bad void in your life, you must head over the Hackney Road and make your way inside the over-sized caravan and sit on blue barrels at workstations that line the walls and ‘get cooking’.

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Appropriately named after Albuquerque, the town in New Mexico where Breaking Bad was both filmed and set, ABQ is flush with a swanky new lab with space for 28 people to channel their inner Walter White and get to cooking cocktails.  In the neighborhood of 75,000 budding mixologists have signed up for a spot in the RV turned cocktail-making lab and a chance to cook a range of cocktails since its inception back in July 2015 (40,000+ in the first three months alone). And, in Paris, there was a 22,000 long waiting list to enter the bar.

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This is mixology at its finest. Imagine being able to use molecular mixology techniques to create two signature ABQ cocktails, Saul’s C2H6O, a semi-frozen cocktail with rum, pink peppercorn and rose hip, served with a candy solution garnish and crystallized petals of an edible violet, and Blue Flynn, a rum-based beverage infused with strawberry, which changes color depending on its acidity.

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All the chemicals you’ll be needing for each concoction are laid out before you (pre-measured, no less) with beakers, test tubes and other bits of equipment you probably haven’t seen since high school days. To complete the experience, there are ‘cooks’ in yellow jumpsuits that will instruct you to get to work. Remember, however, there’s room for only 28 at one time in the RV so head over to abqlondon.com and make a ‘cooking’ reservation asap. Open Wednesday through Sunday, tickets to ABQ cost £30, which includes two hours in the RV, two cocktails to cook and three to drink.

ABQ is at 455 Hackney Road, E29DY. Wednesday–Sundays.