This Meth Lab-Themed Cocktail Class Is Unique and Kind of Stressful

Jacque Medina


Though the meth epidemic in the United States is no laughing matter, stories of people surreptitiously cooking up meth in their suburban kitchens, RVs, or garages still capture the collective imagination.

ABQ, a pop-up cocktail bar/RV inspired by this relatively recent pop culture obsession with meth, has made its debut on Arrogant Swine‘s back patio after initially popping up in the UK two years ago. 

The RV is designed as an intricate meth lab and is named after the poster city for television meth, Albuquerque. The staff and cocktail-loving guests are encouraged to wear yellow hazmat jackets and gloves. Each cocktail experience lasts two hours. 

The RV is set up to look like a combination of a grizzled New Mexico meth lab and a high school chemistry class. Participants are greeted at the door by the staff, who pass out fruity cocktails in 500 ml beakers, complete with medical-grade syringes full of blue curacao as garnish. 

Participants are then separated into groups of four per table and given two sets of cocktail assembling instructions (one for each side of the table) for them to complete simultaneously while DMX and 2 Live Crew songs blare from the RV’s many speakers. 

Guests are required to measure, mix, and muddle each of the two drinks they assemble, while only taking breaks to flag down ABQ staff members to arrange, plate, and serve them their concoctions. Throughout each two-hour class, guests assemble two drinks.

While it may not be wise to have guests handle potentially hazardous materials (such as dry ice) while they imbibe, there is something charming about the novelty of the class. The atmosphere is intense and kind of sweaty, the staff is aggressive yet accommodating, and the drinks are surprisingly delicious, despite being assembled by mere mortals instead of mixologists. 

We think the ABQ is onto something with this pop-up experience. If you’re in the neighborhood, it’s definitely something worth trying once—just don’t expect a leisurely drinking experience. 

Sign up on ABQ’s website for tickets here. 

All images courtesy of ABQ and Jacque Medina for Bushwick Daily. 

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