Bombay Sapphire Unplugged: The Cocktail Experience

Frieze NYC, May 2019

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“Bath twice a day to be really clean, once a day to be passably clean, once a week to avoid being a public menace.” Anthony Burgess

Combining cocktail and bathing rituals, the Bombay Sapphire Unplugged: The Cocktail Experience took guests into an immersive space of moist, steamy, creativity, where they could unplug from the outside world and free their minds for inspiration (and gin sipping).

A recent worldwide study of 10,000 creatives found that 17% of ideas were formed in the bath – more than in any coffee shop (13%). Hence we invited guests of Frieze NYC into the “Unplugged” lounge to appreciate the ritual of bathtime. Visitors could retreat from the sensory overload of modern life to use the bathtub as a vehicle for boosting their creativity.

The experience encompassed a whirlpool cocktail station, edible bubbles, and a “wrinkle gallery,” – photographs of close ups of wrinkled skin caused by a lengthy soaking in the tub (see below). The centre piece of the experience, the bubble sculpture, emanated edible bubbles allowing guests to taste the botanical origins of Bombay Sapphire.

Photography: Juan Patino

Wrinkle Gallery
Why do baths cause us to turn into human raisins? No-one is certain. For a while, it was thought that it might have been due to the evolutionary benefit of improving our grip in wet conditions, until a team of German scientists disproved this in 1935.

The way it happens is most likely due to the way that the stability of our blood vessels are affected as water diffuses into our hands and feet through sweat ducts - leading to a decrease in tension.

Whatever it is, it’s definitely fascinating to look at. Throughout the space we exhibited a number of zoomed-in photographs of freshly bathed skin: full of wrinkles, full of beauty and so freshly bathed you can almost smell the soap.

Photography: Patrick Walker