As gentrification continues to sweep through London, cash-heavy, imagination-lite consumers are swarming into the capital, some desperately seeking expensively manufactured thrills to provide a momentary throb of excitement in their ultra-mainstream lives.
As always, there is no shortage of entrepreneurs ready and willing to take the moolah off these creatively challenged cashcows, serving up sparkling trinkets and gleaming baubles of capitalist pointlessness for their increasingly frenzied stabs at gratification.
Competition is heating up though, so ever-more cod-bacchanalian eyeball-attracting delights are being conjured up, and perhaps the shark has been well and truly jumped with this ludicrous confection: the £9 hot water bottle cocktail.
Yes, that’s right. It’s a bit of alcohol and cheap tea poured into a fucking hot water bottle and then served in a slipper. For £9.
The pricey concoction is reviewed uncritically in this week’s Bible of futile consumerism, Time Out (above), where it’s revealed as ‘The Tod’ from the Cocktail Trading Company in central London. The owners of the bar are pictured in baby photos on their website.
Wacky cocktails everywhere
As the gulf between the haves and have-nots continues to grow, there’s no shortage of cocktail bars popping up to serve the privileged elite, with zero hour, minimum-wage wallahs hired in to keep the fun flowing.
In Brixton, credit card wielding daytrippers, tourists and incomers are invited to imbibe a periodic table-inspired cocktail in a bar overlooking a council estate in one of London’s most deprived wards. Edgy!
If that doesn’t take their fancy, they can roll with the prevalent trend of infantilism, throwing tenners at cocktails that come with childhood-yearning knick-knacks attached, like toy soldiers, model aeroplanes and a bit of gunpowder so you can make a bang like you did at school. Keraaaazy!
To help stave off the boredom, pricey cocktails inevitably come in a variety of ridiculous vessels and are presented on Instagram-friendly bits of wood, rock, slate or maybe a straw birds nest – and to ensure that you remember the fleeting ‘experience’ you can have a Polaroid of what you’ve just spent your money on. Throw in some nibbles and it’s easy to burn through £60+ in a few hours in the place.
And all this is happening in Lambeth’s most deprived and poorest borough [—]
Of course all this bullshit was predicted and parodied over 15 years ago by the masterful Chris Morris in his wonderful Bar Guide (screengrabbed below as it went offline some years ago). Some of it wouldn’t feel out of place in this week’s copy of Time Out.
See some more examples, join in with the conversation or maybe add some of your own examples here.