Despite its prime location, Aqua Spirit, with its inconspicuous entrance, remains a relatively secret spot offering superb drinks and a stunning roof terrace.
On the super-busy Argyll Street, you can easily walk by Aqua Spirit as it has a dark, unassuming entrance. Stepping inside the dimly lit foyer, a doorman armed with his clip board greets and points you in the direction of the lift with one option – the 5th floor. Once you arrive, you enter into a reception area, giving you a chance to offload any baggage to the cloakroom. Moving on, an impressive round bar takes centre stage with a great, arty light feature hanging above. On the outskirts of the room, small booths with curved seats have a wonderful backdrop of Asian-inspired patterned silk cylinders, giving the area a bit of life and texture. If you’re not lucky enough to get a booth, smaller tables with high leather bar stools are available. However, this is a place to mingle so opting to stand isn’t a last resort. Although the bar area isn’t huge, the layout and central bar means there’s always room to manoeuvre. If you do want more space, the roof top terrace, located just beyond the adjoining restaurant, is ideal. Very elegantly decorated with black wicker chairs, cream walls and fresh green plants, it offers wonderful views of the capital and a bar of its very own.
A very lively, buzzing atmosphere can be found here, even at 7pm. A mix of work colleagues, friends and dates along with a soulful house sound track gives it fun, chic feel. There may be a little whiff of pretentiousness in the air but, generally, there’s a relaxed vibe. Behind the bar, the staff know what they’re doing and they do it with real flair, whipping together cocktails whilst simultaneously taking the next order and keeping the bar neat.
A decent selection of wines are on the menu, however the variety of tequila, rum, whisky and white spirits is so great, you’ll be easily engrossed in this selection. Their cocktail menu is particularly impressive and creative. A best seller is Carrabbas (£10.50) and it’s easy to see why – Santa Teresa rum mixed with an array of fruit liqueurs, fresh orange juice and cinnamon syrup makes for a perfectly balanced fruit cocktail with a bit of depth. To try a more refreshing best seller, the Ginger Collins (£10.50) is the one and a great complement to Japanese cuisine if you’ve moved on from the restaurant. The zingy fresh ginger mixed with Tanqueray gin, lemon juice, ginger-infused syrup and lemonade makes it an ideal choice on a warm day. Another light option is Rosemary and Thyme (£9.50) which sees Tanqueray gin shaken with fresh rosemary, thyme and lemon juice, and homemade lemongrass sugar, topped with soda water. For a real pan-Asian influenced cocktail, try the Japanese Velvet (£10.50) which has pear-infused Ketel One vodka shaken with nashi pear puree, fresh lemongrass and apple and lemon juice, all sweetened by honey liqueur. The result, a wonderful mix of clean flavours finished with the rich honey taste.
The Last Word
With its excellent location and drinks, plus the added bonus of the rootop terrace, the level of detail that's been channelled into every aspect of Aqua Spirit means you’ll undoubtedly enjoy a night out here.