A visit to Aqua Shard is always something special. Its location makes it so. In the bar, perched midway on the 31st floor of the Shard means you are not only afforded spectacular views of London, but still enjoy the intimate surroundings as you watch life going on at ground level.
Seated by the floor-to-ceiling windows, we were treated to the new cocktail menu “Pop from the Past”. The bar team at Aqua Shard has taken influence for this collection from the original “Club Cocktails” – the first bottled cocktails from the beginning of the 20th century, and mixed in quintessential British flavours.
Each Pop from the Past cocktail contains a creative combination of tea and gin and first up was the Manuka and Sauvignon Blanc blend. Served in a coupe champagne glass, its subtle floral flavours were creative and complex. The Manuka shrub, brought to Cornwall over 200 years ago, is the source of the Cornish Manuka tea that has been used to infuse this mix with Tanqueray No. TEN Gin and is balanced with the floral notes of Sauvignon Blanc wine. A sweet but refreshing drink and I couldn’t help but be impressed by the huge ice cube imprinted with the Aqua Shard logo!
Each cocktail is served from its own mini champagne bottle, with fun, vintage-inspired labels and bottled on-site to ensure flavours are sealed in perfectly. Served by the wonderfully knowledgeable Alessandro, he related the story behind each flavour blend and answered our questions regarding some of the more quirky ingredients. One such flavour was Cedro, a main component of the Apple and Cedro cocktail, which is a citrus fruit from the same family of Sorrento lemons used in Limoncello. It gave the cocktail a zesty flavour without the sweetness of Limoncello… just right for a Summer’s evening tipple.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, the city’s architecture took on a whole new hue as we finished with the Mint and Chocolate cocktail. Here, the Aqua Shard’s bar team has put a modern twist on the classic after dinner mint After Eight by infusing Tanqueray No. TEN Gin with cacao nibs, and paired with British peppermint tea and cacao. It was a satisfying way to savour the flavours and watch as the sun set over the city below.
The Pop from Past menu is available now and each cocktail is priced at £18.
Aqua Shard, Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY
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