Sitting on the top floor of the 21-storey-high Renaissance Riverside Hotel, the elements at work here are spectacular CBD views, upmarket lounging, a pool, VIP areas and as good a cocktail as you’ll find anywhere.
What a concept
Greeted by director of operations Kamal Munasinghe, we are told about the ‘Liquid’ concept. The idea came up through his relationship with Liquid Gold, a premium beverage company based in Italy, and it’s them who have put up the investment. Their desire to make use of the views and open up the space to the public meant that things moved quickly between October, when construction began, and the bar’s grand opening on Dec. 2, transforming it from a low-key pool bar into a bone-fide head-turner.
The view of District One and the Saigon River as it widens out towards Saigon Pearl speaks for it itself, and with so much water, calming you and truly elevating your nighttime mood, the name of the bar seems obvious.
Far from being just another sky bar, though, Liquid also proves that Vietnam’s thirst for high-end entertainment venues is not letting up; note — opulence and a bit of extravagance are high on the menu here, with other plans afoot.
So what of the drinks? If our expectations hadn’t been raised enough by our location, serving us herself was a two-time, top four Diageo World Class Mixologist competitor (meaning she beat out over 200 other bartenders to get there) Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Quyen, who comes with some serious Saigon pedigree. Trained by MTV Awards bartender Bernardo Bernard, she’s also opened the doors at Chill Skybar, GLOW and was resident at Martini Bar until Kamal lured her over.
Confessing my rum fetish, Quyen whipped up what she called a sticky rice (VND260,000++) which included dark rum, hand-made pandan syrup and a pandan perfume. Even writing these words, I can almost taste it again, in all its velvety, caramel-like goodness. This was a seriously good cocktail, and worthy of a second. Following that came a ginger ninja (VND260,000++), which was made of smoky whiskey, ginger and another hand-made ginger syrup. As a fan of the flavoursome root, this one had a punch and aftertaste that still let the whiskey do the talking. Delicious. And for the finisher, a completely refreshing negroni sbagliato (VND260,000++), which kept my mood up until my work at Liquid was done.
Liquid Bar; what’s life if you don’t stop a while to enjoy the view?
Liquid Sky Bar is on the 21st floor of the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon, 8-15 Ton Duc Thang, Q1, HCMC