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5 of the best cocktail bars in Glasgow city centre

As Scotland's biggest city, you would expect Glasgow to have lots of trendy cocktail bars to choose from.

Published: January 26, 2017

And you would be absolutely right.

Whether you prefer fun Hawaiian, moody industrial, or suave contemporary vibes, Glasgow has the whole gamut of cocktail experience for you to try.

Bar Soba

(79 Albion St, Glasgow G1 1NY and 11 Mitchell Ln, Glasgow G1 3NU)

Picture: Bar Soba Facebook

Picture: Bar Soba Facebook

Combining a Scottish hipster look with Japanese graffiti, this bar is a perfect chilled hangout.

Full of reclaimed furniture and tubular lighting, the interior designer in us all is bound to be impressed. Ever since 1999, Bar Soba has been striving to create ever more complex and fascinating cocktails.

Many of the cocktails take on a fruity flavour, like the Lemongrass and Chilli Mai Tai, which includes fresh lime and pineapple juice.
If you've always wanted a bit of cocktail expertise, Bar Soba's masterclasses are a great opportunity to learn how to make professional-standard cocktails. Also, they won't stop you from sampling your handiwork as you go.

If you fancy a bite to go with your drink, the pan-Asian street food on offer is a safe bet. With delights like Shanghai Sticky Pork Belly and Prawn Crystal Dumplings to choose from, you are guaranteed the freshest, most invigorating flavours.

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Tiki Bar and Kitsch Inn

(214 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4HW, 0141 332 1341)

Picture: Tiki Bar Facebook

Picture: Tiki Bar Facebook

If you're not afraid of a bit of in-your-face silliness, the Tiki Bar will be right up your street. Housed in a dimly lit basement, the bar is fringed with what appears to be grass skirts, and large carvings grimace down at the drinkers.

Drink your favourite rum-based cocktail out of a ceramic skull, or out of a very on-trend jam jar.

Be prepared for some innovative fusions of Hawaiian and Scottish flavours. The Auch Aye the Bru cocktail is one of Tiki Bar's own creations, comprising of whisky, rum, grapefruit, passion fruit and, of course, Irn Bru. Or perhaps you would prefer a miniature barrel of Deep Sea Punch, made from Kraken spiced rum, lactose, apple, cranberry, lime juice and ginger beer.

The bar's syrups, cordials, bitters and tinctures are made on-site, and, as the menu proclaims, “with plenty of love”.

The Salon Lounge

(11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4AD, 0141 248 8888)

Picture: Blythswood Square Hotel Facebook

Picture: Blythswood Square Hotel Facebook

For regency glamour combined with a slick modern sensibility, Blythswood Square Hotel's lounge is one of the best cocktail bars in the city. The great and the glamorous assemble here to watch the mixologists perform their cocktail-shaker magic, or to sample some fine bourbon, served neat.

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Lacy drapes and pink lighting are juxtaposed by Harris tweed-clad contemporary furniture. Look up and admire the Georgian plasterwork while you sip on your cocktail of choice – perhaps the sophisticated Pegu Club cocktail, made with Tanqueray gin, Triple Sec, Angostura bitters, West Indian orange bitters, lime and sugar.
Many of the drinks have a well-established place in cocktail history, like the Side Car or the Daiquiri, while others have a modern twist, such as the Eiffel Daisy.

Blue Dog

(151 W George St, Glasgow G2 2JJ,  0141 229 0707)

Picture: Blue Dog Facebook

Picture: Blue Dog Facebook

If New York's late-night club scene is too far out of reach, come and visit this Big Apple-style piano bar in the centre of Glasgow, which is just as good as the real thing (if not better).

Blue Dog provides cool live entertainment to tickle your eardrums, and a humongous list of fabulous drinks. The laid-back jazz evokes the 30s, while the 70s wallpaper gives a funky twist.

For a sweet alternative to the classic martini, why not try a sweet honey and watermelon version? Or give the signature Blue Dog cocktail a go, made from Wybrowa Apple Vodka, Gabriel Boudier Curacoa Blue Liqueur, passion fruit and a mix of citrus.

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The Suck It and See menu is perfect for the more adventurous among us, with such intriguing cocktails as the Cherry and Chocolate Caipirinha, or the Rhubarb and Custard.

Rogano Oyster Bar

(11 Exchange Pl, G1 3AN, 0141 248 4055)

Picture: Rogano Facebook

Picture: Rogano Facebook

In this 1930s art deco fantasia, you can sample some of the most famous cocktails in history, as well as some carefully-crafted classics-to-be. The Rogano is split into the chic oyster bar and the formal restaurant. In the bar, you can sip on a Manhattan, sample delectable oysters deep fried in polenta with horseradish cream, and take in the between-the-wars glamour.

If you fancy something more racy, you can try the Glasgow Green, an homage to one of the city's best known areas. It comprises apple Schnapps, Glasgow’s own Makar Gin, Green Chartreuse and apple juice. Or perhaps the Smoke on the Clyde is more your cup of tea, which is made from Woodford, Frangelico and Drambuie, which are stirred over ice and are then infused with hickory smoke in a bottle.

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