Monday, August 8, 2011

The "Cooooolest" Cocktail Ever

Just a couple of weeks ago I was sitting at the harbor in Copenhagen, Denmark; listening to live music, drinking champagne and enjoying a sunny, 70-degree afternoon. My friend Michelle and I included the duo next to us in a toast and struck up a conversation about sites to see and resturaunts and bars to hit while in town. Our faces lit up at the mention of the ICEBAR. Not just any ICEBAR but one from the original Icehotel in neighboring Sweden.

The first Ice hotel opened 22 years ago in the small village of Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. The story goes: In 1989 Japenese ice artists came to town to visit a cylinder-shaped igloo that had been created by a French artist. There were no hotel rooms available so they got permission to spend the night in the iced exhibition hall, in sleeping bags, on top of reindeer skin. Voila, the Icehotel was born. It is recreated every year from snow and ice blocks from the Torne River.

Spreading "coolness" the Icehotel began opening ICEBAR's around the world; Oslo, Tokyo and this one in Copenhagen. It cost about $30 for admittance and one drink, we paid a few dollars more and got two. That is about all one can stand, even with the heavy poncho's. The number of people allowed in at one time is strictly monitored.

 Booties are also provided for visitors without appropriate, cold weather foot-wear. Thick gloves are attached to the ponchos so you can handle your ice glasses. Yes, the glasses are literally blocks of ice that to me, had a slight "freezer" taste to them. The bar menu had numerous fruity concoctions, that tasted good and made a pretty picture. The bar  served other libations including champagne, my favorite. 
Copycat Ice Bars are popping up everywhere now, including Orlando, on tourist laden International Drive. The owners call it the largest permanent icebar in the world. It's not the original but for most of us, it's alot less expensive to fly or drive to Orlando than Scandinavia.

By the way: No, my tongue did not stick to the ice.

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