45. Absolut Ice Bar at The Ice Hotel – Jukkasjarvi, Sweden

Cocktail – Absolut Wonder
Absolut Vanilia Vodka, Mozart white chocolate liqueur

Date Visited – Jan 2014

Winter is coming! It’s time to plan that trip to the Ice Hotel and my birthday seems an appropriate occasion! Cocktails in London the night before, hangover at Gatwick for the 6am flight, one connection later and a brief glimpse of the Northern Lights, then I’m ready to tick off cocktail number 45. I regret not having booked a still expensive warm room at the Ice Hotel resort, as with the cost of taxi and guided tour (free to guests) my hotel in Kiruna didn’t work out that much cheaper! Instead I catch a bus there, slowing down to let the moose cross, then on arrival have to move between shop/reception/hotel exterior in an effort to keep warm, -35 degrees is pretty damn cold!! The -5 degrees in the hotel itself is positively toasty! Well, not quite that warm!

The English tour starts at 4pm, she shows us the chapel and the communal areas, then we’re let loose to explore all the rooms. An Art Suite is £500 a night and at that price you don’t get an en-suite, or even a door! They’re impressive though, but long enough to take a photo is sufficient time to spend in them. The designs change every year and this affects the availability of my cocktail. Tour complete I head to the original Ice Bar, though newly created each year, this year’s is a fish theme. The cocktail isn’t available, nor the Mozart white chocolate liqueur so no going off-menu. The cocktails are named after the rooms and four names are unchanged each year so I limit my choice to these and opt for an Up There because it contains loganberry. I wander around taking photos, sit briefly on one of the reindeer skins, but it’s preferable to keep moving! You’re free to come and go as you please, no fixed time like its London spin off, but I only stay for the one. A very good experience, cheaper drinks than expected and you even get to keep the glass……until it melts!

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