I’ll have a whisky on the rocks is my usual prepositional phrase when I walk into a bar. However, Stockholm Absolut Ice Bar was my first time with ‘everything’ on the rocks, including seating accommodation. Rarely do I drink my scotch without ice, however, on this day, I was about to enjoy everything with it. What an irony, I thought to myself as I walked inside Nordic C Hotel, the establishment that hosts Stockholm’s only Ice Bar. This one of its kind Tavern is a helluva place to savour a night full of icy adventures. Something you can’t miss, while you are in Stockholm, Sweden’s most-celebrated capital.
This prized Swedish Ice Bar is located near Stockholm’s central railway station and requires an advance booking. With everyone wanting to hang out here, it’s almost impossible to get a last-minute admission. So I made an advance reservation and was allotted an early evening time slot. However, I arrived a little early out of curiosity. Since I had time in hand, I began with exploring Nordic C Hotel’s grand lobby that leads to this marvellous pub.
Shortly, I was at Absolut Ice Bar’s waiting lounge, marked by the haughtiness of hallmark candle stands and a stuffed reindeer. It was eerily still and looked real. Despite getting a few pictures with it, I couldn’t figure if an actual reindeer was turned into a toy, or a toy reindeer looked unbelievably real.
While I had to wait for the staff to let me in, I wandered around their small shopping store and bought myself some interesting souvenirs. They have t-shirts, reindeer skin, sheepskin, caps, mugs and more interesting stuff that you can take back home. Quite soon, it was time to step inside the ice kingdom. The optimal temperature only, allows you to stay inside for 60-minutes which is why the management allots you a schedule. Before I was let inside, I was given a formal induction where I was formally introduced, to the Absolut Ice Bar. Then they offered me a coat to wear over my regular clothes, along with, a pair of gloves and a pair of boots. For an entry fee of SEK 205 (€20 or INR 1600), Absolut Ice Bar gives you a thermal waistcoat with a hoodie, gloves, rubber boots, and also, a complimentary drink on the house. I highly recommend that your regular outfit be something that covers your entire body. For its super cold inside!
After I put over the coat and the gloves, a gentleman escorted me through a large, heavy metallic door that separates the icy arcade from the non-icy zone. It’s past this point, you step into a world that portrays a series of idiosyncratic ice craft. Designed from the purest ice ploughed from the land of Jukkasjärvi, Absolut Ice Bar offers you an unexpected tour to Lapland within a span of an hour. Absolut Ice Bar features timeless art, wherever you look – whether ceilings, walls, the seating, the drinking container or the salvers in which they serve food. Each of these is created from ice harvested near Arctic Circle. Almost about 6000 tonnes of ice is ingathered every year so that this Swedish Ice Bar could re-do its interiors. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Like, a child, I remember I went on to touch everything from the tables to the walls. Initially, I thought that 23 degrees Fahrenheit would freeze my brain but, on the contrary, it set my heart on fire. The thrill tripled the doubling of my excitement when I hit the bar to fetch my complimentary drink. Ever since the Swedish vodka distiller, purchased the naming rights of the bar, the menu prominently showcases alcoholic beverages with Absolut in it.
I ordered an Absolut Berry Crush and it was “Absolutely” fantastic. Save your ice glass because a refill is far cheaper than ordering a new drink. When you are done drinking, smash your glass against the barmaid plunk, as they do it in the Lapland.
Do you know who else smashes their glasses here? Celebs like Pierce Brosnan and Stellan Skarsgård! Many celebs are known to frequent Stockholm’s Ice Bar and this place frequently tops the headlines of the leading newspapers and magazines across the world. Irrespective of being highly in demand, the Stockholm Ice Bar only accommodates 30 people at a time. That is because excessive body heat is likely to damage the ice blocks changing its shape and orientation. So to maintain the perfect cooling of -5° centigrade, it’s best if only thirty people enter the bar within the one-hour time slot. Polite staff, hot and steamy food, delicious cocktails and sterling designs; all in all, it was an extremely good experience.