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    Absolut Ice Bar

    Ma. Luisa P. Martinez

    by Ma. Luisa P. Martinez

    We (me, Seng, Ogi, Lidjia, and Claudia) are having fun at the Absolut Ice Bar inside the Nordic Sea Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. Stockholm’s Absolute Ice Bar which opened in 2002 is said to be one of the tourist attractions in Stockholm (but the locals themselves are not excited to go to this Ice Bar, most of them haven’t been there!). The entrance fee is SEK 130 (about US$20) which covers a warm clothing and 1 drink.

    1When you arrive at the Absolut Ice Bar, you stick out your arms, and stand still while an Ice Bar employee fits you with a silvery cape-parka. Next, you step into an air lock, close the door, and open another door that leads into the Ice Bar's frozen inner sanctum. (To prevent body heat from damaging the pristine surface of the ice blocks, the bar has a maximum capacity of 30 visitors.)

    1The Ice Bar is refrigerated to -5° C (23° F), so you'll probably want to pull up your hood (trimmed in white fluffy fake fur) and slip into your knitted gloves, which dangle from the cape like a preschooler's mittens from a snowsuit. You can now advance to the bar and order from the drinks menu, with choices that include cocktails made with flavored Absolut vodkas and fruit juices plus several non-alcoholic drinks.

    1There aren't any bar stools (prising visitors' bottoms from ice blocks raises liability issues), but you can rest your elbows on the ice bar or ice tables if you can take the cold. If you're like most visitors, you'll probably split your time between drinking and snapping photos of your companions. After 20 or 30 minutes, you'll be ready to return through the air lock, hand over your parka, and maybe buy a white-on-white souvenir t-shirt on your way to the Nordic Sea Hotel lobby.