Absolut Ice Bar Jukkasjarvi

Kiruna Travel Blog

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Jukkasjarvi, the home of the original Absolut Ice Bar. Location, Jukkasjarvi. Temperature, pretty freakin’ cold. They don’t serve beer and they don’t serve whiskey. They serve vodka and only vodka and specifically Absolut vodka.

Just inside the entrance to the Ice Hotel, a large “Absolut Ice Bar Jukkasjarvi” column catches the eye of potential visitors. If you are so lucky to turn left and follow the scent of Absolut vodka (kidding.), you travel down a long corridor to an expansive and beautiful ice bar. Within the Ice Bar, there are tall high-top bar tables, semi-circle reindeer skin-covered ice lounges, stacks of shiny black Absolut 100 vodka bottles, and a cute blond bartender (we came back on another night and again, same cute white fuzzy hat, same blond hair, but different girl.

seems like selective hiring…).

We ordered two drinks (my first one was called an Absolut Tundra, made of course with Absolut 100 vodka) and proceed with the formalities of pictures and toasts. We then retreated back to lounge area to relax, take in the atmosphere, and revel in the fact that we were actually up in the Arctic Circle. Through the course of our first drink, I found that you cannot get your tongue stuck to the side of the ice glass (I forgot to mention that all drinks are served in ice glasses and obviously no need for ice cubes….) and that with due diligence, you can actually begin to whittle away at the edge of your glass to make cool designs. My goal was to get through the edge of one side of the glass, but soon realized that if I actually melted away the inside of the ice glass, I’d be expanding the volume of the glass and thus getting more liquor for round two.

Of course, you can’t accomplish this without looking like a complete idiot.

For drink 2, I decided to pass on the fruity super-mixed vodka drink and asked for a vodka soda. Unfortunately there was no club soda, so the friendly bartender recommended passion fruit juice and vodka. Why not, I thought. She then asked if I wanted regular Absolut Vodka (80 proof) or Absolut 100 (1oo proof). Obviously we had just met and she didn’t know better. I ordered the 100. With a kind pour, she filled our drinks (Katie got the Absolut Tundra) and we decied to stay up at the bar to chat to our new found friend, the bartender.

We found that most young workers at the Ice Hotel, only come up for the season then retreat back to the warmth of southern Sweden (warmth of Sweden seems like an oxymoron).
It reminded me of the crazy, seasonal amusement park workers and with their unseen, off-work antics and secretive cliques.

We then met a British couple that were up with their company and clearly reaping the benefits of either a nice expense system or the strength of the British pound (Which reminds me, the dollar hit a new low against the euro. Sweet.) They explained that following their snowmobile ride from the airport, they were doing the Saab Ice Driving event the next morning, along with another Ice Hotel excursion in the afternoon. The next night, off to Esrange (the famous commercial space station that Branson and Virgin have invested so much time into). Anyways, bad ass.

We rapped with the British couple for a little longer, finished drink 3 and took in the final views of AIBJ.

We then strolled out of the warm and inviting atompshere of AIBJ and into the fresh, crisp Arctic air.

( as an endnote: the Ice Hotel tour guide warned us that while you may feel great tossing back cold ones at the bar in subzero temperatures, when you decided to thaw out in the warm accommodations, your blood vessels expand and the effects of the alcohol come rolling through like a snowplow on speed)


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Kiruna
photo by: dieforu