Ice is under-appreciated. Hard liquor is just hard liquor until you add ice, and then it’s on the rocks. A lake is just a lake until you add ice, and then you can skate across it, fish right on it, even drive over it. A bar is just a bar, until you construct it out of 12,000 pounds of ice, and then you get the Ice Chamber bar, described as “the first outdoor urban ice bar,” located at Le Meridien Chambers Hotel in Minneapolis.
This is the eighth season Le Meridien Chambers Hotel has created an ice bar. According to their website, “The outdoor courtyard transforms into a winter wonderland as over 12,000 pounds of crystal clear ice comes together to create our outdoor ice bar, complete with ice sculptures, a giant outdoor fire pit, and delicious libations to warm you.”
Minnesotans like ice. That’s why we have Ice Castles at Mall of America, Polar Plunges (brrrr!), ice carving contests during the St. Paul Winter Carnival, and annual ice fishing contests all over town.
Ice is cold, yes, but it’s also so pretty. And versatile. We live in a cold-weather state, we might as well embrace the ice! I mean, think about it: You can get a drink at any bar in town, but how often can you grab a drink at a bar made from ice? And then gather around a fire pit with your friends talking about how cool (figuratively and literally) the whole experience happens to be.
The theme at this year’s Ice Bar is 007 Skyfall, and a popular drink is the aptly named Eskimo Pie (Grey Goose, Godiva white chocolate liqueur, and Frangelico hazelnut liqueur). Make sure you dress warmly and don’t forget your camera.
The Ice Chamber at Le Meridien Chambers Hotel is open Friday and Sunday from 7 p.m. to midnight until the spring thaw.
*There’s also an ice bar at Grand Superior Lodge on Lake Superior.