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Posted: January 4, 2016

Have it on the rocks: 7 ice bars around Maine

Think bars made of ice, martini luges and beers cupped in mittened hands. Plus complimentary grub. And if things get too chilly outside – and you’re not in the mood to fight a stranger for space closer to the outdoor heater – you can head inside to warm up and hang out.

Written by: Staff Reports
The Ice Bar at Portland Harbor Hotel. Gregory Rec/Press Herald file photo

The Ice Bar at Portland Harbor Hotel. Gregory Rec/Press Herald file photo

Got a good start on your post-holiday detox? Well, it might be time to pull the plug.
Apparently, mid-January through mid-February is ice bar season in Maine.
There’s at least one every weekend, from the midcoast to the suburbs, in cities and coastal towns.
It’s the ideal outdoor activity of the not-so-outdoorsy. Warmed by bonfires and booze, ice bar-goers can feel like they’re really embracing the season without too much effort.
Here are seven events centered around alcohol served on or near frozen water.

Glacier Ice Bar and Lounge

Jan. 13-15 and Jan. 20-21, Samoset Resort, 220 Warrenton St., Rockport. Free admission. www.samosetresort.com/ice-bar-lounge/
20,000 pounds of glacial ice. That’s a lot of frozen water. The Samoset is transforming it into a swanky ice lounge on two weekends in January (weather permitting, of course). There’s no admission cost, just the cost of your cocktails. And if you need to warm up, head in to Enoteca Wine Bar for hors d’oeuvres or enjoy dinner and entertainment at La Bella Vita.

Photo courtesy Spire 29

Photo courtesy Spire 29

Spire & Ice

7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Jan. 13 and 14, Spire 29, 29 School St., Gorham. $10. spire29.com
At Spire 29’s third annual ice bar, there will be ice luges outside serving up chilled drinks as well as a full bar inside with music from DJ Chris Bouchard. You can have your photo taken in the free photo booth and enjoy light snacks, and it’s not a far walk for a bigger meal: School Street Pub & Grill is right next door. Get tickets: holdmyticket.com

David's KPT graphic

David’s KPT graphic

FROSTED! A freezing good time

7 p.m. Jan. 28, David’s KPT, 21 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport. $50 in advance, $65 at the door. boathouseme.com/dining
Custom ice bar? Check. Drink luge? Check. Plus s’mores, hot chocolate bars, entertainment and light fare by Chef David Turin. Ticket price includes two signature drinks, and there will be a cash bar, too. A fitting way to kick off Kennebunkport’s “Paint the Town Red” month. For tickets: brownpapertickets.com

Winter Festival Auburn

6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 28, Main Street., Auburn, $10. auburnmaine.gov
On the second day of Auburn’s Winter Festival, Gritty McDuff’s and Baxter Brewing Co. will host an ice bar on Main Street, featuring live music from Skosh. The festival has taken place for a long time, but this will be the first year there’s a tent with live music, an ice luge and booths serving Baxter and Gritty’s beer, as well as specialty drinks. And right after last call, the fireworks begin – literally, in this case.

Ice Bar at Brunswick Hotel & Tavern

5 to 10 p.m. Feb. 2-4, Brunswick Hotel and Tavern, 4 Noble St., Brunswick. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. www.thebrunswickhotelandtavern.com
There will be an ice bar and drink luge (but of course), plus a DJ on Thursday and Friday, a live band Saturday and free appetizers from the tavern throughout the weekend. Tickets will be available at brownpapertickets.com (check Facebook for the link) or call the front desk at (207) 837-6565.

SJC Annual Ice Ball

5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 4, The Chalet, St. Joseph’s College, 278 Whites Bridge Road, Standish. $25 in advance, $30 at the door. www.sjcme.edu
If you’re not a student at St. Joseph’s College, their annual Ice Ball is a good reason to get on campus. The ball includes an ice bar (cash bar), fire pits and an indoor lounge to warm up and hang out. It’s open to the public, as long as you’re over 21. Fun winter-themed attire is encouraged. Tickets include a drink and tons of hors d’oeuvres. Register online at www.sjcme.edu

Flavors of Freeport Chef’s Signature Series and Ice Bar

5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 17 and 18 The Hilton Garden Inn, 5 Park St., Freeport. $27.37 to $43.19.  www.freeportusa.com
Frosty beverages, ice sculptures, twinkling lights, snow machines and roaring fires. That’s how Freeport does an ice bar!  On Friday night, the ice bar runs in conjunction with the Chef’s Signature Series event, which features food and beverage samples from area chefs, and there will be a DJ. On Saturday, enjoy your cocktails to the funky tunes of Motor Booty Affair. Both events are part of the Flavors of Freeport Weekend. More on that and tickets: www.eventbrite.com

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