Wednesday April 23rd 2014

Drink in the cold: Cocktails and revelry at Maine’s many Ice Bars

By: Shannon Bryan

Press Herald file photo

Thousands of pounds of ice. You could make a lot of cocktails with that amount of frozen water. But the thousands of pounds we’re talking about has been carefully hand carved on the patio of Portland Harbor Hotel. It’s Ice Bar 2014, taking place from 5-9 pm on Jan 23, 24 and 25.

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 – head inside to drink near the fireplace.

It’s a good time every year. And it’s become so popular that year’s Ice Bar has sold out for Friday and Saturday night. But there are still tickets for Thursday: Get tickets now before they’re gone and you’re left out in the cold…in the not-fun way.

And to help you make the most of your Ice Bar experience, the good people of Portland Harbor Hotel have put together this list of

Ice Bar Dos and Don’ts:

DO dress for the weather … hats, gloves, warm shoes.
DO remember that the Ice Bars get busy, which is a big part of the fun.
DO come prepared to have fun. The hours for each Ice Bar are 5PM to 9PM.

DON’T forget to buy drink tickets in the Hotel lobby. Bartenders only accept drink tickets at the Ice Bars. We accept credit cards at the inside bars only.
DON’T forget to include #icebar13 and @portlandharbor in your Tweets
DON’T forget to tag http://www.facebook.com/portlandharborhotel in your Facebook posts

And if we may be so bold, we’d like to tack on a few more:
DO marvel at the ice carvings
DON’T tried to ride them, even if one looks kinda like a horse.

DO feel good about the fact that Ice Bar proceeds benefit Community Counseling Services, the Root Cellar, and Share our Strength of Southern Maine.
DON’T negate that dogooderness by getting stupid drunk.

DO embrace winter
DON’T embrace the bartenders. You know, unless they initiate.

More Ice Bars

And if you miss this Ice Bar, there’s more to be had:

Ice Festival Lewiston/Auburn
5-8 Feb 21 & 22, 11 am-3 pm Feb 23 | $10 Friday & Saturday, free (and family friendly) Sunday | Fountain Plaza at Bates Mill Complex | icefestla.com

Ice Bar 2014 at Inn at Brunswick Station
5-10 pm Feb 6-8 | Inn at Brunswick Station, Brunswick | $10 | icebarbrunswick.brownpapertickets.com

Third Annual Ice Ball
7 pm Feb 18 | St. Joseph’s College, Standish | $25 | therock.sjcme.edu

Flavors of Freeport Chef’s Signature Series and Ice Bar
5-8 pm Feb 21 | The Hilton Garden Inn, Freeport | $35 | www.freeportusa.com/flavorsoffreeport/

Glacier Ice Bar and Lounge
Jan 24 & 25 | Samoset Resort, Rockport | www.samosetresort.com/ice-bar-lounge/