CARS HOMES JOBS

Sagamore serving up cool drinks at ice bar

Thursday, January 30, 2014
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Visitors to The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing can chill out Friday and Saturday at the Glacier Ice Bar. (Mike Perlman)
Visitors to The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing can chill out Friday and Saturday at the Glacier Ice Bar. (Mike Perlman)

— Remember the scene in “Die Another Day,” when James Bond sips his martini at a frosty bar in the Ice Palace?

Now you can be as cool as Agent 007. And you don’t need a tuxedo or a date who looks like Halle Berry.

On Friday and Saturday, The Sagamore Resort will be mixing up Snow Ball Martinis and Glacier Cosmos at an outdoor ice bar with a breathtaking, see-your-breath view of Lake George.

“Basically, it is a full bar that is made entirely of ice. So, the stools, the bar top, the back bar and everything that you would see is all made out of ice,” says Tom Guay, general manager at the historic Bolton Landing hotel and resort.

“You look out and it’s an amazing view, an amazing location.”

People are chilling out at indoor ice bars around the world, in London, Hong Kong and Dubai. And in this country, the trend started heating up about five years ago.

Glacier Ice Bar

WHAT: Outdoor cocktail lounge

WHEN: Opens at 4 p.m. Friday and at noon Saturday. Bar closes between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.

WHERE: The Sagamore Resort, 110 Sagamore Road, Bolton Landing

MORE INFO: www.thesagamore.com, 644-9400

Florida was first, when Icebar Orlando opened in 2008. Made of 50 tons of ice, the 27-degree attraction claims to be the world’s largest permanent ice bar.

In Las Vegas, you can cool down at the Minus5 Ice Bar at the Mandalay Bay and Monte Carlo resorts. Last July, a Minus5 opened in the New York Hilton Midtown, and in August the Frost Ice Bar opened in Boston’s Faneuil Hall.

The Ice Palace in “Die Another Day” was inspired by the real-life Ice Hotel north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. Scenes in the 2002 movie were filmed in Iceland, and producer Barbara Broccoli reportedly came up with the idea after she saw a magazine photo of the Ice Hotel while traveling on an airplane.

An Adirondacks first

The Glacier Ice Bar, which debuted last weekend at The Sagamore, is believed to be the only one in the Adirondacks and maybe in upstate New York.

“I have not heard of anyone in the area doing this,” says Guay.

Situated close to the hotel lobby, on the uppermost of four outdoor terraces overlooking the lake, the 20-foot-long Glacier Bar is made of 18,000 pounds of ice and took three days to build.

The blocks of ice, each 40-by-20-by-10 inches, were trucked from an ice factory in Pennsylvania.

“They are over 300 pounds each,” Guay says.

When the bar opened last weekend, guests sat on fur throws draped over the icy bar stools, and sampled a special al fresco menu.

“The ice bar was a huge success,” says Guay. “On Saturday, we had hundreds of guests both staying with us and those coming in for the day or night. The weather was a little colder than we would have liked, but it was great for the ice.”

Along with the Snowball Martini and Glacier Cosmo, guests ordered handcrafted cold and warm cocktails like the Cranberry Vodka Chill, The Avalanche and The Blizzard. Three other drinks, including the peppermint Polar Bear, are created with an ice luge, an ice sculpture with a channel carved into it so vodka or other liquor is chilled as it flows down the chute and into a stemmed glass.

Not just alcohol

For teetotalers, the bar serves Godiva hot chocolate with whipped cream and The Saint Bernard, hot apple cider with hints of orange and cinnamon.

“We also have small plates, things like chilled oysters, Maine lobster and shrimp on a bed of snow,” says Guay.

The idea for the winter attraction came from Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine, a sister property of The Sagamore in the Opal Collection Hotels.

The Samoset launched its ice bar last winter, and it was such a hit that it returned this month, on Jan. 17-19 and Jan. 24-25.

The Sagamore, which has been closed during the winter for the past five years but is now open year-round, was looking for a cold-weather attraction.

“This year, we were open for the holidays, for Christmas and New Year’s. We’re open every single weekend,” says Guay. “We’re open Presidents weekend and that entire week.”

The Glacier Ice Bar is open only on Friday and Saturday, and this weekend will probably be the final weekend, unless the weather report shows extra cold temperatures for early February.

“It is absolutely weather-permitting,” says Guay.

“If the weather is amazing, in the sense that it stays cold, we may do it a third weekend . . . or a fourth.”

Reach Gazette reporter Karen Bjornland at 395-3197 or kbjornland@dailygazette.net.

 
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