It seems like the most logical thing to do after a day spent in the cold mountain air would be to curl up inside a nice warm bar, right? Think again. Cirque Restaurant has introduced a brand new experience to Fernie that should be on everyone’s winter to-do list: The Fernie Ice Bar!
The Fernie Ice Bar – Vodka tasting in the cold
Located in the Lizard Creek Lodge’s new restaurant Cirque, the Fernie Ice Bar is kept between the chilly temperatures of -8 and -12 degrees Celsius which is ideal for vodka tasting and being able to appreciate the flavours of the samples given. The bar offers two packages, the first being the Standard Experience which is $20 per person with 3 ounces of premium vodka to choose from. My coworkers and myself were fortunate enough to take on the frigid event through the Elite Experience which goes for $40 per person with 3 ounces of their highest-end vodkas to try.
Upon arrival we were greeted with cozy, goose-down Helly Hansen parkas for us to wear so that the cold wouldn’t take away from our fun. As soon we walked in we were amazed by the décor of the room all done of course in ice and the variety of vodkas from around the world. We were gathered around the illuminated bar and greeted by our friendly vodka expert, Jess, who presented us with our own shot glasses made of (you guessed it!) ice. I must advise you that two-handing these glasses is encouraged because they are quite slippery if you don’t have gloves on!
Choose from bottles from around the world
Jess introduced us to our first vodka, Stoli Elit and explained that the first shot of the night is always the toughest but once the ball gets rolling, you enjoy the drinks more and more. After that we were given the option to choose our next poison with the guidance of our expert. For myself it was Yukon Winter, a vodka that viewers of Dragon’s Den might be familiar with. The interesting thing we were told about this spirit is that is only uses local ingredients, as well as the freezing water from the glacier-fed Yukon River. Jess proved herself right as that shot went down (smoother than expected) since we all started to notice the different flavours of the drinks. Deciding on our last shot was by far the hardest, but my co-worker and I were quick to choose a vodka made famous by it’s stunning skull bottle designed by artist John Alexander. Crystal Head Vodka is a gluten free spirit brewed with the glacier waters of Newfoundland. We were excited by the fact that it is filtered through Herkimer diamond crystals which apparently have special healing properties that honestly I thought I felt…but it might have just been the vodka. After a bit more information on the vodkas we didn’t try, and a few silly group pictures, we were encouraged to smash our shot glasses on the floor. We then headed back into the restaurant, hesitantly handed back our cozy parkas, and continued the evening on with more drinks and tasty (warm) food from Cirque.
Fernie’s newest vodka fan!
Before this experience I would have not considered myself a fan of vodka (quite the enemy in fact) but I was surprised at my enjoyment of it all. I was able to actually taste the flavours of the drinks without feeling the horrid burn and this of course was thanks to the environment of this bar. Vodka drinker or not, the Fernie ice bar is definitely something to pay a visit to as it could be deemed one of Fernie’s coolest bars (pun definitely intended).
Head on over to Cirque’s website to learn more.