A chilly affair, at the Ice Bars in Rockland and Portland

If you’re going to live through a Maine winter, you might as well just go all out and embrace it in full. Two Maine hotels this month will host their own handmade ice bars, a temporary structure sculpted entirely from ice, from which patrons can get and sip specialty cocktails. Ice bars have long been a popular winter attraction in Scandinavia and Russia, and in recent years they’ve made their way to the U.S. and Maine.

The Samoset Resort in Rockland will host its very first ice bar Jan. 18-27. In the next week, a team of sculptors and designers will carve and assemble 300-pound blocks of ice, using chisels and chainsaws. Everything at the Samoset Ice Bar will be made of ice, with the exception of the fire pit and faux fur cushions. The “Frost” bar, as they are calling it, will feature a 15-foot ice bar, an ice luge, ice seats, ice couches, ice tables, ice stools, life-size ice sculptures, an ice skating rink and even glasses made out of ice.

Meanwhile, the Portland Harbor Hotel in Portland’s Old Port is set for Jan. 24-26. It is a ticketed event, so reserve your spot early, with live music and food along with specialty cocktails. For more information on both ice bars, visit www.portlandharborhotel.com and www.samosetresort.com. Below is a video about the Portland Harbor Hotel’s 2010 ice bar.

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, a UMaine graduate, a proud Bangorian and an arts and lifestyle writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food, from media and the Internet to theater and dance. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra, to name just a few. She's interested in everything -- especially if it happens in Maine. She welcomes any and all feedback or suggestions for stories.