We Live It, You’ll Love It: Bring Hotel Vermont Ice Bar Home With You

Eight thousand years ago, a winter known as the Long Night descended upon the world and lasted a generation. Kings froze in their castles, shepherds their huts, and crops lay frozen under dozens of feet of snow—welcome to winter in Game of Thrones Vermont.

Unless an avid skier, snowboarder or snowman-maker, winter feels never-ending. But when it comes to the Hotel Vermont Ice Bar, even hibernating bear cubs resist the Netflix Queue Temptress for a magical outdoor evening adorned in twinkling lights and colorful concoctions.

On its fourth anniversary, Hotel Vermont swapped the traditional gift of silk for fire and ice. Returning with enough ingredients to supply snow cones to all of Burlington—15,000 pounds of ice—ice king, Jeff Day, set the scene with his intricate sculptures.  Carving everything from enormous fire-breathing dragons to the ice bars which give the event its name, Jeff Day staged a winter wonderland.  And to defrost its attendees, Hotel Vermont ignited cocktails before a roaring fire pit to the hot tracks of DJ Cre8.


And while all the icy pomp and circumstance is enough to bring John Snow back to life (spoiler alert), what really has Vermonters strapping on Bean boots, a parka and warm thoughts are the unique cocktails. Hotel Vermont is renowned for its artisanal touch, working a cocktail shaker like Frida her brush—pushing boundaries, enticing palates and creating something 100-percent unique. An exclusive partnership with Silo Distillery has helped the rustic yet contemporary hotel exceed mixology expectations.

Grain-to-glass, Silo Distillery ferments corn and rye purchased from Grembowicz Farm in Clarendon, Vermont. In addition to localizing business, Silo Distillery is committed to continuing sustainability efforts beyond the bottle.  After draining alcohol from its fermented grain, Silo Distillery passes its grain along to a family pork and dairy operation.  A match for the ages, Silo Distillery perfectly aligns with Hotel Vermont’s farm-to-bar efforts.

New this year is the Hotel Vermont lemon vodka. Using three different types of lemon, the lemon vodka is both diverse and complex, giving lemon-based cocktails like Hotel Vermont’s staple, Lemon Ginger, new life.

 

As one of the many who postponed buying a ticket to this sold-out event, I was left living vicariously through attendees. To fix my broken heart, Hotel Vermont was nice enough to pass along some of its 2017 Ice Bar cocktail recipes.

And thanks to the devoted, hard-working Chamber staff, putting their life on the line everyday for the well-being of this blog, we decided to give these recipes a try.

I have to admit something to you: I am by no means a bartender. I have a hard enough time pouring my coffee in the morning without making a mess, so trying these recipes was as much as an experiment for me as it was the innocent Chamber staff souls doing the taste test.

Some adjustments had to be made like exchanging a mixture of lemon juice and vodka for the Hotel Vermont lemon vodka (Hotel Vermont is the only place you can experience this sip of sunshine), and tracking down blood oranges was a bit of a struggle (City Market has them)—nevertheless, I found making the Lemon Ginger and Dragon’s Breath drinks fairly simple and straightforward. So from one amateur to another: you can make these drinks.


Whether you missed Ice Bar this year or are quite literally missing Ice Bar, treat yo’ self to these tantalizing treats:

 

DRAGON’S BREATH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

2 OZ VODKA

1 CUP SUGAR

1 CUP WATER

CINNAMON

1  OZ LEMON JUICE

1 BLOOD ORANGE

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Boil the one cup water over stove top.
  2. Once bubbling, remove from stove top.
  3. Pour sugar into water until it dissolves.
  4. Let cool.
  5. Pour sugar/water concoction—syrup—into a small bowl and mash in about 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
  6. Squeeze juice from 1 blood orange into syrup.
  7. Add 1 oz blood orange/cinnamon syrup, ice, vodka and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker.
  8. Shake.
  9. Serve over ice and with cinnamon garnish.

NOTES

If you are really looking to heat things up—literally—the cinnamon garnish is flammable.

 

LEMON GINGER COCKTAIL

 

INGREDIENTS

2 OZ VODKA

1 CUP SUGAR

1 CUP WATER

GINGER

1 OZ LEMON JUICE

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Boil the one cup water over stove top.
  2. Once bubbling, remove from stove top.
  3. Pour sugar into water until it dissolves.
  4. Let cool.
  5. Pour sugar/water concoction—syrup—into a small bowl and mash in about 1 tablespoon ginger.
  6. Add 1 oz of the ginger syrup, vodka, ice and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker.
  7. Shake.
  8. Serve over rocks with lemon garnish.

 

NOTES

I used ginger powder—but real ginger would have likely made it taste all the more better.  Much like the Dragon’s Breath drink, the lemon garnish is flammable.  The blood orange is not a recommended garnish–I just really loved how colorful the blood orange looked.

3 thoughts on “We Live It, You’ll Love It: Bring Hotel Vermont Ice Bar Home With You

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