Each year, the La Bodega ice bar is showcased in a tent, protecting it from the elements, with bar stools on three sides. Generally, it operates Wednesday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight. The most recent, for the 2011/2012 season, was created very similarly to the previous year’s ice bar, but was slightly smaller and featured different sponsor logos.
The bartenders are often representatives from the sponsoring corporations, though some football players from the Saskatchewan Roughriders have also been known to volunteer their assistance. They pour specialties like the Luge Martini, which is made by pouring vodka from a well within the bar down a block of crystal-clear ice into a glass.
“It’s the best tourist attraction in all of Saskatchewan,” says Adam Sperling, La Bodega’s executive chef.
Ice bars are increasing in popularity around the world, but most of them are built and showcased within freezers. La Bodega’s is one of the few outdoor ice bars, with the temperature in Regina typically ranging from 0 to -40 C (32 to -40 F) during the annual period of operation.
Jerry Fireman is president of Structured Information, which writes articles on behalf of clients like Delcam International in Windsor, Ont., a subsidiary of CAD/CAM software provider Delcam. For more information, visit www.delcam.com and www.artcam.com.