The Arctic winds were hitting many parts of the world this winter. In New York, we have had lot’s of snow and it has been freezing cold. We even had 10F/-11C at times, that is cold. For days it has been colder than in Sweden. And on top of that during the same time a friend in Australia said that they were hit with the highest registered temperature ever at this one part of Sydney. I believe it was 120F/49C. Something like that. Isn’t it just crazy how the climate is changing??
As if we don’t have enough of the cold, we love visiting the Ice Hotel up in the north of Sweden or the Ice Bar in Stockholm. Or the Ice Hotel in Canada. Cold as ….
I went to the Ice Hotel with a friend just before I moved to the US. I wanted to do something very Swedish as a last hurrah.
It was fantastic. We drove a reindeer sled, fed the reindeer, went cross-country skiing. And of course we slept at the Ice Hotel itself. It was such an experience. What a nice thing to do. If you ever have a chance to go there, do it. You sleep in a sleeping bag, with just your underwear. Your clothes are neatly rolled up and put at the bottom of your sleeping bag. They wake you up in the morning bringing a glass of hot lingon berry juice. You can choose between rooms or suits. The bed is a wooden frame with a mattress and lined with reindeer hides. The whole hotel is built out of ice blocks cut out from the river. And every spring the river takes the hotel right back. All rooms, furniture, light fixtures such as chandeliers, the little church, the art installations all are made of snow and ice. It really is amazing that one can build this giant hotel made of just snow and ice. I would say going to the Ice Hotel is a bucket list thing to do.
The glasses are made of ice. The stack of empty glasses is almost looking like an art installation.
You can make your own flavored alcohol. I usually make flavored vodka and rum. The best way is to make a small essence that you dilute into the vodka itself. There are so many version. When I was in my 20′s we used to make candy shots by adding lot’s of different kinds of candy into the bottles of vodka, liquorice, “Kola shoestrings, peppermint, sours candy….a.s.o. You will see how the dye/colors in the candy dyes the vodka. The liquorice becomes light grey for example. Just throw that out after a few days. You can also strain the vodka in a sieve with some cheese cloth if your candy fell apart.
My favorite flavored vodkas are;
* Cinnamon & orange.
* Saffron, cinnamon & cloves.
* Ginger & apples.
* Lemon (use a Buddhas hand if possible. Regular lemons tend to get slightly bitter. Let the peal only sit in the vodka for a day or so).
* Raspberries or other berries.
* A typical Swedish taste would be herbal such as Fennel seeds or dill.
The varieties are endless.
Add a little sugar, about 1 tbsp, so that the tastes marry better.
This is also the way I make my essence. I use a 50% alcohol and let it sit in a glass jar for months in my basement. I never buy my vanilla essence I make it from vanilla beans. It tastes really good.
Let’s hope we soon go from snow and ice to a nice warm spring.
Happy spring to all of us!!!