Born to be wild at the Ice Bar, London

One of the Saucy Dressings’ contributors and I had a day in London not long ago, carrying out ‘research’ of one kind or another.

It was an exhausting day, and we felt a little hot and bothered… in need of refreshing refreshments as it were. Luckily, blessed as I am with the gift of foresight for this sort of thing, I’d booked us in for a restorative drink at the Ice Bar.

In fact, the main reason for choosing to go there wasn’t so much the novelty factor, but because it was so conveniently located between the National Gallery and the Royal Academy. Nevertheless it certainly provided a cool cocktail… and an experience.

First of all, you have to pre-book your entry, arrive more or less on time, and form a queue along with a long line of tourists. While you wait you’re treated to a video of the Torne river in Jukkasjävi, in Sweden where all the ice is cut out to be shipped to London to line the bar here.

Absolut Elyx
Sweden’s award winning Absolut Elyx – it deserves a medal for the packaging…

Then you are given an insulated cape, and gloves (I was given two left hands which resulted in all kinds of difficulties, primarily though, in holding onto to my drink, or rather the slippery ice glass that held it). The temperature of the ice bar is kept at a maximum of -5°C.

You’re then herded in in groups, and the best strategy is to make a bee line for the bar, whilst your companion finds somewhere vaguely comfortable to sit.

I chose to drink a Tentacle-a-go-go, made with Absolut Vanilia Vodka, blackberry liqueur, apple juice and cinnamon syrup…I think it was fine, although not memorable, but the ice glass made my lips and tongue go cold so I can’t be sure. If you lose your glass (made from the same Arctic river ice as everything else) there is a charge of nearly £5.

My companion had a Born To Be Wild. This was made with Absolut Vodka (follow this link for more on this beautifully packaged vodka), Passoã, passion fruit purée, and lychee and lemon juices.


What is Passoã?

Passoã is a passionfruit liqueur made in France by Rémy Cointreau.


We didn’t think the drinks were very strong (but of course, that might have been our frost-bitten lips deceiving us), and we did think they were a bit sweet, so this would be how we would replicate the production of a Born To Be Wild for those with drier taste buds who like their drinks to give a punch.


Saucy Dressings’ recipe for a Born To Be Wild cocktail


For one


  • 60ml/¼ cup Absolut vodka
  • 30ml/2 tbsps Passoã – or kir if that is what you have to hand.
  • 15ml/1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Ice


Mix all together and serve in cold glasses.


review of ice bar london
Enjoying a Born To Be Wild cocktail


Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf


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