Now that high-end cocktail bars and restaurants are boasting about their ice programs and sometimes even charging extra for artisanal ice, a new company has found a way to take the luxury ice business a step farther and is offering hand-mined ice from Norwegian glaciers as a new way to cool a cocktail.
“Our product is 100 percent natural, thousands of years old, and very luxurious,” the company says. “We guarantee goosebumps and a memorable moment for those who can find it."
The ice would be taken from Norway’s Svartisen glacier, and company founder Geir L. Olsen says he is planning on marketing it to high-end bars and restaurants. He reports that he’s already had a positive response from prospective clients in Dubai.
“Ice from the glacier is compact and thaws easily,” Olsen said. “Meanwhile, it’s very clean and has a good taste. This means you do not noticeably dilute the drink.”
Svaice has reportedly received a grant from the government to go ahead with the first ice excavation, and some local politicians support the project in the hopes that it will bring jobs to the area.
However, Nina Jensen, Secretary General of WWF in Norway, told The Local that she did not think it was right to be mining a glacier for cocktail ice.
“It seems very strange that the government should provide support to mine Svartisen when we know that it is shrinking because of climate change,” she said. “I do not think it is right to create short-term jobs by eating up the last parts of a glacier which is about to disappear.”
Svaice maintains that even at peak production it would only be mining a very small part of the glacier, and that it would not be making the glacier shrink faster than it is already.
"The amount of ice that we are going to take out is literally just a cup of water in the ocean," the Svaice website claims.