Here in Brisbane we usually spend the winter basking in warming sunshine, with an occasional nod to sometimes wintry winds by throwing on a jumper or coat. So, you'll be surprised at my announcement that igloos are coming to Brisbane this winter. Yes, igloos. But not as you know them. Courtesy of Customs House and Absolut Vodka you'll be able to warm up AND chill out overlooking the Brisbane River at the Absolut Winter Pop Up Barfrom Thursday 18 May 2017.
The historic Customs House, now one of Brisbane's premier function venues, has had success before with an inviting, themed pop-up bar, specifically designed for sultry summer nights. Their latest incarnation promises a unique wintry atmosphere with pop-up igloos and twinkling night-time views of the river, but there won't be any ice or snow in sight.
You'll be able to sip on their signature Spiced Absolut Winter cocktail (a confection combining Absolut vodka and cranberry juice — infused with star anise, cloves and orange — and spectacularly adorned with meringue foam and served warm - $14), while you lounge stylishly on fur-draped Scandi furniture, cocooned in the warmth of your very own clear igloo. There will also be a hearty winter menu that boasts favourites like Swedish meatballs $15), venison stew ($17), baby kransky ($15), baked brie ($17), chocolate fondue ($18) and gourmet cheese plates ($20 - $30). I don't know about you but I'm feeling warmer already.
Their list of cocktails — Arctic Citrus (Veuve Ambal, Absolut vodka, lemon juice, elderflower cordial, and Kaffir lime - $18), Espresso Martini (Absolut vodka, Kahlua and espresso coffee - $19), and more — will be complemented by premium wines, beer, spirits, and mixed drinks. You can download the full menu of drinks and food here.
After its debut on 18 May, the Customs House Absolut Winter Pop Up Bar will open from Thursday - Saturday from 4pm until late, and Sundays from 12 - 4pm. That seems like the perfect way to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon.
You don't need to make a reservation to enjoy all this luxury. You can pop in to this pop-up anytime during its opening hours from Thursdays to Sundays. But for something a little different you and your group of eight to ten friends can have exclusive access to your very own igloo for three hours for a minimum spend of $700 per igloo. This is prepaid and must be split between bar food, which must be pre-ordered, and beverages from the menu.
Don't let polar bears, Arctic foxes and narwhals have all the winter fun. Reservations are now open. Phone the restaurant on (07) 3365 8921 to check availability and book.