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The sliding of a droplet down the side of a frosted glass, an ice cube gently knocking on the side, and the liquid enveloping it, inviting us to pour out onto the cold marble the delicate outlines of our most ardent wishes and elusive dreams, prompting a reflection on transience, on the inexorability of time, our own insignificance in the face of timelessness.


© Suzan Gabrijan

Like ice catching the golden rays of the sun, our hearts begin to melt at the thought, until the bonds of necessity in which they are caught are broken. So if nothing is necessary or eternal, and everything we believe in can instantly fade into an insignificant puddle of the past, it is almost certainly true that we can afford another glass and let our hot heads cool off, accompanied by the clink-clink-clinking of the ice.

From eternity’s point of view, even the steadfastness of mountains can be compared to the transience of clouds. Under the grey peaks, defying with dignity the ravages of time, a playful flow of the purest spring water is born anew from moment to moment. For several years, the water murmuring, swirling and jumping over volcanic rock not far from the Črnivec mountain pass rising above Kamnik, has been diligently collected and turned into crystal clear ice by a tireless trio from the valley on the far side of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. Martin Božič, Luka Marolt and Jure Volčanžek, gathered in service of the ambitious Arctic Luxury Ice project, freeze the purified, certified and multiple award-winning spring water into 150-kilogram blocks of crystal clear ice. Then, using a band saw and according to the specific wishes of bartenders all over Slovenia, the blocks are shaped into cubes, the perfect companions for selected alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Ice of various shapes, which can also be decorated with fruit, flowers, herbs and spices, or adorned with any chosen symbol, cools the drinks of actors large and small across Slovenia’s flourishing mixology scene. Among others, they are used in the bars Kolibri, Antica Prohibition, Fetiché, Solist, Kavarna Rog, and the restaurants JAZ, Magnet, Strelec, Barra, Georgie bistro and other institutions of the same calibre. The logos and products of major brands, companies and organisations, such as Miele and JRE - Jeunes Restaurateurs, may also be captured in the perfectly transparent ice, which melts very slowly due to its almost complete absence of impurities. Special moments that will go down in history are also immortalised in the ice, such as the finals of the ski jumping world championship in Planica.

And on a smaller scale, but completely in line with their crystal clear philosophy of connecting with nature and their refined mentality based on the principle of 'do it yourself', they also started making their own ice at the Grič restaurant in Šentjošt nad Horjulom. Luka Strajn, a local master of mixology, uses the space in his freezer to prepare dense home-made ice, which adds a hint of luxury to the special accompaniments of the more-than-special dishes on the restaurant’s menu. The refinement and elegance of the ice cubes harmonises beautifully with the rusticity of the wooden tile, onto which they brand a hand-made mark with their logo, while capturing the smoke in the glass to complement the other flavours.

The length of our life is short

With a fading translucency that transforms into a shimmering spell at the slightest touch of light, ice enriches our experience with a touch of sophistication and luxury. In the light of reflecting on transience, we probably deserve a little bit of magic and brilliance.

Further contemplations on transience will thus find their place in good company, while observing the slow melting of the ice in some sunlit garden or candlelit corner of a recently opened cocktail bar, some praiseworthy institution that already years ago took up the torch of the awakening mixology revolution, or one of the selected restaurants, which, in addition to excellent dishes, also include excellent trendy drinks on their menus. Antica Prohibition in Grosuplje and Champagne Suzy, hidden inside Ljubljana's Hotel Vander, invite you to a safe haven that defies the relentless tides of our lives. With a selection of drinks and a thoughtfully designed ambiance, they bring to life the days of the infamous American Prohibition, when speakeasy bars protected by a secret password offered a solution to many a problem, and a problem to many a solution. More-or-less daring drinkers will be able catch the warm rays of the sun on the terrace of bar Moderna, where coffee is exchanged for select cocktails even before the day gives way to the night, and we will find refuge from the scorching heat and the pains of unrequited love in Julija's courtyard of Vrt Beli Volk. Along the Ljubljanica river we will be carried away and comfortably swayed at the Fetiché bar, or dance and chatter late into the night at Kolibri. Who knows, maybe we'll even see Brina, looking through colourful glasses and hunting for inspiration for the new edition of the cocktail and mixology festival.

The length of our life is short, wrote the poet who also liked to spend time in Julija's courtyard. So don't let the opportunity slip away. Even the densest and purest ice will dilute our favourite drink if we are not quick and bold enough. And it's better that way. Infinitely better than the thought of our cocktail being diluted by the inconsolable tears of missed opportunities as life races by. And so - cheers!