Spirits taste better when drinking them straight from the distillery. The atmosphere adds to the experience, giving your eyes and ears as much of a taste as your mouth. There are plenty of gorgeous and accessible distilleries to visit around the world, but if you want to get a taste from the most extreme and remote distillery, you’ll have to travel to the island of Galindez in the Antarctic Circle, some 1,000 nautical miles from anything resembling a city.
Galindez is home to the Faraday Bar at the Vernadsky Research Base. It is one of the most remote bars on Earth. When you’re that far from civilization and staring down year-round freezing temperatures and more than 280 days of snow a year, being a remote bar also means being a remote distillery. Necessity is the mother of invention, and thirst and boredom are necessity’s vodka-loving cousins.
The bar dates back to British researchers who lived for 12-month stints at what was then known as the Faraday Research Station. They were toiling away and solving life’s mysteries, becoming the first to spot the growing hole in the ozone layer in 1985. Life got tedious in the moments that they weren’t breaking scientific ground, so they built a bar complete with a pool table and dart boards. Then the research center was sold to Ukraine in 1996 and became the Vernadsky Research Base. The bar went with it, and although it kept its Faraday name, it was given a thorough Ukrainian makeover—which included flags, tchotchkes and a love for vodka. A small still was added at some point, making the spot not only one of the most remote bars, but also the most remote distillery.