This Bar in Antarctica Is the World’s Most Remote Distillery (and You Can Visit)
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.
Today, the Faraday Bar is open to tourists, and it’s staffed by the Ukrainian researchers who pull double duty as distillers and bartenders. For visitors stopping by as part of an Antarctic cruise, it can be a lot to handle and digest.
“The people here sold postcards and mementos and some vodka, which I really doubt is distilled there,” a skeptical Darrell C wrote in a TripAdvisor review. “Most of the people there were nice, but I had the impression they were tired of dealing with tourists, of which they get quite a few.” Darrell also added that spending summer and winter there would be “terrible” because “the area is quite bleak.”
Some people just can’t handle the cold. It’s easy to doubt, but researchers want to have fun too. Plus, who else but a scientist would you trust with your homemade vodka? A more positive review of the distillery bar came from a Munchies writer who found a homemade honey and almond-infused vodka along with a spicy pepper infusion (not even the most remote bar in the world can escape flavored vodka). A shot of the vodka costs $3, but they also accept bras as payment. People with adventurous mindsets and the capital to get out to the island will find the far-out distillery a trip worth taking.