I remember my first time. There it sat, centered on a long wooden table, glistening in the low light of The Crimson’s Sanctum. I approached. The senior manning the operation asked me if I would like to try it out. I smiled demurely. “I’ve never done this before.” He smiled back. “Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle.”
Placing my mouth at the bottom of the cold block, I watched as he poured vodka onto the top of the track carved in the ice. A grimace already starting to grip my face, I awaited the bitter taste of Rubinoff to hit my tongue.
But I was in for a treat. The alcohol, chilled and diluted by its journey down the ice, was a burst of delight in my mouth. “This is what rappers must drink,” I thought as I lapped at the ice. “I could drink this forever.”
The next morning I awoke mostly naked, still a little drunk, and inexplicably covered in strawberry jelly. Though I remembered little from the night before, I did remember the ice luge.
Since that first fateful encounter, ice luges have remained a central feature of my life. When my roommates and I threw a surprise party freshman year, the pièce de résistance was an ice luge. When I threw my birthday party junior year, an ice luge was there. And you can bet your skinny jeans that at my wedding, 30th birthday party, and the baptism of my first child, an ice luge will be there.
But it’s more than just a gimmick, a draw for people to come to a party. It’s an exercise in trust and friendship between giver and receiver. It’s a show of strength, endurance, and blatant disregard for one’s health and liver. It’s a mark of true character—there is nothing like the respect earned by going down on an ice luge. But most importantly, it’s a great way to get absolutely obliterated on plastic-bottle booze without actually tasting a thing.