If you’re going to be taken halfway across the world to learn about the clarity of Icelandic water, you’re probably going to be shown some of the stuff in its natural state. So at 8 this morning, after a night of dinner and a few Brennevins at one of the many bars near the hotel, Superjeeps picked up this slow-moving pack of fools and whisked us off to the Icelandic wilderness.
Our first stop was Thingvellir, a massive rift in the land where the North American and Euroasian plates are slowly tearing Iceland in half.
They somehow convinced this wise-assed crowd to sit down in the visitor’s center and watch an instructional video about the area, but sarcasm seemed to be everyone’s specialty at the moment, so we were taken out of the building and loaded back into the jeeps. Next stop, Langjökull, the second largest glacier in Iceland for some snowmobiling.
Our driver explained to me that we were going to get very cold out on the ice, but being cocky and from the Pacific Northwest, I didn’t really understand what that meant until I was standing on a glacier in the freezing rain, contemplating what we were about to actually do.
Let me just say that there’s nothing quite like that moment when the waterproofing on a ski jumper finally gives under the pressure of pure, icy, Icelandic water that’s been accumulating in one’s lap and every inch of one’s body from the waist down is bathed in pure, icy, Icelandic water. It’s a really incredible sensation that I hope to never experience again soon.
But then we poured ourselves into the warm jeeps and were taken back to a more temperate climate for lunch and a peek at Gullfoss, a breathtaking waterfall.
So what does all this mean for gin? I’ll talk about that in my next post, but I think the whole point of showing us around the island was to demonstrate that Iceland is very natural, very pure, and very cold. And the water that comes from here is of an incredible quality – this is the water that cuts the distillate in Martin Miller’s gin, and it’s an important part of the reason that the gin tastes so damned good.