One last New York piece before year’s end—if you happen to be in NYC this and next week, we highly recommend checking out this new breed of specialized seasonal commerce—the holiday pop-up bar.
While back east, we visited two: Miracle on Ninth Street, which has taken over Mace‘s space at East 9th + C; and Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack in Boilermaker at 1st + 1st (AKA, the nexus of the universe).
The former celebrates the more traditional aspects of Christmas, with decor, musical selections, and drinks like a pine needle cordial gimlet and the Christmopolitan—Fig leaf-infused vodka, St. Germain, lime juice, spiced cranberry sauce. They even give a shout out to the chosen with an appropriately decorated Hanukkah corner and the Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel—Chocolate gelt-infused reposado tequila, Pedro Ximenez sherry, maple syrup, and black walnut bitters garnished with, yes, a dreidel (note to fellow vegans: It’s actually cocoa nib-infused and dairy-free).
The latter, Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack, is, as you might guess, is more of a Christmas in Hawaii, Elvisian Christmas themed bar, with tiki trimmings, some great surf-holiday tunes, and the cheekier side of the drink menu with libations like I Saw Mommy… (vodka, grapefruit juice, Branca Menta, Hershey’s syrup, chocolate bitters, with mint [not vegan]) and warmers like the Sexy Santa (brandy, cabernet sauvignon, cinnamon, Angostura bitters, grapefruit essence; served hot).
Both pop-ups are run by the couple that runs Cocktail Kingdom (high five to couples running multiple businesses together), so, along with the music, decor, and drinks, you’ve also got some great, custom-designed barware, like you see below.
Our picks at each establishment: The Grinch at Miracle (a smokey concoction of rye, Pedro Ximenez sweet white wine, pine bitters, and frankincense smoke that was hands-down the favorite among our five-person table) and A Snowball’s Chance at the Surf Shack (scotch, pineapple cordial, allspice dram, and a dash of absinthe poured over a snowball of crushed ice).
You’ve only got a handful of days left to enjoy these places, so get thee there and get there early (they get packed quickly). Just watch out for a few of the drinks, vegans—the bogs are off limits, some come with actual hot butter, and there’s one drink at Miracle that’s got beef jerky bitters. Ah, boy.
Top photo of The Grinch, courtesy of Miracle at Ninth; all below, us.