Christmas may still be a couple of weeks away, but between ice skating, shopping 5th Avenue sales and hosting White Elephants extravaganzas, we can think of a few ways to start getting into the holiday spirit before then. Our very favorite of them all? A visit to any one of these holiday bars popping up around the city for this month only. Get there fast — they’ll be disappearing faster than Santa and his sleigh can take off.
MIRACLE ON 9th STREET at MACE
Mace will once again be morphing into Miracle on 9th Street, the beloved holiday bar that will be serving up favorites like the Christmas-politan; a twist on the Cosmopolitan made with vodka, fig and spiced cranberry sauce, and the Snowball Old Fashioned with bourbon, Becherovka, spiced syrup, Angostura bitters. They’ve also got patrons covered with a yuletide playlist and hyper seasonal glassware — not short of a Santa’s head mug.
SIPPIN’ SANTA’S SURF SHACK at BOILERMAKER
Normally operated under the guise of Boilermaker, this holiday retreat will be opening doors in two more cities this year (New Orleans and Chicago). Still, it’s NYC that lays claim to the likes of these festive tiki tipples, from the Hawaiian Milk Punch (bourbon, Balsam liqueur, heavy cream, and chai syrup) to the Nantucket Sleigh-ride (El Dorado 8-year Demerara rum, Coruba Dark Jamaican rum, apricot brandy, and grapefruit).
SILVER BELLES at BELLE SHOALS
Expect twinkling lights, snow-covered trees, and specialty drinks at this merrily bedecked bar. Cocktails like the Choco...Choco...Oaxaca (with Ilegal Mezcal and spiced house cocoa) and the Baby It's Cold Out Cider (with whiskey-spiked house cider) clock in at just $8, meaning you can spend your extra dollars on everyone else on your list.
HOLIDAY HIDEAWAY at THE VNYL
This East Village basement bar is transforming into the Holiday Hideaway, where guests will be surrounded by the likes of blankets of white snow, a sea of tinsel, and a crackling fire. Best to come on Monday evenings, when they’ll be playing a collection of favorite holiday flicks. It’s this night, too, when a fleet of elves will be hard at work handing out surprise stocking stuffers to lucky patrons.
MIDWINTER’S NIGHT DREAM at LOCL
If you’re looking for a rural escape this winter but can’t manage to skip the city, check out this Upper West Side bar, which will be undergoing a month-long transformation into a woodsy wonderland in its own right. Whimsical drams from Cody Goldstein will be on offer, and your surroundings will surely be on point: They partnered with a design team from Parsons just for the occasion.
By Nicole Schnitzler
(Photos from left: Miracle Christmapolitan at Miracle on 9th by Noah Fecks; Chinatown Christmas at Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack by Noah Fecks; Shakespeare’s Globe at Midwinter's Night Dream)