'Tis the season for hot cocoa and spiked ciders! December marks the start of a month-long celebration packed with fun festivities and holiday cheer. Perhaps the greatest gift of all this season is the extensive list of over-the-top holiday pop-up bars that are transforming major cities into boozy winter wonderlands. Below, take a look at some of the best spots around the United States for boosting your holiday spirits and sipping on wintery cocktails.
90+ global locations
Entering its 6th year in operation, Miracle is a global chain of holiday pop-up bars that are well known for serving up major doses of holiday cheer in cities around the world. This year, Miracle will temporarily transform 90 different locations in the United States, Canada, the UK, and more, into magical and festive holiday experiences. While the decorations and entertainment are sure to entice, visitors are in for a real treat with the creative cocktail offerings. Highlights include Gingerbread Flip, made with rye whiskey, gingerbread syrup, tiki bitters, whole egg, and topped with gingersnap cookie crumbs; Christmapolitan, crafted with vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, rosemary, lime and absinthe mist; and Bad Santa, a hot and boozy beverage made with Batavia arrack, black chai tea, date-infused oat milk, and vanilla syrup.
“Eight Crazy Nights” at Graystone Tavern
Chicago’s first-ever Hanukkah pop-up bar has landed at the Graystone Tavern. Taking place through New Year’s Eve, the space has been decked out with over 8,000 blue and white lights, Star of David and dreidel ornaments, menorahs, a Hanukkah photo booth, and more. The cocktail menu has a variety of fun options featuring traditional Hanukkah flavors. Imbibers can enjoy concoctions such as the Gelt Martini, made with Wheatley vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao, chocolate syrup, and Hanukkah gelt -- chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil; and the Manischewitz Spritzer, with Manischewitz, Koval cranberry, Mionetto prosecco, club soda, garnished with an orange slice. Take your holiday spirit even further with a few helpings of housemade Sufganiyah—deep fried doughnuts stuffed with vodka-infused jelly and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
“Snowday in Brooklyn” at Sunday in Brooklyn
Brooklyn, New York
The spirit of winter is alive and well at Snow Day in Brooklyn, the seasonal pop-up bar at Williamsburg hotspot, Sunday in Brooklyn. Running through February 2020, the restaurant’s pop-up channels that childhood feeling of waking up to fresh fallen snow and—more importantly—no school. Cozy up in this fake-snow-covered drinking den while enjoying highly innovative seasonal specials like Gelt-y Pleasures, made with bacon fat washed rum, amaro montenegro, poblano pepper, tonka bean, whey, and Hanukkah gelt. Or indulge in Polar Bear Club, a tropical mix of cachaca, aquavit, banana, pineapple, coconut and lime, served in an adorable honey bear squeeze bottle.
Old Thousand Pop-up at She’s Not Here
It may not feel like wintertime, but that won’t stop Austin from going all out in celebration this holiday season. At popular restaurant and cocktail bar, She’s Not Here, the Chinese restaurant Old Thousand is hosting a taste of “Dope Chinese” through the month of December. Along with an exceptional food selection, the pop-up will feature a “Naughty List” bar, serving up Christmas decorations and inventive spins on classic holiday drinks. Menu highlights include the eggnog-inspired Yule Shoot Your Chai Out, with Dripping Springs vodka, Skrewball, chai tea, cinnamon, and coconut milk; and the Hot Cocoa-Nut, a boozy hot chocolate made with Stolen Smoked rum, Sugar Island coconut rum, peppermint, coconut milk cocoa, coconut whipped cream, and topped with a candy cane.
29 U.S. locations
A companion to Miracle and in partnership with Tiki expert Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, the nationwide Sippin’ Santa pop-up gives Christmastime a fun, tropical spin. Sleighs and snowflakes are replaced with surfboards and pine trees. Tiki drinks are the stars of the cocktail menu. Crowd favorites this year include Kris Kringle Colada, made with dark Jamaican rum, Cynar, allspice liqueur, fresh lime, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut; Festivus Flip, made with bourbon, Demerara rum, ginger-infused amaro, pomegranate, and egg; and the shareable Jingle Bowl, a large-format punch consisting of Jamaican and Demerara rums, amaro, Applejack, lemon, orange and pineapple juice, maple and cinnamon syrups, and angostura bitters.
This series is backed by our Seasonality Initiative where we help our customers develop pipelines of new concepts and flavor ideas for the seasons and major occasions like the Winter Holidays.
When most folks think of seasonality it’s normally in preparation of Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall; but when consumers, more specifically foodies, think of seasonality it is usually in anticipation of pumpkin spice lattes or breast cancer pink cookies. At Symrise we are constantly looking for ways to innovate and that means going beyond the scope of normal. It also means not only looking for inspiration within, but outside of the box — our box being the food and beverage space.