If Santacon isn’t for you but you still like to deck the halls with a good spirited beverage that’s #FestiveAF, then this is the article for you.
Holiday pop-up bars have become all the rage from coast to coast, but New York City seems to be the most festive. Below are just a few of the bars you should check out after Rockefeller Centre (because that place can be a madhouse).
The Holiday Cocktail Factory
As Willy Wonka said, “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” Inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, LOCL Bar at NYLO Hotel has launched The Cocktail Factory. The space’s decor will be redesigned to reflect Roald Dahl’s whimsical style and guests can sip from a menu of colorful, seasonal drinks created by Muddling Memories’ Cody Goldstein.
The Violette, You’re Turning Violette is a combination of tequila, pineapple and Creme de Violette. The Golden Goose is spiked with edible gold, glitter, and pop rocks, but my favorite though had to be The Goodie Goodie Gumballs (seen above) — tequila, St. Germain, cranberry served in a gumball machine.Guests can also have an adult version of the Fizzy Lifting drink in the Champagne Bubble Room or satisfy their sweet tooth at NYLO’s library, which will be converted to a sweets shop for the duration of the pop-up. In the spirit of giving, $1 from every cocktail will be donated to charity partner, Save the Children.
The Cocktail Factory at 2178 Broadway will be open through January 31, 2018.
Sippin Santa’s Surf Shack
Photo Credit: Paola Beretti
Sure, Santa Claus is pretty busy this time of year. But, in his off-time, the big guy loves shredding swells and sipping on tiki drinks. That’s the premise behind Boilermaker’s SOHO pop-up bar. Surf’s up.
The Son of a Nutcracker features a blend of rums, Campari, coconut, passion fruit and fresh lemon while the Little Drummer Boy is their housemade hot cocoa, spiced rum, Amarula cream liqueur, and marshmallows. Not one to ignore the Jewish community, they also have the Hanukka-vana which includes rye whiskey, dill aquavit, coconut, pineapple, and fresh lime. Since the bar is named after the classic beer and shot combination, you have to try one of their xx boilermakers, which are all named after classic holiday characters like Kris Kringle (the classic seen above), Jack Skellington, and Ralphie Parker (the Hawaiian take).
A Christmas tree is lit in Brooklyn and is adorned with all the divas you can imagine — Mariah, Gaga, Britney, J.Lo, and Janet. And atop the tree is the queen herself, Beyonce. It, much like the rest of the decor at Brooklyn’s Leyenda, simply slays (or is it sleighs).
Either way, owners Ivy Mix and Julie Reiner have taken holiday pop-ups beyond Manhattan with their Latin holiday pop-up that pays homage to all the Queens out there. Mexican Hot Chocolate is spiked with mezcal, a drink called The Sleigh Pilot (shown above) pairs Appleton and Wild Turkey Rare Bread Bourbon with lime, grapefruit, falernum, cinnamon, absinthe, and aromatic bitters served in an ornament, and the classic coquito (Puerto Rico’s take on eggnog). The back of the bar was also turned into a private winter chalet. A fireplace will warm the hideaway, which is perfect for last minute holiday parties and gatherings with friends.
Sleyenda at 221 Smith Street will be open through December 24th.
Miracle on 9th Street
Photo Credit: Melissa Hom for Miracle
The one that started it all — at least as far as we’re concerned. Miracle on 9th Street at MACE has become a holiday tradition for many (including myself). The Lower East Side bar, known for its unique craft cocktails, gives its creations a seasonal turn.
Try the Christmapolitan, which includes fig leaf-infused vodka, cranberry, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, coconut water, spices, whey — lactose clarification while the Die Hard-inspired Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r! features Plantation Barbados Rum, Yaguara Ouro Cachaça, Plantation OFTD Rum, purple yam-coconut orgeat and pineapple acid. Like sibling bar Boilermaker, Miracle also has a Channukah-inspired drink called the Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel, which is made of chocolate gelt-infused Reposado tequila, Pedro Ximenez Sherry, maple syrup, and black walnut bitters. There really isn’t a bad choice on their menu.
Miracle on 9th Street at 649 E 9th Street will be open through Jan. 1.
The Winter Room
Hanging out at a rooftop bar in Manhattan in December might sound crazy, but the eponymous named The Roof has turned its beautiful views of Midtown into a veritable winter wonderland — it’s also fairly close to all the classic NYC Christmas sites, so that helps.
In addition to its traditional cocktail and light bites menu, the bar also serves “Winter Warmers” like the Rooftop Toddy with spiced rum, hot apple cider, and a cinnamon stick; Central Park Sleigh Ride with Belvedere Vodka, hot chocolate, and vanilla; and The Snowday with Hennessy VSOP, fresh lemon juice, and honey. They also serve hot chocolate and hot apple cider, in case you’re hanging with kids or teetotalers.
The Winter Room at 124 West 57th Street is open through March 2018.
Imagine a restaurant that thinks it should be Christmas all year around… just like that one aunt you have. Now imagine, it as a New York institution that serves great, traditional German food. Well, that’s Rolf’s.
The restaurant starts decorating in September and they stay up till spring. Their food stays the same, focusing on German classics like schnitzel and bratwurst, but they do serve festive drinks like mulled wine and spiced eggnog. They also have a really hardy schnapps menu, if you’re into that sort of thing. Good luck getting in though, as it’s one of the hottest restaurants to get into at this time of year for this very reason.
Rolf’s is located at 281 Third Avenue.