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Christmas Is Coming Soon to a Bar Near You
Drink in the holiday season at the Miracle Bar and Sippin' Santa pop-ups
If you look at the calendar, you’ll know that summer isn’t even officially over. Yet, visit any big box retailer and you’ll spot the aisles filled with Halloween decorations and, in some respects, Christmas trees and lights (we’re looking at you, Home Depot).
So, it’s no surprise that Miracle Bars has just announced its lineup of bars planning to celebrate Christmas around the world. Miracle Bars are Christmas-themed bars that pop-up at nearly 200 establishments throughout the world.
The concept for Miracle Bars started where most good ideas start — at the advice of someone’s mom. In 2014, Greg Boehm was putting the finishing touches on his not-yet-opened bar, Mace, in New York’s East Village when his mother suggested he turn the space into a Christmas-themed pop-up bar for the season. To no one’s surprise, the Miracle popup was a hit.
Today, bar owners sign up in order to turn their bars into a Christmas wonderland, wrapping their bars in tinsel, adding twinkling lights, and playing Frosty the Snowman on an endless loop. Each bar can decorate as they see fit — the crazier the better. The continuity comes in the drinks and the drinkware: each bar must serve the approved roster of cocktails with names like “Yippee Ki Yay Mother F****r!” (a reference to Die Hard which is a Christmas movie, despite some debating it isn’t), and the “Grandma Got Run Over By A T-Rex,” served in a ceramic mug in the shape of a Santa hat-wearing dinosaur.
If you’re into tiki drinks, the Sippin’ Santa bars that spring up have a Santa-goes-on-vacation vibe. The cocktails for the Sippin’ Santa bars were created by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, named one of the “25 Most Influential Cocktail Personalities of the Past Century” by Imbibe magazine. Cocktails at Sippin’ Santa include the eponymous “Sippin’ Santa”, the “White Russian Christmas”, and the Island of Misfit Toys.”
The pop-ups traditionally run from Friday, November 21 (Black Friday) to December 31, though each bar may vary its operating dates.
In addition to serving the cocktails in specific drinkware, like the abovementioned T-Rex, a Christmas rum barrel, and a pair of Santa pants, Miracle Bar sells most of its drinkware, with 10% of proceeds from certain mugs donated to the Seva Foundation.
Last year, the Miami area hosted two Miracle Bars — each decked out in holiday finery complete with giant Santas, igloos, wrapped presents, and Christmas movies. In a city where Christmas is accompanied by 90-degree weather and Santa is just as likely to show up wearing Bermuda shorts and a Panama hat, while smoking a Cuban cigar, sipping a boozy nog with friends while listening to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” conjures up memories ice skating in Central Park and visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center when I lived back home.
I’ve been to Miracle bars in about a dozen different cities now, and there’s something quite wonderful about how each bar owner decorates their own space — some add a touch of colorful lighting, while others go all out to create a Winter Wonderland that would make Buddy the Elf cry out in glee.
With almost 200 bars signed up, there’s a good chance there’s a Miracle Bar or Sippin’ Santa near you — most cities have at least one bar that participates in this insanely cheerful festival of libations.