Get your holiday spirits on at one of number of Christmas pop-up bars, which are decked out to the nines with holiday décor and slinging next-level drinks with seasonal inspiration. Miracle is open in Freehold, Nutley, Jersey City, New Brunswick, Verona and Wood-Ridge, while Sippin’ Santa, a tiki-themed Christmas bar (think Santa on a surfboard instead of a sleigh) is now open in Harrison. All spots are mixing up holly jolly concoctions through New Year’s Eve.
Miracle started in the East Village of NYC in 2014 and quickly expanded to other US locations, plus Canada, Panama, England and Switzerland. This year there are nearly 200 participating locations across the US.
While the decor is Instaworthy on its own, the true star of the show is the cocktail menu. Noteworthy drinks at Miracle locations include the Christmapolitan, a twist on the classic made with vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, rosemary, lime and absinthe mist and for those who have been naughty, there’s the Hot Buttered Rum, served hot. This season will feature a variety of new deliciously merry cocktails such as Carol Barrell, Snowball Old Fashioned, Koala Kooler and Christmas Cricket.
The Vanguard’s Sippin’ Santa in Harrison, a tiki-style pop-up with Polynesian-inspired drinks and decor, boasts drinks like the Kris Kringle Colada (dark Jamaican rum, cynar, allspice, lime & pineapple juice and cream of coconut) and the White Russian Christmas (odka, dark-roast cold brew, condensed milk, ancho chile liqueur, cinnamon syrup). New cocktails for this season include Island of Misfit Toys, Jingle Bird, Yule Tide, Undertow Toddy and Rudolph’s Rum Rhapsody (for two).
Better yet, this pop-up is more than just cocktails. All drinks are served in kitschy, collectible glassware, all of which are available for purchase.
And the restaurants serve holiday specials, too, so if you can’t find a babysitter, you can take the kids out with you.
Check each site for dates, menus and hours.
Miracle on Centre at Cowan’s Public
229 Centre St., Nutley
Miracle on Mercer at Franklin Social
292 Barrow St., Jersey City
Miracle on George Street at Catherine Lombardi’s
3 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick
Miracle on Valley at Gus’ Last Word
119 Valley Blvd., Wood-Ridge
Miracle on Bloomfield at The Parkside Social
706 Bloomfield Ave., Verona
Miracle at The Loaded Spoon
Inside iPlay America, 108 Schanck Rd., Freehold
Sippin’ Santa at Harrison at The Vanguard
705 Frank E Rodgers Blvd South, Harrison
Crystal Springs Resort in Sussex County has its own share of holiday pop-up bars. The Schnapps Shack, located adjacent to the Glice skating rink in front of the Crystal Springs Clubhouse at 1 Wild Turkey Way in Hamburg, has toasty fire pits where you can enjoy your hot signature cocktails or your choice of 10 different Schnapps varieties. Snack on warm cider donuts, toffee apples, homemade soup of the day, or a foot-long hot dog with all the fixings. Hours during December are 3-8 pm Fridays and 11 am to 8 pm Saturdays and Sundays, plus 11 am – 8 pm December 25-29.
Or, let the spirit of the season take you to Frosty’s Cantina & Winter Workshop, located at Minerals Hotel, 2 Chamonix Dr., Vernon Twp. Order a spiked hot chocolate or a vanilla latte to wash down a beef hot dog or chili. The Winter Workshop is fun for all ages and includes marshmallow roasting, fire pits and axe throwing. Hours of operation are 3-8 pm Fridays to Sundays, plus December 25-28.
Il Vecchio Cafe, part of the Calandra’s chain of restaurants, has its own Frosty’s Snow Bar in Caldwell, which is open through January 14, 2024. Frosty’s Cocktails include cranberry apple sangria, spiked hot chocolate and a chocolate espresso martini. Try the Santa’s Hat: vodka, grenadine, lime juice, lemon soda, light whipped cream and a sugar rim with a candy cane; or Ebenezer’s Nightcap, made with bourbon, spiced chai, sparkling apple cider and a candied ginger twist.
Check out the amazing decor and festive drinks on our Instagram page.
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