Food & Drink

Where to Get Your Holiday Cocktail Jollies This Season

As we watch the Great Holiday Pop-Up Bar explosion blossom across America and the rest of the world, here is a sampling of solid holiday pop-ups from across America. Just don’t forget to bring your ugly Hans Gruber sweater.

Chicago

The Christmas Club at the Country Club
Two floors. Three different party rooms. Santa appearances plus “other Christmas characters,” and DJs spinning Johnny Mathis tunes.

Jingle Bell Square at Lost Lake
Do you like large Christmas trees and delicious tiki themed Christmas drinks? Then hit up one of the most vaunted cocktail bars in Chicago as they get in the hardcore holiday spirit.

The Naughty List: Villians of Christmas at Ludlow Liquors 
Celebrating some of the finest bad guys from Christmas films, Ludlow has everything, including Kevin McCallister’s Home Alone battle plan, a cookie plate alongside Milk Punch, appearances by Hans Gruber and The Grinch, and themed cocktails for each movie.

Yippie Ki-Yay at the Sixth 
Seriously, bring that Hans Gruber sweater! The cocktail bar is going full Die Hard with Nakatomi Corporation Christmas Party posters and 15 different drinks including So Light ‘Em if You Got ‘Em (wheated bourbon, Dark Matter Coffee, and essence of pipe tobacco).

Here & Now
Blitzed at Blitzen’s at Here & Now | Here & Now

Los Angeles

Blitzed at Blitzen’s at Here & Now
This very fine cocktail bar has lots of fun holiday-themed events throughout December, including reindeer carolers, holiday movie nights (Gremlins, Elf, Home Alone), and something called “Sugarplums.”

Holiday Spectacular Cocktails at The NoMad
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to sip a cocktail out of a snow globe, this is the holiday pop-up for you. 

Miracle on Ninth Street at Melrose Umbrella Co. 
The Miracle juggernaut’s LA version will have themed nights alongside the famous Miracle decor and cocktails. 

Snowday in LA at Sibling Rival 
Out of the Hoxton Hotel, this holiday bar offers the ability to drink a cocktail out of a polar bear bottle, while draped in a blanket staring at a fireplace.

New York City

Miracle on 12th Street at Mace
If you want to trace the holiday bar explosion to its original source, look no further. 

Rolf’s 
Though this isn’t actually a bar, the OG over-the-top holiday experience at this Bavarian restaurant is worth experiencing at least once. Plus, schnitzel! 

Sleyenda at Leyenda
The Latin cocktail bar does one of the best stand-alone holiday cocktail pop-ups in the country, with delicious and inspired holiday drinks, and a very cool atmosphere and decor. A must hit in Brooklyn. 

Sippin’ Santa at Boilermaker
The original tiki-inspired holiday pop-up is executed to perfection at Boilermaker, where you can get Kris Kringle Coladas, the tequila-based Papa Noel, and of course Jingle Bowls.

San Francisco

Miracle at Pacific Cocktail Haven
Kevin Diedrich’s acclaimed cocktail bar becomes the Bay Area Miracle passport holder and now opens an hour earlier, so you can basically stop working after lunch and start drinking Koala-La La La, La La La La’s. 

Deck the Halls 
At Sutter and Polk, you can easily be surrounded by giant candy canes and gift wrapped presents while drinking a dozen or so themed cocktails like the exquisitely named Yellow Snow (Hennessy cognac, orgeat, orange liqueur, and lemon).

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Kevin Alexander is Thrillist’s National Writer-at-Large, Food. His book on the unique mix of people, places, and circumstances that led to the last decade of eating/drinking in America, BURN THE ICE: The American Culinary Revolution and Its End is out now from Penguin Press. He is a 2017 James Beard Foundation Award winner.