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Three Christmas mugs with cocktails on a red and white striped table.
The festive holiday cocktails at the Garret.
Front of House

10 Pop-Up Bars for Basking in Holiday Cheer

The best way to cheer the season on is by tasting it

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The festive holiday cocktails at the Garret.
| Front of House

New York City offers many ways to ring in the holidays: watch the Rockefeller Center tree lighting, take in a showing of the Nutcracker, or go ice skating in Bryant Park. But let’s get real, the best way to cheer the season on is by tasting it, and there’s no better place to do so then one of the below holiday-themed cocktail bars.

New York’s obsession with holiday pop-ups began eight years ago when barman Nico de Soto and operator Greg Boehm overhauled their bar Mace with Christmas vibes from head to toe. The takeover was an immediate smash hit, with lengthy lines down the block in freezing temperatures, and since then Boehm has committed to bringing the Miracle back every holiday season. In fact, Miracle has been such a success that he has franchised the concept, with almost 100 locations now both international and domestic. Needless to say, the original, which lands at the Cabinet this year, is a must-visit, as are these other holiday-designed engagements.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Snow Globe in the Sky at Ophelia

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3 Mitchell Pl 26th floor
New York, NY 10017
(212) 980-4796
Visit Website

Midtown’s Art Deco-inspired cocktail bar Ophelia has been dressing its sky-high space (located on the 26th floor) to look like a snow globe for the last four years, and this season is no exception. Sheepskin throws and dangling snowflakes create a winter wonderland look, and while drinks here aren’t necessarily snow-themed, they are seasonal. The menu includes a Caribbean old fashioned with aged rum, piloncillo sugar, winter spices,and citrus oils; and there’s the Paradox with cacao bean-infused vodka, banana-infused amaro, cold brew, Cointreau, cinnamon, vanilla and a cream float.

An Art Deco bar with tall ceilings is decorated with a winter theme.
Ophelia’s Art Deco bar gets a winter makeover.
Ophelia

2. The Ragtrader

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70 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018
(917) 261-5495
Visit Website

Executive chef Justin Ottervanger of Midtown restaurant and bar the Ragtrader is going all out with Christmas decor for the third year. In a space that once housed a garment factory, Ottervanger has decked out the American restaurant’s first floor with large hanging ornaments, garlands, and a Christmas tree on the front patio. While his full menu is available with dishes like crab cakes and a cheeseburger, the cocktails –– inspired by vintage movies –– include the Holiday Affair (named after the 1949 romance rom-com), which is flavored with spiced cider, sugar syrup, bourbon, and milk punch.

A bar’s outside decorated in Christmas items
Holiday decorations at the Ragtrader.
The Ragtrader

3. Bell Book & Candle

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141 W 10th St # A
New York, NY 10014
(212) 414-2355
Visit Website

West Village Bell Book & Candle launched its holiday takeover two years ago, characterized by a dining room dressed for the season with bows, wreaths, and glowing lights. While the usual local, farm-oriented food menu is still in play, drop in for a dozen holiday drinks like Naughty List with vodka, espresso, chai and cream, and Scrooged, which calls for rosemary infused bourbon, rum, Christmas spice, and Angostura bitters.

4. Bad Santa at Grand Republic Cocktail Club

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19 Greenpoint Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(347) 689-3860
Visit Website

Bad Santa returns to Grand Republic Cocktail Club for its fourth year with what the team there describes as a “white trash” theme depicted through trees and wreaths decorated with liquor bottles, naughty ornaments, and lots of graffiti paint. Expect holiday-themed boozy libations like a pumpkin pie margarita, and a whiskey cocktail spiked with cranberry sauce.

Christmas decorations outside of a cocktail bar.
Bad Santa returns for the fourth year at Grand Republic Cocktail Club.
Grand Republic Cocktail Club

5. Miracle on 9th

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649 E 9th St
New York, NY 10009
(347) 866-7739
Visit Website

This is the original Miracle pop-up that launched eight years ago at Mace and has since inspired copycat holiday themed bars across the country. This year, Miracle lands at Greg Boehm’s agave-focused bar the Cabinet, but of course, the place has been overhauled to look like Christmas at its finest. Expect every inch of the place to look like Christmas on steroids. There are no shortcuts with the libations either, one of the main reasons that Miracle has been such a success is the quality of its cocktails (and their festival vessels, which are for sale). This year, new drinks by barman Joann Spiegel include Elfing Around with prosecco, gin, mulled wine, grapefruit, and bitters, which joins classics like the Snowball Old-Fashioned with rye, gingerbread, bitters and Miracle’s boozy take on eggnog, the Jingle Balls Nog.

Festive drinking vessels with Christmas decorations
Festive drinking vessels from Miracle on 9th.
Melissa Hom

6. Naughty or Nice Holiday Pop-Up at the Skinny

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174 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 228-3668
Visit Website

Jim Carrano of Lower East Side bar the Skinny is throwing a Naughty or Nice holiday pop-up through the end of January. The venue’s back bar is overhauled from floor-to-ceiling in what the team describes as “gaudy Christmas decor,” and patrons can partake in some curious games, like Wheel of Misfortune. Expect burlesque performances, naughty Christmas caroling, plus holiday (or anti-holiday) themed eats and drinks such as Grandpa’s Secret Stash, filled with whiskey, spiced pear brandy, ginger, and orange bitters.

A green cocktail in front of a Christmas tree.
The Skinny goes into full holiday mode through the end of January.
Daniel Kwak @FoodCre8ive

7. Loreley Beer Garden

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7 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 253-7077
Visit Website

Drop by Lower East Side drinking den and German-ish restaurant Loreley for the cheery holiday decor. There’s a spacious heated outdoor patio decked out with reds and greens, the bar area is home to a snow globe display, and a gingerbread village lurks in the dining room. Holiday-themed drinks include a boozy bourbon black-and-white hot chocolate topped with toasted marshmallows; and spiked eggnog with whipped cream and caramel.

Christmas decorations in a beer garden setting.
Loreley Beer Garden is outfitted for the holidays.
Loreley Beer Garden

8. The Garret Coctelería

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349 Broome St
New York, NY 10013

Candy cane stripes now decorate the Garret’s long bar and tabletops, while paper snowflakes dangle from the ceiling. The bar’s second annual Feliz Coctelería pop-up features a Latin-inspired holiday vibe. Beverage director Max Stampa-Brown heads up the seasonal sips here, which include an epazote-spiked hot toddy with ginger, spiced apple cider, lemon, guajillo-infused bourbon, and epazote tea; and a boozy take on hot chocolate, which begins with a golden rice milk latte and includes chipotle, chocolate, mezcal, and a green Chartreuse marshmallow.

Christmas themed drinking vessels at the Garret
Christmas-themed drinking vessels at the Garret Cocteleria.
Front of House

9. Miracle on Union at Thief

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595 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(917) 909-1166
Visit Website

There’s a giant Grinch figure ready to greet guests outside barman John McNulty’s lauded six-month-old Williamsburg bar Thief. And that’s because McNulty has joined the Miracle franchise, and decked out his bar with the best of holiday swag from floor-to-ceiling (as is the Miracle style) with excellent drinks to match. Running until January 1, drop in for Santa mugs filled with a hot mix of rum, velvet falernum, spiced butter, oat milk, and nutmeg — alongside shots of gingerbread-spiced rye and cinnamon-accented bourbon.

Christmas decorations including the Grinch in front of a bar.
The Grinch overlooking Miracale on Union at Thief
Melissa Hom

10. Bohemien Bar

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97 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(347) 844-9895
Visit Website

Brooklyn Heights’ bright and cozy Bohemian Bar is dressing up for the holidays. Think garlands, elves, and Christmas trees, alongside holiday-focused concoctions. Choose from mezcal-spiked hot chocolate, a spiced cider margarita, or a quince sour with gin, apple brandy, ginger, and juniper smoke.

1. Snow Globe in the Sky at Ophelia

3 Mitchell Pl 26th floor, New York, NY 10017
An Art Deco bar with tall ceilings is decorated with a winter theme.
Ophelia’s Art Deco bar gets a winter makeover.
Ophelia

Midtown’s Art Deco-inspired cocktail bar Ophelia has been dressing its sky-high space (located on the 26th floor) to look like a snow globe for the last four years, and this season is no exception. Sheepskin throws and dangling snowflakes create a winter wonderland look, and while drinks here aren’t necessarily snow-themed, they are seasonal. The menu includes a Caribbean old fashioned with aged rum, piloncillo sugar, winter spices,and citrus oils; and there’s the Paradox with cacao bean-infused vodka, banana-infused amaro, cold brew, Cointreau, cinnamon, vanilla and a cream float.

3 Mitchell Pl 26th floor
New York, NY 10017

2. The Ragtrader

70 W 36th St, New York, NY 10018
A bar’s outside decorated in Christmas items
Holiday decorations at the Ragtrader.
The Ragtrader

Executive chef Justin Ottervanger of Midtown restaurant and bar the Ragtrader is going all out with Christmas decor for the third year. In a space that once housed a garment factory, Ottervanger has decked out the American restaurant’s first floor with large hanging ornaments, garlands, and a Christmas tree on the front patio. While his full menu is available with dishes like crab cakes and a cheeseburger, the cocktails –– inspired by vintage movies –– include the Holiday Affair (named after the 1949 romance rom-com), which is flavored with spiced cider, sugar syrup, bourbon, and milk punch.

70 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018

3. Bell Book & Candle

141 W 10th St # A, New York, NY 10014

West Village Bell Book & Candle launched its holiday takeover two years ago, characterized by a dining room dressed for the season with bows, wreaths, and glowing lights. While the usual local, farm-oriented food menu is still in play, drop in for a dozen holiday drinks like Naughty List with vodka, espresso, chai and cream, and Scrooged, which calls for rosemary infused bourbon, rum, Christmas spice, and Angostura bitters.

141 W 10th St # A
New York, NY 10014

4. Bad Santa at Grand Republic Cocktail Club

19 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Christmas decorations outside of a cocktail bar.
Bad Santa returns for the fourth year at Grand Republic Cocktail Club.
Grand Republic Cocktail Club

Bad Santa returns to Grand Republic Cocktail Club for its fourth year with what the team there describes as a “white trash” theme depicted through trees and wreaths decorated with liquor bottles, naughty ornaments, and lots of graffiti paint. Expect holiday-themed boozy libations like a pumpkin pie margarita, and a whiskey cocktail spiked with cranberry sauce.

19 Greenpoint Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222

5. Miracle on 9th

649 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009
Festive drinking vessels with Christmas decorations
Festive drinking vessels from Miracle on 9th.
Melissa Hom

This is the original Miracle pop-up that launched eight years ago at Mace and has since inspired copycat holiday themed bars across the country. This year, Miracle lands at Greg Boehm’s agave-focused bar the Cabinet, but of course, the place has been overhauled to look like Christmas at its finest. Expect every inch of the place to look like Christmas on steroids. There are no shortcuts with the libations either, one of the main reasons that Miracle has been such a success is the quality of its cocktails (and their festival vessels, which are for sale). This year, new drinks by barman Joann Spiegel include Elfing Around with prosecco, gin, mulled wine, grapefruit, and bitters, which joins classics like the Snowball Old-Fashioned with rye, gingerbread, bitters and Miracle’s boozy take on eggnog, the Jingle Balls Nog.

649 E 9th St
New York, NY 10009

6. Naughty or Nice Holiday Pop-Up at the Skinny

174 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
A green cocktail in front of a Christmas tree.
The Skinny goes into full holiday mode through the end of January.
Daniel Kwak @FoodCre8ive

Jim Carrano of Lower East Side bar the Skinny is throwing a Naughty or Nice holiday pop-up through the end of January. The venue’s back bar is overhauled from floor-to-ceiling in what the team describes as “gaudy Christmas decor,” and patrons can partake in some curious games, like Wheel of Misfortune. Expect burlesque performances, naughty Christmas caroling, plus holiday (or anti-holiday) themed eats and drinks such as Grandpa’s Secret Stash, filled with whiskey, spiced pear brandy, ginger, and orange bitters.

174 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

7. Loreley Beer Garden

7 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
Christmas decorations in a beer garden setting.
Loreley Beer Garden is outfitted for the holidays.
Loreley Beer Garden

Drop by Lower East Side drinking den and German-ish restaurant Loreley for the cheery holiday decor. There’s a spacious heated outdoor patio decked out with reds and greens, the bar area is home to a snow globe display, and a gingerbread village lurks in the dining room. Holiday-themed drinks include a boozy bourbon black-and-white hot chocolate topped with toasted marshmallows; and spiked eggnog with whipped cream and caramel.

7 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002

8. The Garret Coctelería

349 Broome St, New York, NY 10013
Christmas themed drinking vessels at the Garret
Christmas-themed drinking vessels at the Garret Cocteleria.
Front of House

Candy cane stripes now decorate the Garret’s long bar and tabletops, while paper snowflakes dangle from the ceiling. The bar’s second annual Feliz Coctelería pop-up features a Latin-inspired holiday vibe. Beverage director Max Stampa-Brown heads up the seasonal sips here, which include an epazote-spiked hot toddy with ginger, spiced apple cider, lemon, guajillo-infused bourbon, and epazote tea; and a boozy take on hot chocolate, which begins with a golden rice milk latte and includes chipotle, chocolate, mezcal, and a green Chartreuse marshmallow.

349 Broome St
New York, NY 10013

9. Miracle on Union at Thief

595 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Christmas decorations including the Grinch in front of a bar.
The Grinch overlooking Miracale on Union at Thief
Melissa Hom

There’s a giant Grinch figure ready to greet guests outside barman John McNulty’s lauded six-month-old Williamsburg bar Thief. And that’s because McNulty has joined the Miracle franchise, and decked out his bar with the best of holiday swag from floor-to-ceiling (as is the Miracle style) with excellent drinks to match. Running until January 1, drop in for Santa mugs filled with a hot mix of rum, velvet falernum, spiced butter, oat milk, and nutmeg — alongside shots of gingerbread-spiced rye and cinnamon-accented bourbon.

595 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

10. Bohemien Bar

97 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Brooklyn Heights’ bright and cozy Bohemian Bar is dressing up for the holidays. Think garlands, elves, and Christmas trees, alongside holiday-focused concoctions. Choose from mezcal-spiked hot chocolate, a spiced cider margarita, or a quince sour with gin, apple brandy, ginger, and juniper smoke.

97 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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