A few years ago, I remember hearing about a Christmas pop-up bar in the East Village of New York City.
Called Miracle on Ninth Street, the bar inhabited an empty store front. Turns out construction of a new cocktail bar, Mace, had fallen behind. And, instead of pushing through to finish as soon as possible, the owners decided to open a Christmas cocktail pop-up.
In its first year, people swarmed Miracle. I went twice with friends- that’s how much we loved the wintery cocktails and Christmas cheer.
I’m always a fan of seasonal drinks, but Miracle really took it to the next level- the entire place was dripping in kitschy decor, it looked like something you’d find in your grandmother’s basement.
The next year, Miracle returned with Mace transforming to a holiday hideaway for the month of December. This was the year Miracle also started trialling expansions in the US, equipping other bar owners with what they needed to make its holiday cocktails and suggestions for how to decorate to ensure guests felt like they were in an all-time Christmas party.
The following year, I visited Miracle in New York and the pop-up location in Pittsburgh. Loving both of them and prepping for a move to London, I hoped Miracle would consider expanding internationally someday.
This year, I finally got my wish. After missing out on a year of Miracle festivities last holiday season, I was ecstatic to see an opening across the pond.
In early December, we visited Miracle’s London location on a Saturday afternoon. Reservations were fully booked up, so we hoped for walk-in availability and got lucky with two seats at the bar.
Hidden atop the mezzanine of a restaurant in Covent Garden, walking into the London version of Miracle really does feel like entering a winter dream. You’ll walk up snow covered stairs shroud in silvery branches to enter what reminds me of a living room- a giant Christmas tree in the corner, tables in the middle and tons of decor, including stockings and lights strung all around.
With Christmas hits bopping over the speakers, it’s hard to not immediately find yourself in a festive mood.
Sliding up to the bar, we perused the menu- I was happy to see some of my favourite Miracle classics, like the Bad Santa and eggnog cocktail still on the menu. Keen to try something new, we ordered the Christmas Carol Barrel (Aged Rum, Aquavit, Amaro, Pumpkin Pie, Demerara Syrup, Lime, Vanilla, Angostura Bitters), and And A Partridge In A Pear Tree (Reposado Tequila, Pear Brandy, Mezcal, Spiced Demerara Syrup, Lime, Egg White, Club Soda, Angostura Bitters, Cinnamon).
Next up, a Christmapolitan (Vodka, Elderflower, Dry Vermouth, Spiced Cranberry Sauce, Rosemary, Lime, Absinthe Mist) and a Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r! (Sweet Potato, Barbados Rum, Cachaca, Trinidad Overproof Rum, Dry Curacao, Marshmallow Oregat, Lime), and two naught shots (Bourbon, Cinnamon).
Sipping our holiday tipples, we bopped along to holiday tunes and revelled in the simple cheer of it all.
As long as its present in a city I’m in, Miracle will always be a part of my holiday traditions. There’s just something so genuinely fun about Christmas cocktails.
With over 90 locations worldwide, if Miracle isn’t in a city near you now, hopefully it will be for the next holiday season.
Cheers to Christmas!