Contrary to all expectations, Boston’s drinkers must have made the “nice list” this year. How else could you explain a trio of pop-ups celebrating everything from Tiki Christmas to Hanukkah, plus the first-ever holiday lunch service from one of the area’s best cocktail bars? Read on to ensure that visions of Kris Kringle Coladas and Manischewitz cobblers dance in your head.
BEACHBUM BERRY PRESENTS: SIPPIN’ SANTA
Where you’re drinking: Shore Leave, which counts among the 28 tiki bars selected nationwide to host Sippin’ Santa, a holiday pop-up featuring drinks created by tiki legend Jeff “Beachbum” Berry. The South End bar is decking its halls appropriately with faux snow, gift-wrap wallpaper, and enough strung lights to make Clark Griswold balk.
What you’re drinking: Rum-heavy libations like the Kris Kringle Colada made with dark Jamaican rum, Cynar, allspice, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut; plus large-format features such as a Jingle Bowl brimming with Jamaican and Demerara rums, apple brandy, Averna, and lemon, orange, and pineapple juices with cinnamon and maple syrup.
What you’re eating: Standard Shore Leave favorites like Filipino BBQ ribs and fried clam bao, with the addition of Christmas cookies for dessert.
When you’re doing it: Nov 26 to Dec 31
Where you’re drinking: The Lobby Bar at the Kimpton Marlowe Hotel, which will host Boston’s iteration of the nationwide holiday pop-up bar Miracle for the third consecutive year. Miracle’s 2019 theme is “Santa’s Workshop,” so you can expect to find toys, train sets, and other whimsical goodies produced by elf labor.
What you’re drinking: Returning Miracle favorites with slight updates, like the Snowball Old Fashioned made with caramelized pecan bourbon and spiced molasses syrup; plus a newcomer, dubbed SanTaRex, that blends rye whiskey, sherry, cider, spiced cider concentrate, and baked apple bitters in a dinosaur-shaped mug.
What you’re eating: Booze-soaking fare, including pork belly buns, holiday cake pops, and dan dan noodles served in takeout boxes.
When you’re doing it: Nov 29 to Dec 24
HOLIDAY LUNCH AT BLOSSOM BAR
Where you’re drinking: Rum-centric Blossom Bar, which isn’t hosting a pop-up but is holding its first-ever holiday lunch service, complete with a special cocktail menu drawing on global holiday flavors.
What you’re drinking: Hot buttered rum; a cobbler made with sherry, berries, rice vinegar, and a Manischewitz shrub; plus a clarified take on Coquito, a traditional Puerto Rican holiday drink, prepared with a house-made coconut rum and Agaudiente.
What you’re eating: Your pick of the regular Sichuan fare that fills out its food menu, plus hearty holiday lunch specials like duck fried rice, Sichuan-style crab, and ginger scallion lobster.
When you’re doing it: From 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, Dec 16 to Dec 20
Where you’re drinking: Backbar, where Boston’s original Hanukkah pop-up will return for its second Festival of Lights. Expect blue lights, menorahs, and a Mensch on a Bench to add some chutzpah to the proceedings, and visit during either Monday of its run to find Maccabee Bar originator Naomi Levy behind the stick.
What you’re drinking: Festive drams from the first time around like the sufganiyot-inspired Hebrew Hammer made with vodka, “leavened” sugar, lemon, and raspberry; and new-for-2019 creations like Have a Ball, which mixes Cognac, cinnamon and creme fraiche to riff on classic kugel flavors.
What you’re eating: A menu of themed bites that will naturally include latkes.
When you’re doing it: Dec 16 to Dec 29