It's that time of year — that time when your family is gonna try to make you spend entirely too much time with them and there won't even be enough eggnog to take the edge off. Your holiday lifeline? This spread of festive pop-ups at various bars around town are offering up plenty of options to lift your holiday spirits now and through the holiday.
Hide, 2816 Elm St. (Deep Ellum)
Proper on Magnolia, 409 W Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth
The Miracle pop-up, started five years ago at New York cocktail bar Mace, will be "popping up" at more than 80 bars this season across the U.S. and Canada, including two in DFW: Proper on Magnolia and Hide in Deep Ellum. Thanks to their partnership with well-known tiki cocktail connoisseur Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, you can expect some rather off-kilter options like the Koala-La La La, La La La La featuring intriguing ingredients like pine and eucalyptus or the Christmas Carol Barrel with Pumpkin Pie. (Yes, really.) For an added dose of Christmas spirit, a staple of the concept is kitschy decor, and plenty of it.
Lisa Little Adams, owner of Proper, was excited to bring the concept back for the second year. But this year, they're upping their "giving spirit" game.
"This year, we're partnering with Trigger's Toys and raffling off a limited-edition Fernet-Branca cruiser bicycle," she says. Stop in to enter to win.
A Highly Spirited Holiday at Trick Pony
2823 Main St. (Deep Ellum)
This small Deep Ellum cocktail spot is going to take its pony on a sleigh ride with the first year of their holiday concept. Look for plenty of decorations and a special menu of 12 cocktails with everything from the approachable Naughty Hot Cocoa to their more "haute" options like the Rudolph Amaro that brings together two amaros with sherry, lemon and apple cinnamon.
"It's fall flavors dressed in a modern motif," Trick Pony bar manager Ricky Cleva says. "Our Highly Spirited menu is driven by the classics, but modernized for the knowledgeable and curious guest. At the end of the day, we simply wanted to have some fun, make some drinks we hope everyone likes and enjoy the holidays. Everyone needs a drink this time of year."
12 Cocktails of Christmas at Ocean Prime
Ocean Prime, 2101 Cedar Springs Road (Uptown)
Heather Queen, AGM and beverage manager at Ocean Prime Dallas, decided that a holiday menu wasn't enough. So she created 12 Cocktails of Christmas to fill the first 12 days of December with boozy joy. Look for options like the Salty Caramel featuring a crushed peppermint rim or the Spiced Old Fashioned with bourbon and an apple fig reduction.
The restaurant went a bit further and decided to encourage holiday dates by offering diners the Ultimate Holiday Lights Tour Package. Through Dec. 30, if guests book this option, they'll get a four-course dinner for two, along with a two-hour luxury car ride through some of the most festive neighborhoods in Dallas. Call the restaurant for a dinner-and-tour reservation.
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The North Pole Pub at Tiny Victories
602 N. Tyler St. (Oak Cliff)
The laid-back Oak Cliff favorite will transform into the North Pole Pub for the entirety of December. They promise plenty of decor along with three seasonal cocktails: the Nakatomi Plaza (Rye, Averna, Angostura and allspice), the Maple Bum (spiced rum, maple butter, whipped cream and nutmeg) and the Taste Like XXXMas (Crème de Cacao, Crème de Menthe, Rosemary Blanc Vermouth, gin, and cream).
If all you want is a glass of holiday spirit ...
Plenty of Dallas bars got ready for the holiday by creating specialty cocktails to encourage holiday cheer(s). You'll find festive cocktails waiting for you at these DFW bars, and we've picked our favorites from each:
Local Traveler's Upside Down Sleigh: whole egg, Jefferson’s VSB, lemon, cinnamon syrup
The Rustic's Bourbon Melt: Yesina Brandy, Evan Williams Bourbon, maple syrup, sugar
Mutts Canine Cantina's Bourbon Minted Tea: Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, Tazo Mint Mosaic Green Tea
Bowl & Barrel's Winter R&R: Apostoles Gin, Selbach Riesling, star anise, ginger, cardamom pods, honey, Yesina Regina Brandy
- High Fives' Rumpleminze Spiced Hot Chocolate: apple cider bourbon, cinnamon whipped cream