Get into the holiday "spirit"

4 Houston-area bars shake up naughty and nice pop-ups for a spirited holiday tradition

4 Houston-area bars shake up naughty and nice pop-ups for the holidays

Miracle cocktail pop-up group shot
Miracle cocktails are served in festive glassware. Photo by Melissa Hom

A nationwide Christmas cocktail tradition returns to Houston this week. Miracle and Sippin’ Santa will be held in three Bayou City bars and one in Galveston.

Both Miracle and its tiki-themed cousin Sippin’ Santa take over existing establishments with festive holiday decor and holiday-themed drinks. The pop-ups start this week and run through the end of the year.

First started in New York in 2014 by bar owner Greg Boehm, Miracle will take place in over 100 bars nationwide; approximately 40 more will transform into Sippin’ Santa. After ramping down in 2020, the program is back for in-person experiences nationwide.

“Miracle and Sippin’ Santa have always been a festive holiday haven for our fans — from guests to partners to industry professionals — and we feel incredibly lucky to be able to bring back our fun and whimsical holiday oasis this year,” Boehm said in a statement. “The holiday season has always been a time to share in cheer and camaraderie and this year we plan on making these cherished moments even more special with new programming and events.”

Joann Spiegel’s cocktail menu features both returning favorites as well as new sips that utilize holiday flavors. At Miracle, Spiegel has added the Elfing Around (Prosecco, gin, mulled wine reduction, grapefruit shrub, bitters) and updated recipes for drinks such as the Jolly Koala, On Dasher, and SanTaRex. At Sippin’ Santa, look for the White Russian Christmas, Azul Navidad (tequila, mezcal, lime, cream of coconut, Blue Curaçao, hazelnut liqueur, and pineapple rum), The Regifter (Martinique rhum agricole, caramelized pineapple-garam masala Syrup, cherry liqueur, and lemon), and more.

Drinks are served in festive holiday glassware, which is conveniently available for purchase via Boehm’s company Cocktail Kingdom; 10 percent of proceeds are donated to the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good campaign that benefits independent restaurants.

Locally, the pop-ups will be held in the following locations:

Night Shift’s presentation of Sippin’ Santa will take place next door to the bar at the Ronin Art House. Working with local design firm Rootlab, the space has been transformed into four different holiday-themed rooms with elements such as Naughty Nick, an 8-foot-tall tiki Santa, an active volcano, and an igloo room featuring Sippy the Snowman.

Those traveling across Texas will find Miracle and Sippin’ Santa in the following cities:

  • Miracle on 5th Street (at The Eleanor in Austin)
  • Sippin’ Santa at Nickel City (Austin)
  • Miracle at Royal 38 (Dallas)
  • Sippin’ Santa at RoPo & Logan (Dallas)
  • Miracle at Nickel City (Fort Worth)
  • Miracle on Austin Ave (at Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits in Waco)