Cheers to the holiday spirit

2 Austin bars shake up the holidays with naughty and nice pop-ups

2 Austin bars shake up the holidays with naughty and nice pop-ups

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

A nationwide Christmas cocktail tradition is returning to Austin in all its festive glory. Unwrapping at Austin bars The Eleanor and Nickel City this holiday season: Miracle and Sippin’ Santa.

Both Miracle and its tiki-themed cousin Sippin’ Santa take over existing establishments with festive holiday decor and holiday-themed drinks. The pop-ups are now in full swing 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, and approximately 40 more will transform into Sippin’ Santa spots. 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.”

Nickel City’s Sippin’ Santa promises to get Christmas lovers feeling good “from mistletoe to toe” with a sleigh full of holiday drink specials, including the punch-bowl-style concoction of bourbon, walnut liqueur, Jamaican and Puerto Rican rums, lime, orange, and maple syrup. It’s enough to make all the elves toasty. The bar is also featuring the Christmas Eve of Destruction (overproof rum, nutmeg syrup, herbal liqueur, lime, and aromatic bitters), the perfectly tiki Azul Navidad (tequila, mezcal, lime, cream of coconut, Blue Curaçao, hazelnut liqueur, and pineapple rum), and the White Russian Christmas cocktail.

Miracle at The Eleanor will feature such holiday cocktails as 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, though the Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r — with Appleton Estate Signature Blend Rum, Plantation Xamayca and O.F.T.D., Rhum JM Blanc, purple ube and coconut orgeat, angostura bitters, pineapple, lime, mint, and powdered sugar — will surely make you feel welcome at the party, pal.  

Drinks are served in festive holiday glassware, and the Miracle mugs are conveniently available for purchase onsite at The Eleanor and 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.

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

  • 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)
  • Miracle at Johnny’s Gold Brick (Houston)
  • Miracle at Winnie’s (Houston)
  • Miracle at Daiquiri Time Out (Galveston)
  • Sippin’ Santa at Night Shift (Houston)