One of the most underrated parts of the holiday season is the fact that drinking every day is not only encouraged, it's down right festive. Now, thanks to the genius of a few bars, holiday-themed libations are being served up in Santa cups across the South.
Starting the day after Thanksgiving, I drag all of my Christmas decorations out of the garage, put on Home Alone, start up the fireplace and begin the process of gleefully decorating my tree for the year. There is truly just an otherworldly sort of magic that settles in this time of year making everything feel extra special. I realize, however, that this instant holiday spirit isn't easy for everyone else to come by.
As an adult, it's easy to feel that all of the holiday hoopla is aimed at children or families, but getting in the mood is going to be incredibly easy this year thanks to the countless holiday-themed pop-up bars sprouting up across the South. So put on your favorite ugly Christmas sweater and toast to a happy holiday season.
This year the city of Atlanta will have 10 (yes, 10) Christmas-themed cocktail bars popping up around the city. There is a vibe for everyone and more than enough bars — and booze — to help you spread a little fa-la-la cheer. Little Spirit
I've made no secret about my love (perhaps obsession?) with Little Spirit. Located in Inman Park, this irreverent bar serves up some of the best — and strongest — cocktails in the city. This year they will be debuting a holiday pop-up bar that is sure to delight the Scrooge in us all. Offerings will include cocktails like the Momma Claus’ Poinsedatives (gin, cranberry sauce, cava, bitters and rosemary) and, of course, the Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal (vodka, plum, apple, cinnamon, ume plum vinegar, sugar and lemon). Open 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m, Monday-Saturday. Runs through December 26.
Red Sky Tapas & Bar
After the success of the wildly popular Miracle pop-up bar in Atlanta last year, this Marietta-based restaurant and bar decided that it wanted in on the kitschy action too. The theme here will be based on the classic movie "A Christmas Story." Live music, spiked eggnog and Christmas decorations? There isn't much more you could possibly want. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m to 12 a.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Runs through December 31.
Ponce City Market
This incredibly trendy mixed-use retail location is getting in on the holiday action as well. Here the rooftop is being transformed into an ice skating rink that the whole family can enjoy. The rooftop will also feature rentable igloos where bottle service can be made available. The igloos can be rented at a somewhat reasonable price — $37.50 per person — which includes a pair of skates. Better grab some friends and cozy up. Open 3 to 10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 3 to 11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday (21+ after 5) and 12 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Runs through January 13.
More holiday pop-up bars in Atlanta can be found here:
The S.O.S. Tiki Bar
Miracle on Monroe at Tapa Tapa
Miracle by Buckhead
The Brasserie and Neighborhood Cafe at PARISH
Sippin' Santa at Bonton
WR Social House
Home to blues and rock and roll, Memphis's pop up bar scene is showing up and showing out. And in Nashville, two seasonal pop-up bars are making their debut and giving the Music City something to sing about.
Civil Pour, Memphis
This year the Civil Pour will open its doors to people across the city who are in the mood for a jolly good time. Patrons will be rewarded with cocktails such as the Gingerbread Flip (bourbon, gingerbread syrup, Elemakule Tiki Bitters, whole egg and nutmeg) and the refreshing Run Run Rudolph (prosecco, gin, mulled wine puree, lemon and cane syrup). Open until 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Runs through December 31. Hidden Bar, Nashville
Housed inside of the beautifully restored historic hotel Noelle (what a fitting name), this speakeasy-esque bar is serving up some of the best holiday cocktails around. Grab a seat at the undoubtedly crowded bar and sing along to all of your favorite Christmas tunes. Open 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Runs through December 31.
Interested in another Nashville based pop-up bar? Check out Beercade.
No matter what, Austin is always up to something fun. We wouldn't expect anything less from their holiday themed cocktail bar. Of course, Dallas isn't going to let one of its sister cities have all the fun — it has one-upped Austin with not one, but two holiday pop-up bars.
Nickle City, Austin
For a few blessed weeks in December, this popular bar will transform itself and serve only tiki themed Christmas drinks. Stepping inside the bar feels like "Christmas Vacation" meets "Gilligan's Island." Open seven days a week from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Runs through December 31.
Voted the best bar in Dallas, this local treasure has partnered with Miracle to bring patrons a jolly good time. With drinks like the Christmas Carol Barrel (aged rum, aquavit, amaro, pumpkin pie, demerara syrup, lime, vanilla and angostura bitters), you can't help but want to check this place out — maybe even more than once. Open 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday-Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 to 2 a.m. Saturday, and 11 to 12 a.m. Sunday. Runs through December 30.
Also check out another Dallas pop-up bar at Miracle at Cowtown.
You didn't think the city that created fun would miss out on a holiday pop up bar did you?Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29
This year residents and visitors to the Crescent City can pull up a seat to this fun and over-the-top holiday bar. Located in the always-busy French Quarter, this tiki bar will take on a completely different vibe for the season where it will go by the name Sippin' Santa. Make sure to stop by if you're in the city. Open 3 to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 1 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Runs through December 31.
Photo (Little Spirit): Instagram
Photo (Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29): Instagram
All other photos courtesy of Miracle Pop-Up/Instagram