It's the most wonderful time of the year… for holiday pop-up bars and festive cocktails! Whether you've been naughty or nice, bars across Los Angeles are welcoming you and your besties with over-the-top decorations and pun-tastic seasonal cocktail menus.
The crew at Big Bar (1929 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles 90027) goes all out with their special events, and the holidays are no different. Enjoy the festive decor while you warm up with "Hot-tails" from the new Winter Menu like the Lodi Todi, Skiing In Shorts, and Up All Night, an amped up Irish Coffee. Holiday cocktails include:
- Rolling With My Gnomies - Absolut Elyx, St-Germain, pomegranate, lime, Q Grapefruit, served in "Felix" the copper gnome.
- Nog (Not Really) - Hennessy Black, Dictador 12-year rum, Miracle Mile Redeye Bitters, cream, egg, Grahams 10 Years Tawny Port, nutmeg, pinch of truffle salt, garnished with a shortbread cookie star.
- Death Metal for Xmas - Roku Gin, Akashi Ume Liqueur, Yuzuri Yuzu Liqueur, lime, Q Ginger Beer, ginger foam, "Aggretsuko cheer"
Big Bar is also featuring the Run Run Reindeer all month: Makers 46, Jägermeister Scharf, cranberry pomegranate, Miracle Mile Hello Cari Bitters, lime, and Q Ginger Beer.
Blitzen’s - Here and Now (Through Dec. 31, 2019)
One of the first LA bars to go all in with an immersive holiday experience, Here and Now (300 S Santa Fe Ave Ste N, Los Angeles 90013) is back with Blitzen's, which is bringing holiday cheer to the Arts District through December 31. Highlights of the 15-drink cocktail menu include:
- You Go Glenn Cocoa - hot chocolate, rum, Chartreuse, Mr. Black
- Put On Your Yarmulke - Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, Manischewitz, grapefruit cordial, allspice dram, honey, aquafaba, lime, hibiscus
- Elf’s Breakfast - Becherovka, Licor 43, Lucky Charm Cream
- Mele Kalikimaka - Jamaican rum, Plantation Pineapple, Licor 43, spiced cranberry sauce, coconut, lime
The large format Get Blitzen’d is great for groups - served in a ski boot and made with Altos Tequila, Lustau Fino Sherry, Lillet, lemon, falernum, and bubbles.
Food specials include Christmas Poutine (pulled turkey, house gravy, cheese curds, bay leaf cranberry), Latkas (potato and chickpea latka, apple sauce, crème fraiche), and Santa’s Salad with bitter greens, sherry cranberries, roasted squash, pecorino and ricotta salata.
Themed entertainment at Blitzen's features carolers, Santa, drag queen bingo, "re-gift your sh*t gift," and a holiday puppy pageant. Sunday nights are PJ-themed, complete with classic games and holiday movie screenings like Elf, Home Alone and Christmas Vacation.
Blitzen’s is once again teaming up with PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), giving a free cup of punch to anyone who brings in a quart-sized Ziploc of toiletries.
For the full schedule and to make a reservation, visit the Blitzen's website.
Discreetly located in a Little Tokyo strip mall, The Mermaid (428 E 2nd St, Los Angeles 90012) is offering Santa’s Secret Menu, featuring High West Distillery with proceeds benefiting the Little Tokyo Community Council:
- Baby It's Cold Outside - hot toddy with choice of High West Bourbon or Rye, honey, lemon spice and "everything nice."
- Butter Watch Out - brown butter and pecan fat washed High West Double Rye, pineapple, lemon, cinnamon.
- Naught-ical Nog - High West American Prairie Bourbon, chai, creamy coconut.
Miracle On Melrose - Melrose Umbrella Co (Through Dec. 29, 2019)
More than 100 bars around the world are hosting Miracle, a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar that serves holiday cocktails in a festive setting. Here in Los Angeles, you can get in the Christmas spirit at Melrose Umbrella Co (7465 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles 90046), which has been transformed into Miracle On Melrose. It's a good thing the pop-up is open daily from 10am to 2am, because there's a lot to take in - the over-the-top decor includes 50+ Christmas trees, countless holiday lights, the Nutcracker Bar on the patio, "Clark Griswold" and "Buddy the Elf," and much, much more. Holiday cocktails* include:
- Snowball Old-Fashioned - Caramelized Pecan Bourbon, Spiced Molasses Syrup, Wormwood Bitters, Orange Essence
- Gingerbread Flip - Rye Whiskey, Gingerbread Syrup, Elemakule Tiki Bitters, Whole Egg, Ginger Snap Cookie Crumbs
- Christmas Carol Barrel - Blanco Tequila, Coffee Liqueur, Cocoa Nib-Infused Orange & Cognac Liqueur, Iced Hot Chocolate, Mexican Spices
- SanTaRex - Rye Whiskey, Oloroso Sherry, Spiced Apple Cider Concentrate, Lemon Juice, Hard Cider, Baked Apple Bitters
- Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r! - Barbados Rum, Cachaça, Trinidad Overproof Rum, Purple Yam & Coconut Orgeat, Pineapple
- Choice of three shots - Nice, Naughty or Mistletoe
*Select glassware is available for purchase.
"Miraculous" bar bites feature Holiday Turkey Sliders, English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich, Latke Bites, and Miracle Salad.
Holiday Spectacular - The NoMad (Saturdays & Sundays in December)
Located in the heart of Downtown LA, The NoMad (649 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90014) is once again hosting the Holiday Spectacular at the lobby level Coffee Bar from 5-11pm every Saturday and Sunday in December. Sundays will feature spirited brand takeovers that will have industry folk and guests feeling merry and bright all month long.
Sleigh Bells On Spring - Preux & Proper (Through Dec. 30, 2019)
Enjoy a generous serving of Southern hospitality at Preux & Proper (840 S Spring St, Los Angeles 90014), which is hosting Sleigh Bells On Spring through December 30. Located in Downtown LA, the New Orleans-inspired restaurant features numerous holiday cocktails by Beverage Director Kassday Wiggins:
- Oh Bring Us a Figgy Cocktail - Haku Vodka, house-made fig & vanilla syrup, lemon, Fever Tree Club Soda, rosemary
- Naughty or Spice - Angels Envy, house-made gingerbread syrup, sassafras and sorghum bitters
- Treat Yo’ Elf - Teeling Irish Whiskey, cocoa, almond milk, roasted marshmallow, heavy cream, chocolate rim
- Santa-gria - citrus mulled red wine, fig, pear, cinnamon, clove and ginger, served warm
- Rum Rum Rudolph - Bacardi Gold, St. George NOLA coffee liqueur, ripe banana, orange zest
- Fra-gee-lay - El Tesoro Paradiso, house-made pear liqueur, limoncello, apple cider, mint
- Gnome Alone: Lost in LA - Glenlivet 21-year, cranberry shrub, applewood smoke, house-made ginger liqueur
- Oaxacan Around the Christmas Tree - Ilegal Mezcal, pomegranate-infused St. Germain, lemon, apple bitters, Fever Tree Club Soda
- I’ve Brought Some Corn for Popping - brown butter washed Grey Goose Vodka, house-made heirloom popcorn syrup, sage, lemon, maple salt
- I Dread-el the Holidays - Bombay Sapphire, lemon, chai, blue spirulina algae, fortune cookie, edible gold
And because sharing is caring:
- He Sees You (Both) When You’re Drinking - Tito’s Vodka, basil, pickled cranberries, absinthe, orange bitters, prosecco (serves two)
- Happy Swanzaa - Copalli Barrel Rested Rum, Maker's Mark, coconut eggnog, pumpkin spice (dairy-free, serves four)
Executive Chef Sammy Monsour is featuring several holiday specials, including the Harlem Chicken & Waffles with Melba’s eggnog waffles and sorghum molasses glazed wings; Orange Ginger Duck Confit with Liberty Farms duck leg; "Elf" inspired Buddy Breakfast Pasta; a Roast Beast straight out of Whoville, featuring Beeler’s Tomahawk Pork Chop; “Feast of the Seven Fishes” style Jumbo Prawns; and for dessert, the Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins with Grey Goose Vodka.
During Sleigh Bells On Spring, Santa will be stopping by on Thursdays: December 12 features an Ilegal Mezcal Holiday Tattoo Pop-Up on the balcony with Julio the Monster; and on December 19 Grey Goose hosts DIY Gingerbread Houses.
In the spirit of holiday giving, Preux & Proper is supporting NKLA, an initiative led by Best Friends Animal Society, bringing together passionate individuals, city shelters and a coalition of animal welfare organizations to end the killing of homeless pets in L.A. city shelters. Guests are encouraged to bring in new and unused pet food, treats, toys, paper towels, blankets, litter, or grooming supplies to Preux & Proper and be gifted a complimentary "Cup of Cheer."
Holiday Party - Runway Playa Vista (Through Dec. 31)
The dynamic duo of Top Chef alum Brooke Williamson and husband Nick Roberts presents Holiday Party, a Tiki-inspired pop-up bar at Runway Playa Vista (12751 Millennium Dr Ste. B-135, Playa Vista 90094).
Holiday Party cocktails include:
- Tiki Nog (Myers's Dark Jamaican Rum, milk, demerara, Angostura Bitters, nutmeg)
- Down the Chimney (Los Vecinos Mezcal, house made mole bitters, banana liqueur)
- Navidad Tropicale (Dobel Tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, pineapple, coconut, lime)
- Tiki Toddy (Angel's Envy Bourbon, Myers's White Rum, Tiki Bitters, lemon, honey, cinnamon)
- Krampus (Fig-infused Rittenhouse Rye, Averna, Black Walnut Bitters)
- Naughty + Nice (Fords Gin, pineapple+cinnamon infused Campari, Carpano Antica)
Holiday Party also features poke bowls from Da Kikokiko, Santa Sundays, an Ugly Sweater Party on December 12, and a New Year's Eve Party to close out the season.
Santa Baby (Through Dec. 31)
Running every weekend through December 31, Santa Baby (2121 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 90026) is a holiday pop-up bar with a Christmas lodge theme. Located in Echo Park, Santa Baby is open Thursday-Sunday from 4pm to 1am, as well as Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
"Tis the Season To Be Tipsy" cocktails:
- Pole Dancer - gin, cranberry juice, ginger, sage
- I Touch My Elf - prosecco, cherry, rosemary and cranberries
- Gangsta Wrapper - whiskey, orange bitters, simple syrup, fresh orange and cinnamon
- Son of a Nutcracker - vodka, pomegranate juice, ginger beer, pomegranate seeds
Walk-ins are welcome, but Santa Baby recommends advance purchase to guarantee entry. General Admission tickets are $5 and on sale at the Santa Baby website.
Every Friday and Saturday this month, Seven Grand (515 W 7th St 2nd Fl, Los Angeles 90014) is teaming up with a different brand to feature four holiday-themed cocktails and a vegan eggnog on draft. If you come dressed in an outfit for that weekend's theme (like the recent Ugly Sweater Party featuring Maker's Mark) you get the drinks at a discount!
Office Holiday Party - Severance Wine Bar (Through Dec. 28)
Inspired by everything from Planes, Trains, & Automobiles to The Office, Severance Wine Bar is taking over the adjacent space on Melrose Avenue with an Office Holiday Party (7276 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles 90046). This Dunder Mifflin bureaucratic holiday fever dream is fueled with copious amounts of champagne, themed cocktails, and holiday fare:
- Winter Wonderland of Tacky Office Holiday Dressings - The Party Planning Committee has gone to great lengths to ensure this is the greatest of all holiday parties including a crap ton of lights!
- Classic Movies - Beloved holiday movies showing on a 10-foot projection screen.
- Food & Snacks - Order bar bites like 'Ndjua-Stuffed Arancini and Maple Scotch Egg from the Severance menu.
- Nightly Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest
- Desserts: Mini Baked Alaska, Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches, Chocolate Fondue, French Macarons, Chocolate Fountain (serves 12+), and assorted cookies and cakes.
Get any bottle of champagne sabered tableside, and/or sip festive cocktails such as:
- You're Drunk Karen - Champagne, Cranberry & Ginger Syrup, Lime, Orange Bitters
- Episcopalian Christmas - Clarified Milk Punch with Lavender, Sherry, Pommeau, Lemon, & Nutmeg, Served Out of a Flask
- Festivus: For the Rest of Us – House Eggnog Featuring Three Types of Sherry & a Nutmeg Garnish
- A Die Hard Holiday – Pineau de Charentes, Amontillado Sherry, Lemon, Luxardo Syrup, Sugar Rim
- Dunder Mifflin – Six-person punch with Dry Lambrusco, Grapefruit, & Rinomato Liqueur (Served in a Suitcase)
The Office Holiday Party is open on Thursday from 7:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m., and Friday-Saturday from 7:00 p.m. to midnight. Walk-ins are welcome, reserved tickets at Eventbrite are recommended. Pricing is $20 per person and includes a complimentary cocktail or sparkling wine flight (tax & gratuity included).
Riviera 31 - Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills (Through Jan. 31, 2019)
As winter rolls in, cozy up with cocktails that warm the soul at Riviera 31, the lively bar and lounge at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills (8555 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles 90048). Guests will enjoy sipping holiday-inspired drinks as they sink into swanky velvet sofas. Seasonal cocktails include the Winter Wonderland (Vodka, Godiva White Chocolate with Sweet Rim), Log Cabin (Bourbon, Amaro and homemade Apple Butter) and the Ski Lift, made with Kahlúa, Cold Brew Coffee, and topped with a Bailey’s Foam.