‘Tis the season to be merry, right? Nothing gets us in the holiday spirit more than, well, spirits, and these holiday pop-up bars and seasonal sippers are giving us all the warm and fuzzies.
‘Twas the Monday before Christmas at LaPlace
“I have a staff who is Christmas crazy. They’re all pretty much little elves trying to decorate the restaurant as much as possible,” Dean James, owner of LaPlace in Hillsborough, says. “So, I was thinking about that before the inevitable onslaught of ribbons and bows.”
James decided he’d been enough of a Grinch and is going all-in on a Mondays-only Christmas-themed pop-up bar, aptly named ‘Twas the Monday before Christmas. The staff will be dressed in their best ugly Christmas sweaters, the framed pictures on the walls will be wrapped like presents, and there’ll be enough Christmas lights to make the place visible from space.
On the libations front, look for Christmas-inspired tipples such as Mrs. Claus’s Manhattan, stirred with candy canes, and the Griswold Family Punch, a gin-grapefruit-sparkling-wine punch, alongside decadent hot drinks, such as the Hot Honey Butter Fantasia, where scotch mingles with honey liqueur, apple butter, actual butter, and brown sugar. The special holiday food menu, prepared by La Place’s chef Benjamin Braxton and the Wooden Nickel’s chef Blake Erb, features gingerbread-spiced fried chicken with gingerbread waffles and snack-ready “stocking stuffers” such as fries with peppermint aioli.
‘Twas the Monday before Christmas will run on Mondays from December 1 to December 24, starting at 5:00 p.m.
Miracle at The Haymaker
Miracle, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar that originally launched in New York in 2014, returns this year to The Haymaker in downtown Raleigh until December 29. More than eighty locations around the world will host Miracle pop-up bars this holiday season, transforming spaces into a winter wonderland and serving a roster of signature seasonal sippers such as the gingerbread-bourbon-based Snowball Old Fashioned, and A Partridge in a Pear Tree, crafted with Reposado Tequila, pear brandy, mezcal, and spiced-demerara syrup.
Look for special events such as a toy drive on December 4, an ugly Christmas sweater party on December 6, and holiday karaoke on December 16 and 23. Like many locations around the country, Miracle at The Haymaker will sell holiday mugs featured on the signature cocktail menu, with 10 percent of all sales benefitting Action Against Hunger, a global organization committed to ending world hunger.
Night Market at The Durham
The Durham Hotel and Vert & Vogue will host the second annual Night Market on December 5 in The Durham’s restaurant and mezzanine from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Sip chef Andrea Reusing’s special aged eggnog—crafted with bourbon, cognac, and rum and topped with homemade whip and freshly shaved nutmeg—while you peruse wares from twenty-five local vendors, including food artisans such as Big Spoon Roasters, Counter Culture Coffee, and Escazú Artisan Chocolates. Reusing will also be in the dining room roasting and serving local chestnuts from Yellow Dog Orchards.
Tickets are $5 and proceeds from ticket sales will benefit non-profit NC Field’s, a non-profit that supports farmworker families in Eastern North Carolina. Proceeds (as well as donations from vendors) will go directly to NC Field’s Baby Its Cold Outside project, a collaboration with the Migrant Education Program which will purchase warm clothing and holiday toys for farmworker families in need. To purchase tickets, click here.
Holiday Splendor at Hummingbird
Coleen Speaks is giving her Raleigh cocktail bar a makeover. Throughout December, Hummingbird’s halls will be decked with live trees, twinkling lights, holiday tunes, and a holiday-themed cocktail menu. Signature seasonal drinks include It’s a Wonderful Life, crafted with cognac, green chartreuse, and rosemary; the Hot Grinch, a riff on hot buttered rum; Feliznoggidad, a scratch-made boozy eggnog; and Krampus juice, made with rum, Zucca (an Italian aperitif), cranberry, ginger, and lemon.