PA-RUM PA PUM PUM
2 downtown San Antonio bars deck the halls for festive Christmas pop-ups
First order of business: Rehearse saying, "Let's circle back to that in the new year." Or, if your work schedule doesn't allow such seasonal procrastination, start punctuating your speech with the odd "cough, cough." Everyone deserves to get lost in the indeterminate haze of the holiday season for at least one day.
For those who need a little help shedding workaday stress, two Christmas pop-up bars will do the trick. Miracle is returning to Downstairs at the Esquire Tavern for a second year, while tropical-themed Sippin' Santa will debut at Hugman's Oasis. Both concepts opened November 24 and run through December 31.
Miracle has been a Yuletide tradition since first popping up in New York City in 2014. Since then, the pop-up has grown into a seasonal franchise with over a hundred international bars. The San Antonio edition debuted at defunct bar Jet-Setter in 2019 before hopping over to Esquire in 2022.
Guests can look forward to gloriously gaudy decorations and kitschy glassware filled with seasonal flavors. Signature sips this year include the Carol Barrel, a fizzy koala-garnished quaff with Applejack, banana liqueur, and navy-strength rum; and the Snowball Old Fashioned, a gingerbread take on the classic served with round ice.
Companion concept Sippin' Santa is new to San Antonio. Though it started in 2015, the pop-up has gained steam since partnering with tiki legend Jeff "Beachbum" Berry in 2018. Now, the series boasts over 50 annual locations in North America.
While still Christmas-themed, Sippin' Santa adds a touch of island exotica, festooning palms with holiday baubles. The drinks keep the spirit with novelty mugs shaped like sharks, coconut shells, and hot tub-soaking Saint Nick.
Highlights include the North Pole Bowl, a potent mix of rhum agricole and Jamaican rum; the Holiday on Ice with vodka, cold brew, and ancho chile liqueur; and the Ho Ho Hot Buttered Rum with spiced honey.
The festivities occur during both bars' normal operating hours, but reservations are gobbled up quickly. Locals can book Miracle here and Sippin' Santa here.