Forget the holiday cheer. It’s all about holiday cheers.
Watering holes are decking the halls for a new season of festive Christmas pop-up bars. Select Big Apple boîtes have outfitted their spaces with jaw-dropping decorations and deliciously over-the-top specialty cocktails and snacks.
Read on for a list of our favorite spots, many of which offer outdoor seating.
The Pink Winter Lodge
No need to leave the city to enjoy après-ski. The Moxy Times Square’s Magic Hour rooftop is hosting a pop-up with a rosy alpine vibe and indoor and outdoor seating. There’s a frosted flower arch with pink antler chandeliers, a pink car and even a carousel with ski lift seats adorned with 25,000 crystals. Flashy sips and bites complement the sparkly decorations. The “Après Ski” cocktail ($18) blends New Amsterdam Vodka with Mozart White Chocolate Liqueur, soy milk, mini marshmallows and some pastry dye to keep things rosy. “It’s almost like a pink hot cocoa,” said Yvonne Najor, 35, the senior director of marketing for Tao Group Hospitality, who collaborated with Design House Décor for the installation.
For a cooler option, go for the “Double Pink Diamond” ($20), which includes tequila and Red Bull and comes in a diamond-shaped glass. To eat, there are “Pink Bling Donut Rings” ($14) — gluten-free strawberry donuts topped with pink frosting and gold glitter. “They’re super over-the-top Instagrammable and, of course, delicious,” said Najor.
Open through April. Magic Hour, 485 Seventh Ave.; (212) 967-6699, MoxyTimesSquare.com.
The inaugural holiday pop-up at the new Ready Rooftop at the Moxy East Village blends the perks of vacation with yuletide cheer. The halls are decked with multiple lawn flamingos, palm trees and a colorful array of tropical plants under string lights. “We wanted to make a splash,” said Nikki McCutcheon, Tao Group’s 30-year-old corporate beverage director, who crafted a drink menu to match the fun flair at the hangout, which offers seating under a retractable roof.
A frozen hot chocolate ($20) has New Amsterdam vodka, Mozart chocolate liqueur and RumChata liqueur topped with whipped cream and decorated with flamingo swizzle sticks and umbrellas. “Once people see them come out, they’re like ‘Oh my gosh, what’s that? I have to have it,’ ” she said. Grab your drinks and head to the middle of the room, where lounge seating and a large Christmas palm tree dressed in ornaments is especially inviting. “People love to sit there,” said McCutcheon. “It’s a really great photo opportunity.”
Open through March 1. Ready Rooftop, 112 E. 11th St.; (646) 908-2125, MoxyEastVillage.com.
Best known for its popular Oktoberfest parties, the South Street Seaport’s outdoor bar Watermark has turned into a winter wonderland. Spring for a heated glass enclosure that seats two to 12 ($50 to $250 for two hours) and overlooks the Brooklyn Bridge, East River, and even Lady Liberty herself from the ground level of the pier. Or enjoy the same striking views for free from an outdoor picnic table. “Watermark exhibits a cozy magical atmosphere guaranteed to get everyone into the holiday spirit,” said Abraham Merchant, president of Watermark’s parent company, Merchants Hospitality. Guests can enjoy spiked hot cocoa and specialty cocktails like the “Cider-rita” ($16), which mixes apple cider and Casamigos tequila or the “…& Everything Nice” (also $16), a concoction of Bacardi rum, pumpkin spice cream whiskey and cognac. Add to the fun by making your own s’mores ($28 for two people and $50 for four) on the Manhattan waterfront.
Open through March. Watermark, 78 South St. at the end of Pier 15; (212) 742-8200, WatermarkNY.com.
City Winery Rockefeller Center
For many New Yorkers, there’s nothing more thrilling than sitting back with a drink in hand and watching tourists struggle. City Winery’s Midtown wine garden satisfies both of those desires with an outdoor bar you can belly up to or personal igloos that seat up to eight ($150 to $250 minimum spend required, depending on the time of day). Sip a glasses of sauvignon blanc ($13), a Rhone red blend ($15) or an enjoy a local beer on tap ($10) while taking in views of the big tree and awkward out-of-towners. Food options include a charcuterie and cheese board ($24) and a mozzarella, pesto, and tomato salad ($14).
Rockefeller Center between 50th and 51st Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues; (646) 751-6033, RockefellerCenter.com/Dine/City-Winery.
“It’s like an ’80s prom meeting Christmas. It’s a big glittery party,” said Ivy Mix of the seasonal incarnation of her Brooklyn Latin bar and restaurant Leyenda. The indoor-only pop-up offers over-the-top decor and festive but subtle drinks ($14) that even your cocktail-snob friends will enjoy. “The Nutcracker Old Fashioned” ($14) features hazelnut- infused Wild Turkey Bourbon, pecan-infused Appleton Jamaica Rum, macadamia-nut orgeat, maple syrup and aromatic bitters, while the “Partridge in a Pear Tree” has Lustau Spanish Brandy mixed with a pear shrub and sparkling wine. “People get to live a little this year now that they’re not stuck outside freezing,” Mix told The Post. “It feels great to be able to host again.”
Sleyenda runs through Dec. 26. Leyenda, 221 Smith St., Cobble Hill; (347) 987-3260, LeyendaBK.com
Three bars in the New York area have become an outpost of Miracle, an initiative that transform bars around the world into Miracle-branded Christmas pop-ups. The Cabinet on the Lower East Side, Thief in Williamsburg, and Franklin Social in Jersey City have all decked their halls and will serve signature Miracle cocktails ($16) like “Bad Santa,” with aged Jamaican rum, velvet Falernum and nutmeg.
“We could all do with some holiday joy and celebration, so we did not hold back,” said John McNulty, the owner of Thief, where an 11-foot-tall Grinch has been installed by the door.
Miracle at Thief runs until Christmas Day. Thief, 595 Union Ave., Williamsburg; (917) 909-1166, ThiefNYC.com.
Miracle at The Cabinet runs through New Year’s Eve. The Cabinet, 649 E. 9th St.; (347) 866-7739, TheCabinetNYC.com.
Miracle at Franklin Social runs through New Year’s Eve. Franklin Social, 292 Barrow St., Jersey City, NJ; (201) 413-1300, FranklinSocial.com.
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