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Blitzen Here and Now holiday bar
Photograph: Courtesy Here and Now

These L.A. bars are selling holiday cocktails to-go

This year L.A.’s holiday bars are offering festive drinks for takeout and delivery, turning your own home into a winter wonderland.

Written by
Stephanie Breijo
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We long for the days of escaping to a chintzy holiday bar draped in tinsel and good cheer, but this year we’ll have to enjoy some festive vibes at home. Before you stain your shirt pouring red wine into a pot on the stove or accidentally curdle your own eggnog, we ask this: Why not leave your cocktails to the pros?

While we can’t head to L.A.’s best holiday bars for in-person drinking, some of the city’s top beverage directors, mixologists and all-around liquid geniuses are whipping up their hyper-festive Christmas and Hanukkah drinks to-go. You might sip large-format boozy hot cocoa from a thermos, pair themed cocktails with an at-home screening of Home Alone, crack open a bottle of “vintage” nog with cookies, or mix up your own concoction thanks to an easy-to-assemble kit. Some of these spots even deliver their holiday cocktails. With these festive to-go drinks, there really is no place like home for the holidays.

Where to drink holly-jolly spirits to your heart's content

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Los Feliz

It’s never a question of how hard Los Feliz’s Big Bar is going to go at the holidays. The only question is how hard they’ll go, and this year, the answer is Die Hard-hard.

One of our favorite bars in town just announced the launch of holiday-movie–themed cocktail kits for both Die Hard and Home Alone at $45 apiece, and they’ll include large-format cocktails, popcorn, candy canes and goodies themed to each of the streamable movies.

They’re also selling holiday-perfect cocktail kits that’d make ideal gifts (for yourself or a loved one), including an old-fashioned kit, a Manhattan kit, a St-Germain spritz kit, a three-martini “lunch” kit, and even a few “flights of fancy” kits—where curated spirits flights come all wrapped up in a red bow. Big Bar is currently serving as a bottle shop, too, with curated liquors, liqueurs, locally made bitters, and bar must-haves (we’re talking olives, cherries and beyond) all on offer. Talk about a one-stop shop.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Downtown Arts District
  • price 2 of 4

One of the finest cocktail bars in the world is bringing a little festivity to your home with batched drinks ready to pour and serve—plus sweet treats to set out for a very lucky Santa. In addition to releasing some very gift-worthy merch, Downtown’s Death & Co. just launched holiday dessert-and-cocktail kits, each containing six to eight servings of seasonal must-haves.

If you’re partial to eggnog and cookies, there’s a package sporting “vintage” nog made with Old Grand Dad 114 bourbon, Smith & Cross Jamaican rum, Pierre Ferrand Ambre cognac, Madeira, egg and cream, which comes with eight of “Grandpa’s drunken cookies,” made with dark chocolate, banana liqueur and rum. More of a toddy and pie person? Death & Co.’s other holiday pack includes a bottle of “hibernal” toddy—which is a mix of Suntory Toki Whisky, Calvados, cinnamon, honey and angostura bitters—with a Meyer lemon tart featuring smoked honey meringue. Decisions, decisions. Order online for pickup or delivery.

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  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Silver Lake
  • price 2 of 4
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Of course one of L.A.'s coolest wine bars is offering—wait for it—mulled wine to-go. Silver Lake's Eszett is handing glühwein out of its charming walk-up window now through December 23. Peek in at the wine bar's holiday lights while you get passed a steaming cup of the seasoned red wine ($10), which comes spiced with cinnamon, cloves, orange, almond extract, anise and cardamom. Wish it could last longer than one paper cup's worth? Eszett's team thinks of everything: They're also selling limited bottles of their glühwein for reheating at home. Purchase with a slice of their Basque cheesecake, for festive results. You can even order ahead here.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Downtown Arts District

If you’ve ever been to one of the holiday bar takeovers at Here and Now, you know these guys mean business. While we can’t bask in the full glory and fun programming as we did in years prior (ahem, carolers and drag bingo), Here and Now is still making its bar merry and bright—even if you’re just picking up a cocktail order to-go.

You’ll be greeted by fake snow and a photo-ready sled out front during Blitzen’s, which runs now through the end of the month, but in 2020, the Arts District bar is really transforming your home into a North Pole watering hole. The over-the-top cocktails are back, served ready to drink, available as kits, and also offered in large formats. Think: boozy hot cocoa; whiskey-spiked hot apple cider; sherry-and-brandy–packed egg nog; an Apres Skitini, featuring house-made pine liqueur; and a Hanukkah-perfect Eight Crazy Nights clarified milk punch. This year’s festive foods include latkes, pigs in a blanket, baked brie, turkey “leftover” sandwiches and more.

Looking for even more merriment? Here and Now just launched holiday virtual experiences such as private whiskey tastings—a perfect gift or wintry activity, if you ask us. Order online for pickup or delivery.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Highland Park
  • price 1 of 4

L.A.’s favorite breakfast-taco destination is bringing back one of its seasonal signatures: boozy nog. This year HomeState’s “Texas-strength” eggnog is back in to-go glass jars with patterned coverings, and it’s made with rye whiskey, brandy, sherry, rum, eggs and cream. Sorry, Los Feliz: These babies are only available at the Highland Park and Playa Vista locations. They run $10 per eight-ounce jar and $18 per 16-ounce jar.

  • Restaurants
  • Taiwanese
  • Mar Vista
  • price 2 of 4

For those hunting festive cocktails and a bit of Taiwanese and Chinese food this December, chef David Kuo’s Mar Vista sibling concepts are serving a pair of merry drinks and holiday-perfect bites.

Launching on December 22 and running through the end of the month you can find two festive new Accomplice tipples: The Rebel Without a Claus, made with Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz gin, mulled wine syrup, bitter pomegranate liqueur, mole bitters, angostura bitters and an absinthe rinse; and the Santa’s (Side) Sleigh, made with Landy VSOP, Laird’s Apple Brandy, Clement Creole Orange Shrubb, house-made gingerbread syrup, habañero bitters, lemon and a Chinese five-spice sugar rim. They all run $25 apiece, at two servings a pop.

If you’re worried your holiday revelry will work up a hunger Little Fatty is also offering a massive $100 family-style feast filled with wontons, walnut shrimp and beyond, as well as a steal of a separate $60 drink pack that includes six Taiwanese beers (with two beer glasses), Accomplice’s Bright Side cocktail, the Greener Pastures cocktail, and your choice of one of the new holiday drinks. Whew. Look out for ordering starting December 22.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Fairfax District

Santa’s shop right along Melrose? You’d better believe it. Melrose Umbrella Co. is selling ready-to-drink holiday cocktails to-go and some of the most festive drink kits we’ve seen yet—meaning something for you, something for someone you love (now that’s our kind of shopping).

Be on the lookout for jars of their fan-favorite eggnog, where a 32-ounce mason jar comes accompanied by holiday cookies ($40), as well as a mulled-wine kit that includes a bottle of red wine, mulling spices, brandy, syrup and a pair of mugs ($40)—ditto the hot toddy kit with cookies and a pair of mugs ($50). Find the full offering online and available for order now. Merry and bright, indeed.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Echo Park
  • price 1 of 4
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A post shared by Thunderbolt (@thunderboltla)

Historic Filipinotown’s Thunderbolt is whipping up some of the most inventive holiday drinks in L.A. this year, giving us cocktails like the I Can’t Believe it’s not Buttered Rum made, of course, without butter—this hot “buttered” rum is actually concocted with coconut butter in addition to Madeira, chai, turmeric and sipping rum. There’s also the All Spruced Up, featuring Old Forester 100-proof bourbon, Washington spruce tips and grapefruit oil; the canned, carbonated Sham-Pagne, made with Camus cognac, Chateau Arton blanche armagnac, clarified grape juice, verjus and salt; and the Champurrado Highball, with bourbon, Nixta elote liqueur, cacao, cinnamon, lactose and salt. They’re all priced at $13 apiece, and they’re available now for pickup and delivery; order online.

Looking for some more holiday spirit?

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