Miracle on Ninth Street
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For many a hardened, city-dwelling grinch, holiday cheer is a nostalgic notion—that long-lost anticipation of presents waiting to be opened or the care poured into building a jolly snowman. But with Christmas lights thrown up even before Thanksgiving and the whole month of December devolving into one big shopping spree, it’s understandable that the season’s lost a bit of sparkle. Enter Miracle on Ninth Street, a second annual, through-December-24 takeover of Greg Boehm and Nico de Soto’s 30-seat East Village bar, Mace, brimming with liquid holiday fun.
ORDER THIS: Cocktails ($14) that upend seasonal clichés: off-season fig leaf and nuoc mam (pungent, Vietnamese fish sauce) are used as adroitly as gingerbread and pumpkin spice. De Soto tweaks Mace menu staples with festive results: A warm, clarified-milk Bad Santa riffs on the Pandan, soothing Trinidad overproof rum and Indonesian Batavia arrack with pineapple, coconut and eight-spice, while the Christmas Tree Gimlet swaps out a grass cordial used in the bar’s shochu-fortified Grass for a wintry pine-needle variety.
GOOD FOR: SantaCon-fatigued drinkers looking to class up the season with grown-up Christmas gaiety. At Miracle, you might have to queue up in the cold before warming up with a toasty mug, but it’ll be in good company at one of downtown’s finest watering holes, not stumbling through the streets with a horde of sloppy St. Nicks. Raucous Top 40 is swapped for velvety Christmas anthems (think mom-approved Michael Bublé), and the closest thing to a costume you’ll see is a chipper Santa hat perched on a bartender’s head.
THE CLINCHER: The space is fitted not only with plenty of Christmas nods—shelves strung with vintage cards, chairs enveloped in Santa-hat covers and ceiling rigged with gift-wrapped boxes—but also a menorah-crowned, blue-and-white Hanukkah Hideaway nook, perfect for cozying up to a chocolate-gelt-tequila Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel. Tucked away in this lavish snow globe of a pop-up bar, it’s hard not to feel like one of the chosen people, no matter which holiday you celebrate.
649 E 9th St
|Cross street:||between Aves B and C|
|Transport:||Subway: L to First Ave|
|Price:||Average cocktail: $14. AmEx, MC, V.|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Wed 5pm-1am; Thu, Fri 5pm-4am; Sat 4pm-4am; Sun 4pm-1am|
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Miracle and Sippin' Santa pop-up bars
From November to the end of December, Miracle will be back in business at Mace and The Cabinet and Sippin' Santa will pop up at Boilermaker in the East Village. New this year is the "Jolly Koala" (gin, vermouth and pine-cardamom-sage cordial); the "On...Sunday November 1 2020 - Monday November 30 2020