There’s no question about it: New York is at its best during the holidays.
Fifth Avenue is bustling with shoppers, Central Park’s ice rink is a-flurry with skaters, and the tree at Rockefeller Center is standing tall and bright. The Christmas season also brings out the best in NYC bartenders; no matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to find a drink to make your holiday trip complete. We’ve gone bar to bar (for research, of course) and compiled a list of the best Xmas cocktails the city has to offer, so you can spend more time drinking, and less time planning.
- Having a hard time adjusting to the chilly winter weather? Head over to Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack to feel like you’ve been transported to Christmas time in the islands! This pop-up bar is famous for its tropical takes on seasonal favorites. The must-try drink is their housemade Toboggan Nog, a generous pour of pumpkin spice eggnog that’s spiked with Jamaican rum. Pro tip: Stop in for an early afternoon treat to avoid the lines.
- Stop by Mas (la grillade) to satisfy your inner chocolate fiend with the famous Fell’s Point Eggnog. This boozy Christmas treat blends fresh chocolate, cacao powder, eggs, milk, and Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva rum; it’s sure to please your sweet tooth.
- Perhaps New York’s most famous holiday pop-up bar, Miracle on 9th Street hides in the East Village and boasts a drinks menu that is undeniably festive. When you’re looking to get away from the heavy eggnogs that are so popular this time of year, try opting for the Christmopolitan, a Xmas cocktail of fig leaf-infused vodka, lime juice, spiced cranberry sauce, and St. Germain Liqueur. This is one sweet drink and, combined with the over-the-top décor, it’s sure to get you into the holiday spirit (pun intended).
- Craving something a little more savory? Stop in for a Shiprock cocktail at Aldea in the Flatiron District. This delightful drink mixes bold ingredients like sage, lemon, ginger, and orange blossom to create a unique wintertime blend that is as flavorful as it is fresh. While you’re there, be sure to check out their extensive menu of other holiday drinks.
- If you’re not totally ready to say goodbye to Thanksgiving, Saxon + Parole has your back. Stop in for their Spiced Pumpkin Flip, the boozy cousin to traditional pumpkin pie. Made with almond liqueur, whole eggs, W.L. Weller Bourbon, and, yes, lots of pumpkin, this drink is the perfect post-dinner treat.
- The Sugar Factory is known year-round for their over-the-top showmanship and giant goblet cocktails, and their holiday cocktails — as beautiful as they are tasty — are no exception. Their Peppermint Patty Martini is an absolute must. Made with Three Olives Chocolate Vodka, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur and Rumple Minz, this minty cocktail combines your favorite holiday flavors with The Sugar Factory’s trademark Instagram-worthy presentation. Be sure to book a reservation ASAP — tables are hard to come by if you wait too long!
- A local favorite, The Spotted Pig offers unique cocktails and delicious meals all year, but they truly take it to another level come Christmas time. Their Mulled Wine — made with house spices — will warm your insides so the wintry air feels like nothing more than a distant memory. Stop in to escape the snow and get a serious dose of the warm fuzzies.
This article was written by Hanna Gibeau.
- East Village
- Flatiron District
- Greenwich Village
- Mas (la grillade)
- Meatpacking District
- Miracle on 9th Street
- Saxon + Parole
- Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack
- The Spotted Pig
- The Sugar Factory
- West Village
- Xmas cocktails