The Best Christmas Bars 2016

When else can you get a cocktail served in a snow globe?

All December long, we're bringing you the recipes, tips and tricks you need to Feast your way through the holidays, no matter how you celebrate the season.

We all know there's a little more than just milk in Santa's mug. And at these holiday-themed bars across the country, you can take on the night just like the big guy. Presents hang from the ceiling, holiday music is on blast and creative vessels abound—because why use a boring tumbler when you can drink from a reindeer-enameled highball?

① Miracle, Multiple Locations

Though it started off in 2014 as a strictly New York enterprise, this pop-up is now operating in 20 locations around the world, from Oklahoma to Athens, Greece. The original is held at bartender Nico de Soto's Mace, which was recently named the 28th best bar in the world. Mace takes a sabbatical and becomes this all-frills Christmas spot for a month. Everything's wrapped up in delightful holiday spirit: Picture bartenders in Santa hats pouring pine liqueur in cocktail shakers.

② LOCL Bar at the NYLO Hotel, New York

The lobby bar of this trendy Upper West Side hotel is a Shakespeare-inspired wonderland called A Midwinter Night's Dream for one month only. It's clear how much fun bartender Cody Goldstein had when creating the drinks, as they are served in the likes of gnomes and snow globes. But they're just as delicious as they are festive, especially the bourbon-based number that allows you to roast your own marshmallow garnish.

Bar snacks come in the form of candy canes, and there's live piano music to get you in the holiday mood. Plus, there's something for everyone, like the mulled wine cocktail that uses only the best—Manischewitz, that is. It's hard to pick a favorite drink (Goldstein himself says that'd be like picking a favorite kid), but try the Nymph Nectar. The frothy egg white in this citrusy gin cocktail is steeped with cinnamon for 24 hours, and the edible holiday glitter on top makes it a gift that keeps on giving.

③ Winter Wonderland at the Arlo Hotel, New York

The rooftop hotel bar Good Story has transformed into a temporary wintry oasis in Hudson, with candy cane shooters, gingerbread Jell-O shots and an iced hot chocolate martini. Think Elf or Santa's Workshop but for the 21-and-up crowd. It comes courtesy of Harold Moore from Harold's Meat + Three, which means the old-school pigs in a blanket are Michelin starred and chef approved. Take note of the real-life advent calendar special, which offers free shots from one bottle each night until the well runs dry. You can also skip single-glass formality and order a whole bowl of Champagne-cognac punch: You have until New Year's Day to finish it, when the bar returns to its normal ways.

④ 230 Fifth, New York

You can check "drink on a Friday night while perched inside a yurt-like igloo" off your to-do list now. There are robes, spiked hot apple cider and unparalleled skyline views at this seasonal installation located within New York's largest rooftop bar. Just remember, if you don't post an Instagram with the picturesque Empire State Building in the background, you didn't actually go.

⑤ Miracle on Seventh Street, Washington, D.C.

Expansionism seems to be the name of the game this season. Similar to Miracle's growth, this buzzy pop-up is taking over three neighboring bars in D.C.'s Shaw: Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich and Southern Efficiency. You'll get joy just from ordering a drink—"Snow Angels, Ice Skating, Cookie Dough & Snuggles" and "Buzz, Your Girlfriend, Woof!" are highlights—and they'll slide right down the chimney. Last year, there was Manischewitz punch pong, meaning you can expect fun for all denominations. And if you get hungry, get yourself a chocolate-dipped Christmas cookie and an order of Schweddy Balls. We'll leave it at that.

⑥ Garden District, Washington, D.C.

Head a few blocks west for a different holiday experience, where this laid-back barbecue spot is proving there's no need to hibernate for the winter. Heated lamps and brandy-spiked mulled wine will keep you warm as Santa flies overhead and an impressive light show twinkles through the night.

Sippin' Santa's Surf Shack, Multiple Locations

Bartender Paul McGee is considered one of the leading forces in the cocktail world's tiki craze, as anyone who's visited Lost Lake in Chicago can attest. And now that the Logan Square bar has popped up as the tiki alter ego of Miracle, you can get in on the self-titled "psychotically tropical X-mas explosion," full of good vibrations, surfing-santa-adorned highball glasses and Lost Lake's spiced coconut syrup. Other Sippin' Santa locations include New Orleans and NYC: Take the Christmas spirit and lei it on thick.