Miracle, an international Christmas-themed bar pop-up, has attracted line-out-the door crowds at its SF location for the past three years. The event resumes next week, at spots in San Francisco, San Jose, and Petaluma.
It all began as a temporary and kitschy New York event in 2014, but has since grown into a holiday pop-up in established bars around the globe (a location list can be found here). In the Bay Area, there are three spots where you can drink its signature cocktails with goofy names like “Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r!” (multiple kinds of rum, orgeat, and pineapple) or Christmapolitan (vodka, vermouth, and cranberry sauce): In SF there’s Pacific Cocktail Haven, which for the third year in a row will host the event, in San Jose the wonderland will be at Paper Plane, and for the first year ever, Brewster’s Beer Garden (in Petaluma) will participate as well.
Pacific Cocktail Haven co-owner Kevin Diedrich tells Eater SF that there was no question about his bar’s participation this year, saying that “it’s tradition now” for PCH to get decorated within an inch of its life. And this year, he says, he’s decided to make the decor “even bigger and better,” saying that he’s gotten a train set that will travel throughout the bar, a snow machine, and a very special cut-out just visible inside one of the bar’s ventilation ducts. Decorating the bar for Miracle has become “one of my favorite things,” Diedrich says. “It’s just really fun to get into the spirit.”
Another improvement from last year is more attention to volume control, as Diedrich admits that the bar can get uncomfortably jam-packed. The bar opens an hour earlier than usual during holidays, at 3 p.m., Diedrich says, and during the pop-up it’s typically at capacity by 3:30 p.m. Diedrich says that for Miracle 2019, the bar will be working to get people in and out more smoothly, both by keeping track of crowd size at the door and by speeding up service.
During Miracle — which this year will run from November 29th through January 4 — PCH is suspending its usual cocktail menu in favor of the Miracle menu of drinks and shots (it’s below). The menu is designed by Joann Spiegel, the general manager of New York cocktail bar Mace, which is where Miracle began. Patrons uncomfortable with asking for a Snowball Old Fashioned still have the option of requesting a “regular” old fashioned, though, and beer or wine is still available.
Patrons can also buy the Christmas-themed glass their drinks are made in, Miracle founder Greg Boehm tells Eater SF. He’s also the owner of Cocktail Kingdom, a barware company that (among other efforts) creates Miracle-specific glassware that is then sold to bars that participate in the event. According to Boehm, 10 percent of each Miracle vessel’s sale will be donated to Action Against Hunger, a global non-profit focused on malnutrition prevention in 50 countries across the globe.
Miracle’s cocktail and shot menu
Koala-La La La, La La La La: gin, pine tea cordial, grapefruit oleo, eucalyptus bitters
Christmapolitan: vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, lime, rosemary, absinthe mist
Jingle Bowl: Jamaican and demerara rums, applejack, amaro, lemon juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, maple and cinnamon syrups, angostura bitters
Snowball Old Fashioned: caramelized pecan bourbon, spiced molasses syrup, wormwood bitters
Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r!: Barbados rum, cachaça, Trinidad overproof rum, purple yam and coconut orgeat, pineapple
Don & Victor: Martinique and Jamaican rums, Italian bitter aperitif, sweet vermouth, D&V batter, nutmeg (served hot)
Run Run Rudolph: prosecco, gin, mulled wine puree, lemon, cane syrup
Jingle Balls Nog: brown butter and cinnamon fat-washed cognac, amontillado sherry, almond milk, cream, sugar, egg, vanilla, nutmeg
Kris Kringle Colada: Jamaican rum, amaro, allspice liqueur, lime juice, pineapple juice, cream of coconut
Bad Santa: rum, batavia arrack, black chai tea, date-infused oat milk, vanilla syrup (served hot)
Festivus Flip: bourbon, demerara rum, ginger-infused amaro, pomegranate, egg
Shaka Kalikimaka: London dry gin, allspice dram, orange and cognac liqueur, lime juice, falernum, cranberry syrup, herbsaint (served frozen)
Christmas Carol Barrel: blanco tequila, coffee liqueur, cocoa nib-infused orange and cognac liqueur, iced hot chocolate, Mexican spices
Christmas Eve of Destruction: over proof dark rum, lime juice, nutmeg syrup, benedictine, angostura bitters
Papa Noel: blanco tequila, apricot brandy, lime juice, pineapple juice, orgeat, cardamom bitters
Gingerbread Flip: rye whiskey, gingerbread syrup, tiki bitters, egg, ginger snap cookie crumbs
Rudolph Shoots The Curl: herbal mint liqueur, amaro, dark chocolate liqueur
Sippin’ Santa: aged demerara Rum, amaro, lemon juice, orange juice, gingerbread mix
SanTaRex: rye Whiskey, oloroso sherry, spiced apple cider concentrate, lemon juice, hard cider, baked apple bitters
Nice Shot: rum, peppermint tea, chocolate
Naughty Shot: bourbon, cinnamon
Mistletoe Shot: gingerbread spiced rye