Where To Catch (And Drink!) The Holiday Spirit

Photography by Jeffery Fountain

"You live life to the fullest, and it's no different during the holidays"

It’s the most wonderful time of the year- no, not awards-season- it’s the holidays! When the fake-nice people in LA are actually nice-nice, for real. But with all that extra energy spent being agreeable (and the Christmas music playing since the day after Thanksgiving), you deserve a cup of ‘good cheer’… or twelve. One for each day of Christmas.

PCN is here to make sure the Christmas Tree won’t be the only thing that’s lit this year. These are the spots to enjoy the best LA has to offer for seasonal cocktails that will get you through the holidays.

You live life to the fullest, and it’s no different during the holidays. Since you are too busy hustling and grinding to make it to the actual North Pole, there are a few spots that bring the North Pole to you. For the big kid in you that still believes in Santa, these places get decked out when they’re decking the halls.

The pop-up Miracle Bar at The Everly features retro-inspired décor, including a 20-foot tall inflatable Santa, and no you’re not tripping; it will be “snowing” there, thanks to the snow machine. While you’re making snowballs, imbibe on the Christmas Carol Barrel, made with aged rum, aquavit, amaro, pumpkin pie, citrus and angostura bitters. You can peruse their full list of holiday-themed cocktails here.

Snow will also fall at the Here and Now pop up Blitzen’s Bar. If you’ve been nice, you might catch the naughty Sugarplums belting out a few carols, sure to make your night merry and bright.

If you’ve ever wanted to drink out of a snow-globe, head to The NoMad, where they’ll be slinging drinks like the “Partridge in a Pear Tree,” made with spiced pear, sherry, ver jus, honey and pommeau. At all of these spots you can get elfed up while you get effed up!  

Don’t need all the jingle bells and whistles? Just looking for a sleek, old-school vibe where trusted mixologists serve up concoctions to get you feeling right? The Hot Buttered Rum at Sonny’s Hideaway will keep you warm on the cold Hollywood nights. Made with rums El Dorado 8 Year, Lemon Hart 151 and Hamilton Saint Lucien Cask Strength 7 Year, mixed with butter, Vietnamese cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and vanilla bean. Or perhaps you will find yourself at the Thirsty Crow, where the impressive bartenders craft top-notch drinks with seasonal ingredients. Their wintry offerings don’t disappoint. Try the Spiked Cider, served hot with Sailor Jerry Rum, Butterscotch Schnapps, fresh apples and apple cider, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. It’ll leave you feeling holly and jolly.

Milk and cookies are nice for Santa, but to really satisfy that sweet tooth, take a sleigh ride-share over to Big Bar, connected to the famous Alcove Café and Bakery. Always charming year-round, their scenic patio is converted into a cozy, picturesque, winter wonderland. To wash down the sweets, head to the bar where they serve inventively refreshing and delicious winter cocktails, including the Athol’s Brose, made with toasted-oat-infused Bruichladdich (single-malt Scotch whiskey), hand-whipped cream, honey, cinnamon and shortbread. Knock back a few of these and you’ll be seeing flying reindeer.

For the lovers out there that want the ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ vibe, but don’t actually have a fire place in LA- or you’re looking to meet your very own Santa or Mrs. Claus- cuddle up and get comfy at the romantic, outdoor fire-pits at Tart. Slip on your sexy stockings or your velvet, red pants and jacket, and sip on a creamy “Naughty or Nice Nog” made with cinnamon brandy, whiskey bitters, maple syrup and eggnog, topped with nutmeg. You’ll be unwrapping your presents before you know it.

Is your boss or significant other a snowman/woman? You know, cold, inflexible, and basically does nothing? Or maybe you’re just unhappy with your gifts this year and want to escape the carolers?

If you fancy yourself more of a Scrooge, and Bad Santa just happens to be your favorite Christmas movie, Footsie’s is the actual dive bar where Bad Santa wets his beak. This bar is a method actor. Don’t expect festive decorations or general merriment. Do expect a hip, dimly lit watering hole with cheap, stiff drinks to help drown your holiday blues.

A couple of bonus stocking-stuffers for you, here a couple of spots that are always good to grab a classic Hollywood drink, no matter the season. Ye Rustic Inn never fails to be a bumpin’ good time- and it’s open EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. Or hit up The Dresden, where you can catch Marty and Elaine adding their jazzy swag to standard holiday tunes. Not familiar with Marty and Elaine? Well if you don’t know, now you know…

Cheers to holiday cheer!

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