Those who prefer their December to be crammed with as much seasonal merriment as humanely possible should listen up: Montreal gets not one, but two pop-up Christmas bars starting Friday (December 1).
The more notable of the two (due to its scenic views) will be atop the William Gray Hotel in Old Montreal, where the rooftop terrasse will be converted into bar de noël Miracle. Given the obvious issues with drinking outdoors on an eighth-floor terrasse in December, the bar (which operates in summer as the Terrasse William Gray) will be covered and heated to avoid any nasty frostbitten side effects.
While tinsel-laden Christmas pop-ups may not be to everybody’s tastes, opening up and heating a rooftop is a definite novelty, regardless of theme.
That’s not the only Christmas “Miracle” — another iteration of the bar will pop-up at Ontario Street venue Teddy Bar. While the William Gray edition of the bar is being billed as the more deluxe of the two (complete with a champagne selection), the Teddy Bar version will be quite similar to the Miracle pop-up that took over Nexus Smartbar in December 2016 (Nexus was in the space now occupied by Teddy Bar). On offer will be a range of fairly festive special drinks (read: ingredients such as hazelnut liqueur, mulled wine, and egg nog). Teddy Bar will also be open during the day serving special coffees and hot chocolates.
If last year’s version is any measure, it’s quite the festive overload: the Nexus version featured a fireplace, bear skin rug, Christmas movies playing, and a requisite jingly soundtrack.
These Christmas pop-up bars aren’t unique to Montreal — the Miracle concept got started in New York for the 2014 season, and it has rapidly expanded. Montreal was one of the first non-US cities to get one in 2016, and this year Sherbrooke, Quebec City, Ottawa, and Toronto all have Miracle outlets. There’s a standard set of festive cocktails offered across most Miracles, take a look, and prepare for well-worn Christmas puns. (Note that the exact drink offerings may vary from Miracle to Miracle).
- Christmopolitan: vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, rosemary, lime, absinthe mist
- Muletide: mezcal, amontillado sherry, allspice dram, ginger, lemon
- Bad Santa (hot cocktail): mulled red wine, tawny port, orange liqueur, spices, golden raisins
- How The Gimlet Stole Christmas: gin, pine-caraway-sage cordial
- Run Run Rudolph: blanco tequila, coffee liqueur, iced hot chocolate, Mexican spices
- You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out: pumpkin spiced rye whiskey, Budweiser, marshmallow syrup, egg
- Snowball Old Fashioned: gingerbread bourbon, wormwood bitters, lemon zest
- Fa La La La La, La La La La: gin, aquavit, hazelnut liqueur, cardamom, vanilla, lemon, egg white, club soda
- Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r! : Barbados rum, cachaça, Trinidad overproof rum, purple yam, coconut orgeat, pineapple
- Jingle Ball Nog: cognac, amontillado sherry, peanut butter, almond milk, pandan, cream, nougat syrup, egg, nutmeg
STATUS — Miracle opens at Teddy Bar (323 Ontario East) and Terrasse William Gray (421 Saint-Vincent, 8th floor) on December 1, and runs through to December 31.