The Dead Rabbit Is Opening an Irish Christmas Pop-Up Bar

Behold, the seasonally festive Jingle Jangle. Plus, four other holiday cocktail dens debuting in New York this month

The Gingerbread Man! cocktail at the Dead Rabbit's pop-up bar Jingle Jangle

The Gingerbread Man, a cocktail at The Dead Rabbit's new seasonal pop-up

By Kirk Miller

For about a month, you may not recognize The Dead Rabbit. One of the world’s most awarded cocktail bars, Manhattan’s elevated take on a traditional Irish pub is transforming its main-floor Taproom into Jingle Jangle, an Irish Christmas pop-up, from Nov. 29 to Jan. 3 — part of a larger trend of limited-time, holiday-themed drinks destinations sprouting up around the city this month and next.

At Jingle Jangle, you’ll find all the staples of a Christmas bar: Festive drinks, nostalgic decor, seasonal snacks, Christmas soundtrack, etc. And there’s also a philanthropic angle — one dollar from every cocktail on the menu goes to Another Round, Another Rally, a nonprofit financial and educational resource for the hospitality industry.

So wait, what is an “Irish Christmas,” anyway? “An Irish Christmas is usually very focused around your loved ones, both friends and family,” Aidan Bowie, The Dead Rabbit beverage director, explains. “The 25th typically centers around a big meal, very similar to Thanksgiving in a way. The meal is normally spread over an entire afternoon or evening where people will exchange presents. There are Christmas games played and lots of good food.”

So far, sounds pretty normal for the holidays. But when the one-time World’s Best Bar is in charge of the drinks menu, you get a unique imbibing experience. “The cocktails on the Jingle Jangle menu are inspired by a number of classic Christmas flavors or dishes, like gingerbread or mulled wine,” Bowie says. “These flavors or desserts all tend to be very sweet, rich and candied. It was really important for us to recreate the flavors, but still keep the cocktails balanced, delicious and fitting with The Dead Rabbit.”

Standouts at Jingle Jangle include The Gingerbread Man!, an Old Fashioned riff that showcases the flavors of a classic gingerbread biscuit; Deck the Halls, a play on a margarita flavored with a rich, spiced apple syrup; and Frosty’s Flip, an intriguing mix of Irish whiskey, nutmeg, vanilla and a whole egg, served frozen.

It’s quite an ambitious menu, but surprisingly the cocktails won’t survive beyond Jingle Jangle’s limited run. “We’re really happy with the drinks, but they will only be available for the pop-up,” Bowie says. “They’re more playful and extravagant than we would normally serve at the bar.” 

With that in mind, here are a few of the recipes to try at home if you can’t make it downtown this month or next. Plus, check out these additional holiday pop-ups that you can currently enjoy around the city.

The Gingerbread Man
Nicholas Ruiz)

The Gingerbread Man!

Prep Time: 15 mins

Servings: 1

Ingredients
  • 2 oz. gingerbread-infused Buffalo Trace Bourbon (see below)
  • 1 tsp. Cruzan Black Strap Rum
  • 1/4 oz. Lyle’s syrup
  • Orange zest, for garnish
Directions
    1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice, and stir to dilute.

    2. Strain into a festive rocks glass over fresh ice.

    3. Garnish with orange zest.

Gingerbread-Infused Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Prep Time: 15 mins

Servings: 1

Ingredients
  • 1 bottle Buffalo Trace bourbon
  • 2 tea bags of gingerbread tea
Directions
    1. Infuse two bags of tea into the bourbon for 15 minutes and strain out.

Deck the Halls
Nicholas Ruiz)

Deck the Halls

Prep Time: 5 mins

Servings: 1

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 oz. reposado tequila
  • 3/4 oz. Pommeau (or hard cider)
  • 1 oz. spiced apple syrup (see below)
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Directions
    1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice.

    2. Shake and double-strain the cocktail into a rocks glass with cubed ice.

    3. Grate some cinnamon on top of the cocktail.

Spiced Apple Syrup

Prep Time: 15 mins

Servings: 10

Ingredients
  • 1 cup Red Jacket apple cider
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tea bags of chai tea
Directions
    1. Gently heat up apple cider and chai tea bags until warm. Add sugar and whisk to dissolve sugar.

    2. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat and allow the syrup to cool.

    3. Discard tea bags and store syrup in the fridge. This should be enough for about 10 servings of the cocktail.

El Che’s Cocktail Experts Have Some Tips for Your Holiday Drinks

Their beverage team offers advice for mixing up something new this season

Some other holiday pop-ups:

Snowball Old-Fashioned at Miracle
Noah Fecks

Miracle

A nationwide Christmas-themed pop-up, Miracle — and its tropical spinoff Sippin’ Santa — partner with dozens of bars across North America to craft winter-y cocktails like Grandma Got Run Over by A T-Rex, Island of Misfit Toys and Rudolph’s Rum Rhapsody, all presented in unique mugs and signature glassware. Here in the city, you’ll find Miracle at Brooklyn’s Thief and Manhattan’s Miracle on 9th Street (aka The Cabinet). There’s no Sippin location in NYC this year, sadly, but the Miracle pop-up goes through Dec. 31.

Whiskey Wonderland at Great Jones
Great Jones Distillery

Great Jones Whiskey Wonderland

The holidays don’t end with Christmas. Manhattan’s beautiful new(ish) distillery is offering a seasonal pop-up on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through February. It was described to us as “an upstate New York lodge meets Ralph Lauren,” and that’s visually on point. And the whiskey-based cocktails, which we sampled during a media preview, included a mammoth punch bowl and a personal favorite, the Candy Cane Forest (rye, cranberry, white vermouth, mint, bitters). 

Ophelia
Ophelia Snow Globe in the Sky

Ophelia Snow Globe in the Sky

The Art Deco-inspired rooftop cocktail lounge at the top of the Beekman Tower has been remade to resemble a “shimmering snow globe.” As well, the bar features a new seasonal menu and drinks like the Polaris Express, a mix of Diplomatico Reserve Exclusiva Rum, Scarlet Ibis Trinidad Rum, Kalani coconut liqueur, cinnamon, homemade horchata and vanilla. 

The Santa Clauses at Watermark 

This spacious Seaport District bar/restaurant teamed up with Bucket Listers for a holiday attraction inspired by the new Disney+ series The Santa Clauses. Here, you’ll be surrounded by candy cane pillars, an Instagram-ready “Santa’s Living Room, a gigantic snow globe, a Gingerbread House Bar and heated glass houses (available for reservations). A cocktail highlight, available individually or via carafe, is the Stocked Stuffing, a pecan-infused bourbon tipple with chicory pecan bitters, maple, orange zest and cherry, smoked at the table.