Where to drink
Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 7 festive bars for holiday cocktails
‘Tis the season for holiday cheer – which often comes in the form of a great cocktail. And the more merriment, the better, it seems, as more bars are getting serious with their seasonal offerings. In addition to wintery-themed drinks, some feature floor-to-ceiling holiday décor, festive glassware, and one venue even installs colorfully lit, igloo-shaped bubbles available by reservation. There’s no such thing as “over-the-top” for these Fort Worth bars - some brand new, some old favorites - all worth a stop this month for making spirits bright.
The Down ‘n Out
Despite its name, there’s nothing down and dreary about this brand new bar at 150 W. Rosedale St., currently home to a nationwide Christmas-themed pop-up called Sippin’ Santa. From the same folks who launched the New York City-based Miracle pop-up (more on that below), this tiki-themed version goes tropical with island-inspired cocktails, glassware, and décor. Throw on a Hawaiian shirt and try the Tequila Yule Tide, which is shaken with lime and maple-cranberry syrup and served in the most adorable Santa “merman” mug. Or bring a friend and share Rudolph’s Rum Rhapsody, a large format drink made with two kinds of rum, fruit juices, ginger, and aromatic bitters served in a vessel that features Santa sitting in a hot tub with Rudolph. (Insert eyebrow raise.) Even better, all said glassware is for sale.
Birdie’s Social Club
Open since August, this open-air, multi-space bar and venue sits in the former Lola’s spot between 5th and 6th streets. It boasts multiple patios, indoor and outdoor bars, and right now, all the Christmas spirit one can responsibly handle. Think twinkling lights, hanging tinsel, blow-up Santas, spiked hot chocolate with marshmallows fire-torched to order, a Christmas paper-wrapped bar, and photo ops aplenty. Grab a seat by the video-projected crackling fireplace on loop and sip a Son of a Nutcracker, just one of several holiday cocktails on the menu right now. It's a spin on the classic Old Fashioned made with pecan-brown sugar bourbon and smoked cinnamon. The Gingersnapped, made with pecan-brown sugar bourbon and cinnamon and ginger-spiced cream, is also fun.
This South Main Street bar is no stranger producing holiday magic. Nickel City is home once again this year to Miracle, the nationwide Christmas-themed pop-up bar currently activated in more than 100 cities. Originating in New York City, Miracle takes bar-goers to a wonderland of holiday merriment. At Nickel City, it’s raining Christmas cheer with colorfully wrapped presents and string lights hanging from the ceiling. Intricate glassware sets the tone for the season, serving festive cocktails like the Christmaspolitan, Snowball Old-Fashioned, and the hilarious new Grandma Got Run Over By A T-Rex, which comes in a T-Rex-shaped mug. The pop-up will run through December 31. Fun fact for parents: kids can visit between the hours of 12-7 pm daily.
This sophisticated Fort Worth distillery is known for its elevated approach to spirits and cocktails and for its intimate setting geared toward grown-ups. Its seasonal selections this month are no different. Visit now for Pecan Eggnog made from scratch and spiked with Blackland Texas Pecan Brown Sugar Bourbon and Blackland Rye Whiskey. There’s also a potent mulled cider made with Blackland 100 Proof Rye, cloves, orange slices, and maple syrup. Or go more minty with Alexander’s Sister, featuring Blackland’s popular gin along with crème de menthe and cream. The booth seating, horseshoe-shaped bar, dim lighting, and crystal chandeliers lend to the modernly merry vibes.
The glitzy restaurant at Grapevine's Hotel Vin downtown is home to a real winter wonderland with the installation of igloo-shaped dining bubbles along the restaurant’s WineYard lawn. Available by reservation only, these cozy nooks for noshing come with heaters, faux fur-covered seating, festive fondue, and lights that change colors with the tap of a remote. (Select green if you need your server to check in.) The winter wonderland theme continues with Bacchus’ Christmas cocktail menu. Don’t miss the White Christmas Margarita rimmed with coconut flakes and made with coconut milk and Cointreau, or the popular S’mores Martini garnished with a crushed graham cracker rim and toasted marshmallow. Other wintery selections include the Campfire Smoked Old Fashioned; Après Toddy with reposado tequila, honey, and lemon; and the Winter Berry Gin & Tonic with berries and smoked rosemary. Make time to mosey around the hotel to take in the gleaming Christmas decorations or sit by the lobby fireplace.
This one takes a bit of navigating but is worth the extra effort. Located underground beneath The Tower downtown, Curfew greets guests with Zoltar the fortune reader, who’ll guide you downstairs beneath the big blow-up Santa Claus for a holiday experience decked out in disco balls. There are strings upon strings of holiday lights, hanging tinsel, paper-wrapped barstools, and Christmas movies projecting on repeat. Don’t miss the interactive Tableside S’mores Platter (complete with a personal flame); refreshing Hibiscus Mule with vodka, ginger, mint, and lime; or the rum-infused campfire cocktail garnished with a toasted marshmallow, called I Want S’more. Curfew also serves tasty stone-fired pizzas.
Miller Tavern at Texas Live!
Wrap it in Christmas paper and they will come. This Arlington sports bar inside the Texas Live! entertainment complex by the Globe Life Field is currently drenched in holiday spirit thanks to another Miracle pop-up. From the bar to the walls and even the ceiling, every inch of this establishment is either paper wrapped, adorned with stockings, dripping with Christmas lights, or sprayed with canned snow. Because it’s home to a Miracle pop-up, the Christmas cocktails will sound familiar: there’s the Christmaspolitan and Snowball Old Fashioned, but don’t miss the new Holiday Spiked Chai made with Jamaican rum; Santa’s Little Helper made with gin, eucalyptus, and spiced caraway syrup; and the Christmas Cricket made with tequila blanco, dark chocolate, cream, and minty liqueur. The Miller Tavern will also host lots of theme nights to add to the fun. Visit Mondays for movie night, Thursdays for karaoke, holiday movie trivia this Tuesday, and an ugly sweater party on Friday with DJ music. The kitchen is also open nightly for bar bites.