Holiday spirits! ‘Miracle in Brooklyn’ bar serves seasonal drinks

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Rudolph pulls ahead: The staff decked the bar with festive decorations.
Miracle worker: Doorman Joe Clantz poses with a jolly old elf.
By the chimney with care: Three cheery patrons raise a glass in the back of Miracle in Brooklyn.

It’s a Brooklyn Miracle!

A Williamsburg bar decked the halls and began pouring glasses of Yuletide cheer on the day after Thanksgiving. Miracle in Brooklyn was the first of several holiday-themed pop-up bars to unwrap in Kings County, and one of its bartenders said that he is looking forward to serving more wassailers as the month goes on.

“I’m excited to see how holiday-crazy things get,” said Chris Bidmead, who lives in Greenpoint.

Miracle in Brooklyn, which will stay open until Dec. 31, and then re-open later as a new tavern, is an over-the-top explosion of Christmas, with wrapping paper on the walls, presents on the ceiling, Christmas trees, a statue of Santa, and the words “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal” strung across the bar. Along one wall are a collection of awkward and celebrity holiday photos, including one incredibly ’80s image of Mr. T dressed as Santa Claus, with Nancy Reagan sitting on his knee.

The decorations bring people in, but the drinks keep them coming back, said the man behind the Miracle.

“People come for the holiday cheer, and have the delicious drinks, and they want to come back and try them all,” said Greg Boehm, “It’s not just a gimmick.”

Boehm pioneered the holiday bar in 2014 with his Miracle on Ninth Street bar in Manhattan. In the years since then, he has licensed the concept and his holiday drink list — and sold the kitschy glasses in which they are served — to bars across the country.

The drinks at Miracle in Brooklyn are elaborate: the Jingle Balls Nog has 11 ingredients, for instance, while the “Die Hard”-referencing Yippie Ki Yay M----------- requires rum infused with sweet potatoes, and something called marshmallow orgeat. At other bars, these would be warning signs, but the drinks are well-balanced and spirit-forward, and once you’ve downed one, it makes it easier to justify paying $15 for another.

The staff at Miracle in Brooklyn streamlined the recipes, said Bidmead, making giant batches for some that can be poured out of a tap. The work paid off — each drink this jolly old elf ordered arrived in less than a minute. The Brooklyn location added its own unique beverage: The World’s Best Coffee, named after a gag in the movie “Elf” — just an average cup of coffee, served with a shot of whiskey.

The bar’s soundtrack is exclusively Christmas carols, and Boehm said that he spent time making a playlist, and checking it twice, in order to create a holly jolly mood.

“A lot of Christmas songs are slow and sad, and we don’t use those,” he said. “If it’s not upbeat, then it has to at least be nostalgic, and then we’ll get back to the faster stuff.”

After several days of hearing continuous caroling, Bidmead said that he was holding up just fine — though he was a little tired of the original “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

“I may never listen to Mariah Carey again,” he said. “We listen to lots of heavy metal before we open.”

Miracle in Brooklyn [177 Grand St. between Bedford and Driggs avenues in Williamsburg, (917) 553–5409,]. Open daily, 5 pm–1 am.

Reach arts editor Bill Roundy at or by calling (718) 260–4507.
Posted 12:00 am, November 30, 2018
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