The holiday season continues in downtown San Jose where two holiday cocktail pop-ups are still pulling in revelers. Both Sippin’ Santa and Miracle offer a variety of festive cocktails along with interesting and fun glassware that’s available for sale.
We started at 55 South for Sippin’ Santa, the tiki-themed holiday pop-up produced with Jeff “Beachbum” Berry. The new cocktail and mug this year is Sharkey’s First Christmas, featuring vodka, aquavit, melon and walnut liqueur, lime and pineapple juices. Mrs. Mai Tai thought this was pretty good and I have to agree it was a nice twist and the mug is pretty good too. I had Sippin’ Santa cocktail that has Demerara rum, amaro, lemon, orange, and gingerbread mix – an all time favorite mug and the cocktail is always great too.
The team at 55 South did a good job with the drinks and decor again this year, though the music for our experience was a Sade playlist followed by mid-1950s rock ‘n roll hits. So, not really the holiday vibe. We arrived early and the crowd was sparse, but grew later in the evening.
Miracle on 1st is at Paper Plane across the street and continues to impress. The decor is elaborate here, and we found the service at the bar to be quite efficient and super friendly. I was driving and asked for something non-alcoholic and received a very nice juicy highball that was fantastic. Mrs. Mai Tai had the excellent Marshmallows & Unicorns, the complex cocktail with gin, several liqueurs, lemon, egg white, bitters, and cardamon. Our friends really liked their Carol Barrel and Hot Buttered Rum, two Miracle standouts. Crowds grew during our visit and there was a line when we left, so go early if you can.
Miracle has a larger cocktail menu than Sippin’ Santa and the more varied options seem offer something for everyone. Sippin’ Santa added a holiday spritz this year but we think the smaller menu is a deterrent for many potential patrons. Adding a couple more cocktails would help for 2024.