Drink and Be Merry: 3 Can't-Miss NYC Holiday Venues

by Ryan Leeds

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday December 19, 2019

Cliquot Chalet
Cliquot Chalet  (Source:Hotel Indigo)

Deck the halls with boughs of holly... and plenty of other décor and libations. 'Tis the season for celebrating, and if you're headed to New York City, EDGE has scoped out three hotspots for winter-themed cocktails. These festive lounges will provide a brief respite from the stress of the city.

Mr. Purple

Hotel Indigo, Lower East Side

Feeling bubbly? Hit the Lower East side's Hotel Indigo and head to the top floor bar, Mr. Purple. Outside of their sprawling terrace, you'll find the Clicquot Chalet, a pop-up Veuve Clicquot-themed ski lodge. Shaggy couches, pillows, and blankets adorn the translucent dome, which offers fabulous views of New York City.

In addition to a champagne lounge, guests can enjoy spice-spiked cocktails like "Back at the Cabin," a cognac-based drink with allspice dram, orange bitters and star anise. Cold nights might call for something cozier like "the LES Toddy" — a warm drink with three simple ingredients: spiced rum, apple cider, and cinnamon. Other classic and specialty cocktails are available along with bar bites. Fondue is an especially good choice on a snowy evening, and with a playlist of classic Christmas songs, it's hard not to feel the holiday spirit. The Chalet is open daily through February.

180 Orchard Street, 15th Floor


The Late Late

Lower East Side

Steps away from Hotel Indigo resides The Late Late, a retro Irish pub embracing kitsch with arms wide open with their Tacky Christmas Takeover. Lights, tchotchkes, stockings, and decorations adorn the walls in this nook that models their drinks after 80s holiday films.

Try the "Oh Fudge!," inspired by "A Christmas Story." Cognac, hot chocolate, whipped cream, and nutmeg collide into a cocktail that would make little Ralphie happier than receiving a Red Ryder bb gun. "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" gets a nod with the "Griswold Fashioned," a rye-based concoction with allspice dram, pumpkin syrup, walnut bitters and a cinnamon stick. The Grinch has his moment in the spotlight with "A Pinch of Grinch" — tequila, orgeat, lemon juice float underneath a splash of Malbec wine. Kudos to The Late Late for the innovative addition of wine to a chilled cocktail.

For guilty-pleasure nibbles, consider the Dublin cheddar sticks: Panko-breaded Kerrygold Irish Dubliner cheddar served with Ranch dip.

159 East Houston


Pink Holiday Pop-Up

East Village

Think Pink at the Moxy. The Marriott hotel brand targeted to the millennial crowd has been sprouting up all around the city. Three locations (Times Square, Chelsea, and East Village ) offer their own holiday pop-ups. A visit to their East Village property inundates guests with an overload of pink lights, pink Christmas trees, pink decor, and of course, pink cocktails.

A smooth Boulevardier includes bourbon, Contratto, vermouth, and a dash of chocolate. Feeling figgy? Try a Tito's Vodka with lime, Fever Tree ginger beer, and a touch of fig — served as a Moscow Mule in a copper cup. The Blackberry is also an excellent, gin-based choice, made with blackberry, lemon, and a pinch of honey. Soups, salads, bite-sized sandwiches, and flatbreads curb the urge to nibble. Menus may vary from each Moxy location.

112 East 11th Street


Looking to pair a holiday show with your downtown outing? Consider nearby Joe's Pub at The Public Theater. This month's programming includes the hilarious Murray Hill (with guest star Bridget Everett), The Jewbadours: The Last Schmaltz, and Sandra Bernhard's annual holiday extravaganza.

Ryan Leeds is a freelance theater, food, and nightlife journalist who lives in Manhattan. He is the Chief Theater Critic for Manhattan Digest and a frequent contributor to Dramatics Magazine and The Broadway Blog. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.