If you’ve been thinking West Palm Beach feels just a bit more merry this year, you’re not going crazy. It’s probably just the gaudy lights of CityPlace’s newest addition, Miracle on Rosemary by Death or Glory, flickering to high heaven. No bah humbugging here—this over-the-top Christmas cocktail pop-up could imbue even the grouchiest Grinch’s heart with the joy of the season.
Located in the former Burger & Beer Joint space beneath Blue Martini, Death or Glory’s team transformed an empty shell into the kind of dive where Santa would hang out when he’s off the clock and jonesing for a drink. Festive and tacky in the best of ways, it’s the kind of place you, too, would hope to end up with your elves after dealing with way too many naughty-list children. I like to say it’s where Christmas threw up.
My impressions are confirmed when I inquire into the pop-up’s approach to decorating. “More is more!” laughs Annie Blake, partner at Death or Glory. “To me, here [at Miracle on Rosemary] you have everything that you love but that you’d never actually put up at your own house. It’s cheeky, it’s kitschy, and it’s a little irreverent.”
The concept is a nationwide trend by barware brand Cocktail Kingdom, but Florida, with nine locations, is home to more Miracle pop-ups than any other state. Of course, Death or Glory had to put a special Floridian twist on Miracle’s local offerings. Unless the weather is chilly (which, to my chagrin, doesn’t seem to be the case this season), the bar serves the Bad Santa cocktail frozen instead of hot. “The Bad Santa was initially crafted as a hot milk punch, which is amazing in New York,” Blake explains, “but when it’s 85 degrees…we figured what would really be ‘bad’ is if we put it in the frozen machine.”
There’s a Miracle on Delray Beach, too, but Death or Glory has a few special treats planned just for West Palm Beachers. “At CityPlace, one of the things we’re doing here is, periodically, we’re going to have Bad Santa sitting out front, maybe drinking a little whisky, for people to take pictures with,” says Blake. “We’re also going to have the Monkey Shoulders cement mixer here. It’s a 40-foot-long cement truck with a 30-foot-long cocktail shaker. It’s really bananas.”
One night you can count on toasting to Yuletide with Bad Santa is CityPlace’s Ugly Holiday Sweater Crawl on Saturday, December 8th. For a chance to have Santa pour you a drink, make sure to stop by Miracle on Rosemary, where you’ll find Santa’s sack hiding a portable keg with a cocktail on tap.
All other nights, stop in and sample some of the ten Christmas cocktails on the menu. Blake’s favorite drink is a tie between the Bad Santa and the Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r!, an in-your-face concoction of sweet potato, marshmallow orgeat, lime, two types of rum, cachaça, and dry Curaçao served in the lower half of Santa’s suit. “I love a rum punch,” she explains. “A really balanced rum drink is hard to find.”
David Bouchard, Death or Glory’s Beverage Director, casts his vote with the And a Partridge in a Pear Tree. “The term is kind of an oxymoron,” he explains. “They’re two completely different things; you’ll never find them in the same place whatsoever. So when they came up with the cocktail, they tried to take things that you would never see together, and it just works really well.” The cocktail is a medley of ingredients: reposado tequila, pear brandy, mezcal, spiced brown sugar, lime, Angostura bitters, cinnamon, and egg white foam.
For the physiological wherewithal to be able to try multiple Christmas cocktails, Miracle on Rosemary also serves an array of bar food with chuckle-worthy Christmas names.
My husband and I ordered based on Blake’s recommendations and split the Fat Santa cheeseburger and a plate of the Yellow Snowballs—crispy chick peas coated in a cheesy “Cheeto” seasoning. “You could eat a thousand of them!” Blake exclaims. “They’re just so good.” I ended up departing with a take-home box full of them, so it’s safe to say I’m in full agreement. Round out your meal with the O Christmas Tree peppermint dark chocolate bark or the Yule Logs (churros with Christmas spices) for dessert.
And if you’re not afraid of a little coal in your stocking, order a round of shots—they come in Naughty or Nice.
Season’s greetings from paradise!
Miracle on Rosemary by Death or Glory