The jingling bells of Christmas and the clinking glasses of holiday-themed cocktails are two harbingers that merry ol’ times lie ahead.

 

Don Artemio

Since opening just north of the Cultural District, Don Artemio has received high marks from customers and critics alike. Along with serving meticulously platted authentic Mexican cuisine, the restaurant boasts a popular bar headed by bar manager Pam Moncrief.

Created by bartender Alonzo Valdez, the Tierra Caliente is an earthy fall cocktail that is perfectly balanced with a hint of spice and flame-kissed orange. Moncrief’s lovely creation blends Uruapan Charanda Añejo, charred orange cinnamon syrup, turmeric-infused Banhez Mezcal, Montenegro Amaro and fresh lime juice.

 

Nickel City

Nearly every inch of this popular Near Southside bar is covered in Christmas lights and holiday-themed decor every December. The results are an over-the-top, funky blue-collar vibe that makes this pub the perfect place to warm up with a whiskey-infused libation like the House Coffee (whiskey, coffee liquor, orange bitters).

Past specialty cocktails have included the Bad Santa (mulled red wine, port, orange liqueur and spices) and the Christmapolitan (vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, rosemary, lime and absinthe mist).

 

The Usual

Since 2009, The Usual has provided impeccable customer service and superlative craft cocktails for tourists and locals alike. This winter, two special holiday drinks will be available at this Near Southside stalwart. Hokkaido in Winter was developed by bartender Kevin Kiowski. The libation is a cold weather take on the classic Martini and features Japanese gin, Kirschwasser (German dry cherry brandy), lemongrass Shochu and Japanese whisky. Mixologist Braeden Knight developed the 7K Carré. The rich cocktail is made with rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Nardini Amaro and pine liqueur.

 

Proper

Each winter, Proper transforms into a Christmas-themed watering hole that serves hot and cold winter-themed cocktails as part of the Miracle pop-up series. Miracle started as a concept in New York City to transform bars into winter wonderlands several years ago and has grown to more than 200 locations, including Proper.

 

Winter-Themed Beers

If cocktails aren’t your thing, keep these rich and boozy beers on your Christmas wish list. Rahr & Sons’ Winter Warmer is synonymous with the holidays. The dark and robust ale that is also offered as a barrel-aged variant is the perfect drink for a cold winter night. HopFusion Ale Works brews a lovely imperial milk stout that leaves fans clambering to the Near Southside brewery. The silky smooth ale is a complex mix of roasted hazelnut, chocolate and toffee. One of Martin House’s first beer releases is still a favorite. Like its baked bread namesake, the Pretzel Stout is malty and salty with a potent ABV of 6.5%. Be on the lookout for the peanut butter variant that’s released on special occasions.