For some folks, watching “Miracle on 34th Street” is a holiday tradition that sets the mood with a heartwarming Christmas story. This year, a new tradition for holiday cheer gets under way when “Miracle in the Island” transforms Galveston bar Daiquiri Time Out into a month-long Christmas party, complete with over-the-top decor, drinks and atmosphere.
The Miracle concept, now a December mainstay in bars and nightclubs across the country, began in New York in 2014 when a bar owner found that the seating and decor for his new location wouldn’t arrive until January. Rather than delay opening, his mother suggested hiding the unfinished decor by piling on Christmas decorations and playing up the Christmas theme.
The “Miracle on Ninth Street” bar was so popular that now it has recruited 80 establishments to participate in a month of similar festivities.
“The Miracle people had been following us on social media, and approached us in July about turning Daiquiri Time Out into a Miracle location,” Daiquiri Time Out owner Brad Stringer said. “Being in the hospitality industry, you work a lot of holidays, and the people at the bar become like a family, so now it feels like we’re celebrating the holidays together here.”
While there is some individuality in the decor from one Miracle to the next, all the participating bars add the same holiday cocktails to their menu. The Snowball Old-Fashioned, made with gingerbread bourbon, the Christmas Carol Barrel and the Partridge in a Pear Tree, with tequila, pear brandy and mezcal, are just a few of the seasonal cocktails on the Miracle roster.
Stringer said the elaborate concoctions didn’t pose a problem for his staff. “We have a very nice back bar, so these didn’t call for anything we don’t already have,” he said. “We’re rum-heavy, but we’re a cocktail bar that’s very well-rounded. There are a lot of spices involved in the drinks, so it’s great to be across the street from Maceo’s for really fresh spices.”
While the venue opens as “Miracle on the Island” on Friday, a big blast of holiday spirit arrives the following day. “Our big opening party is on Nov. 24 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.,” Stringer said. “It’s going to be a family friendly event, with a snow yard and hot chocolate from Fat Cat Creamery for the kids. We’re blowing 15,000 pounds of snow, enough for a play area and a hill for sleds.”
For the adults attending on Saturday, Stringer is offering a complementary cocktail to anyone dressed in a Dickens costume. The event also kicks off a toy drive for Miracle in the Island’s chosen charity, Operation Blue Santa.
For those who were perfectly content with Daiquiri Time Out the way it was, Stringer notes that the regular menu of craft cocktails will be available. “We’ll still be able to make any classic cocktails our patrons want,” he said. “With cold weather here, it’s also time for hot toddies and Irish coffee.”
“Miracle on the Island” runs through Dec. 31 at Daiquiri Time Out, 2701 Market Street in Galveston.