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Mockingbird Hill looks like its staff robbed the entire holiday section of a Hallmark store. Tonight through Dec. 24, the Derek Brown ham and sherry bar will transform into Miracle on Seventh Street, a Christmas and Hanukkah-themed bar overflowing with tinsel, Santa Claus glassware, dreidels, and other festive kitsch.
Mockingbird Hill co-owner Angie Salame got the idea while hanging out with Greg Boehm, who runs New York bar Mace. Last year, Mace did its own holiday-themed pop-up called Miracle on Ninth Street. Boehm donated glassware, including surfing Santa highball glasses, for the D.C. pop-up, and Mace bartender Nico de Soto created a cocktail for the menu called “Yippie Ki Yay, Motherf****r!”
Friends and family (“elves,” as Brown calls them) helped hand-make and hang many of the decorations over the weekend. The front of the bar is outfitted for Christmas with tree, golden snow flakes, ornaments, lights, and a toy train. Behind the bar sits a “Land of the Lost” nativity scene: “The best way to describe it is it’s got both Godzilla and Bambi,” Brown says. The back is devoted to the “Hanukkah Hangout” complete with a dreidel chandelier. And let’s not forget the “elf on a shelf” and “mensch on a bench.”
The cocktail menu will also get the holiday touch with ten new drinks (and one shot), including a mezcal and chocolate “milk” concoction with a green chartreuse marshmallow as well as a scorpion bowl for two that combines the flavors of tiki and Christmas.
Egg nog makes an appearance in a shot glass rather than a mug. “People really love eggnog, but it is true that once you down a glass of it, you’re done,” Brown explains. The bar is using a 1950s “Baltimore egg nogg” recipe that was previously used at the Columbia Room.
And while it’s not specifically listed on the menu, Brown fears crème de menthe may become the shot of choice. For what it’s worth, the bar is using a mint-flavored spirit from Tempus Fugit, which Brown says is “the best you can get.”
“All these cocktails, there’s spiced cranberry sauce and chocolate, but in each case, we still make them classic cocktails, and they’re still made with the same care,” Brown says.
The food menu will remain largely the same. Charcuterie, cheese, and spiced nuts are things people snack on at holiday parties anyway. For dessert, there’s Scotch milk and salted chocolate chip cookies.
A number of holiday events are also lined up for every day of the week. Mondays will feature a craft station. On Tuesdays, holiday movies will be screened at 7 p.m. And Hanukkah Takeovers with Manischewitz pong will be hosted on Wednesdays.
“We’re basically making a punch out of Manischewitz,” Brown explains. “Don’t worry, we can even make that taste good.”
A full list of festivities can be found here. The full cocktail menu is below.
Photos courtesy Joy Asico