International Christmas-themed pop-up bar Miracle and its tiki-inspired sibling Sippin’ Santa aren’t currently slated to make appearances in Massachusetts this year — unsurprising, given the safety concerns around the pandemic, not to mention its bar-related restrictions — but one locally based holiday pop-up is returning this year: Maccabee Bar. (And thanks to the state’s temporary allowance of to-go cocktails, there will be a takeout option available.)
Created by Eastern Standard alum Naomi Levy, the Hanukkah-themed pop-up bar is in its third year, having popped up at Better Sorts Social Club downtown a couple years back and at Somerville’s Backbar last year. This year, it remains in Somerville, taking up residency at Bow Market’s Variety Bar. Levy consulted on an overhaul of Variety Bar — which is located inside the Comedy Studio — last year.
Hanukkah is still a few weeks off, starting on the evening of December 10 this year (have you started shopping yet?), but Maccabee Bar will extend the festive season, taking place from December 2 to January 3, Wednesday through Sunday, plus Monday and Tuesday during Hanukkah (December 14 and 15).
This year’s cocktail lineup will include options such as the sufganiyot-inspired Hebrew Hammer, vodka with “leavened” sugar, lemon, and raspberry; a Negroni riff called the Kosher Nostra, featuring the flavors of tzimmes (a Jewish vegetable stew that is typically heavy on carrots and raisins or prunes); and a hot toddy called the Hot Date, flavored with cardamom and date. There will be non-alcoholic options as well.
During the pandemic, bars are required to accompany booze orders with food, which won’t be a problem at Maccabee Bar: Chef Louis DiBiccari, who owns a cocktail bar and gallery a few doors down, will be providing latkes and other Hanukkah-friendly snacks. Plus, Lionheart Confections, a recently launched pop-up from local pastry chef Kate Holowchik, will be providing sufganiyot — jelly doughnuts.
For those who’d rather celebrate on the sofa, there will be a Maccabee at Home kit available for $50, to be preordered online (starting November 23) and picked up on Thursday or Sunday afternoons. It will include two single-portion cocktails, hummus and pita from DiBiccari’s Humaari, mini jelly doughnuts from Lionheart Confections, and a variety of games and activities.
Reservations are available for those planning to drink and dine onsite. Note that customers must submit to a temperature check at the door and wear masks when not at tables. The team reserves the right to refuse service to anyone exhibiting symptoms.