It’s time for merry making and cocktail shaking and no one does it better than Houston’s friendly mixologist elves. We reached out to some restaurants and bars in town to see what Santa’s little helpers are crafting for the good little boys and girls this year. From posh to
Houstonians love their sangria in the summer, but Sonoma Wine Bar, 801 Studewood and 2720 Richmond, is offering a more seasonal variation for December. Its mulled sangria is a tasty blend of red wine, simple syrup, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, juniper berries and fresh fruit. The drink is available for $6/glass or $24/ carafe at happy hour, daily, from opening to 6:30 p.m. The restaurant is also offering some new wine flights for the holidays, perfect for pairing with the cheese boards or delicious entrees. The Richmond location has a cozy indoor fireplace, while the Heights bar offers an outdoor fireplace on its upstairs patio for Houston’s mildly cool nights.
Cafe Azur, 4315 Montrose,
The New Potato, 3519 Clinton, is also serving its take on a traditional hot toddy and an authentic Irish coffee, considering the owner is Irish. If the weather is amenable, the large outdoor green space is a good place to take the pup for an evening out, to watch the winter
Perry’s Steakhouse has six Houston area locations and 14 nationwide. The upscale steak and seafood restaurant is celebrating the season with a new cocktail, Holiday Wine Thyme ($9). Made with their signature Perry’s Reserve Cabernet, Hennessy VS Cognac, fresh lemon juice and a sprig of thyme garnish, it is available in Perry’s Bar 79. The Memorial City location has undergone major remodeling and the Champions location at 9730 Cypresswood is undergoing a $3 million renovation after receiving flooding damage from Hurricane Harvey.
The bartenders at Spring Street Beer and Wine Garden, 1920 Houston, have come up with some cocktails that aren’t just delicious
Sassafras, 5022 Pinemont, is ready for those who want to go a-wassailing. Bartender Holly (yes that’s her real name) has a drink named after her called Holly’s Wassail. This Garden Oaks/Oak Forest neighborhood hangout has a coin-operated pool table and a Monday steak night. Though there is no food menu, there are occasional food trucks. You can enjoy Holly’s wassail under the handsome gaze of Houston’s much-missed Patrick Swayze, from his gilt-framed portrait. You never know, you might also meet up with Ivy, Carol
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Urban Eats, 3414 Washington, has holiday specials for the brunch crowd this month. With $3 mimosas, Bellini, and spritzers, they won’t break the holiday budget. The Champagne spritzers come in several flavors: blackberry, mango
For holidaymakers who prefer beer to cocktails, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, 2000 Lyons, has released its Icon Blue-Chocolate Milk Stout. Marketing director, Lennie Ambrose, got the idea while brunching at Hugo’s, the self-named restaurant of Houston’s own icon, Hugo Ortega. The Mexican hot chocolate served there gave him the idea to use the Mexican chocolate tablets in beer. The collaboration between Saint Arnold founder and owner, Brock Wagner, and James Beard award-winning chef and restaurateur, Ortega, resulted in a delicious dessert beer. The Icon series has a limited release of typically three months and can be found on tap around Houston. It is available in other parts of Texas and Louisiana and in six packs at retail stores. Saint Arnold's Christmas Ale, Cut It With Bread Pudding, is available for a limited time, also. You had better write that letter to Santa before it’s all gone.