Brew Ho Ho

Sud-slinging santas toast the season

Hurricane Hopeful Chowder Bar, 139 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 718.302.4441; Jade Island Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, 2845 Richmond Avenue, Staten Island, 718.761.8080


When holiday cheer is in short supply, you need a little something besides a space heater to bring on the warm and fuzzies. West Village classic bars like Chumley's and Gaslight aren't the only place for a satisfying hearth-hopping experience. Gramercy has Cibar, a hot-pink pickup joint that formerly gave cigar smokers a place to act out nouveau riche fantasies. If you can't find a body to warm you over the long winter night, at least get festive by the fire with a $10 Apple Martini (champagne, cinnamon vodka, apple juice, apple liqueur) or a Ginger Lime Rickey (fresh ginger, vodka, limeade). For the gentrifiers, Gibney's in Astoria is the place to pull up a stool, enjoy a pint of Guinness ($4), and get rowdy with the locals. The table by the huge gas fireplace (where you can avoid the glare of the five TV screens) is equally nice for having a relaxing sip of one of the fine Irish whiskeys behind the bar. If you'd like to pretend you're only steps away from a beach littered with half-naked party people, try a Bloody Zygo martini ($11) or passionfruit vodka shot ($5) at Keybar. Every night, their DJs spin Eurotrashy house that will keep you wiggling under all those layers. JONES

The three kings: Santa, Elvis, and Frosty at Trailer Park Lounge
photo: Kate Lacey
The three kings: Santa, Elvis, and Frosty at Trailer Park Lounge

Cibar, 56 Irving Place, 212.460.5656; Gibney's, 32-01 Broadway, Astoria, Queens, 718.545.8567; Keybar, 432 East 13th Street, 212.478.3021

Christmas candy: North Square's Big Apple Martini
photo: Cary Conover

Church Lounge at the Tribeca Grand Hotel seems an appropriate Christmastime destination, righteous to the idea of a well-groomed, star-studded night out, with its swanky lobby of couches, altar of candles, polished clientele, and its famous Tartini (a $12 lemongrass-infused Stoli raspberry puree and fresh lemon). If you tire of the 25 to 35 aggressive fashion-rock star-celebrity types who stay at the hotel, you can go to Hell—literally. The meatpacking district fixture wants to liberate you from the Prada trendiness of places like Church Lounge. Loyal to the neighborhood's former seediness, patrons claim that everyone's social in Hell, so lonely holiday-season bargoers can look for love here—to jukebox hits that range from Jay-Z to Johnny Cash. Its irreverent decor—old-fashioned photos of yesterday's celebrities marked with red devil horns, red-lit chandeliers, and walls adorned with Aztec-influence devil masks—is complemented by the sinful, gooey red cocktails with names like Fallen Angel (Malibu, Stoli vanilla, Grand Marnier, OJ; $9) and Red Devil (Southern Comfort, sloe gin, triple sec, lime juice; $10) that insist you indulge now, repent later. COLE

Church Lounge, Tribeca Grand Hotel, 2 Avenue of the Americas, 212.519.6677; Hell, 59 Gansevoort Street, 212.727.1666


Your little sister can vote, smoke, and drink, but she'll always be 13 in your mind. Now she's fresh out of college, where she's acquired the ability to drink you under the table. To satisfy your contradictory impulses to keep her innocent (sober) and show her a good time (drunk), take her to the Upper West Side Scott Quentin Campbell eatery @SQC. Campbell's hot chocolate is world renowned, and the bartenders utilize it in a rich SQC chocolatini (served warm, Valrhona chocolate, Absolut Vanilla, crème de cacao; $9). Then move on to the DUMBO staple Pete's Waterfront Ale House, and take it easy on her by ordering a Candy Apple (hot apple cider, Rumplemintz, and Tuaca; $6). Or just happily dive into the paradox by downing a few shots of Grandma's homemade apple-pie (infused-vodka made with three varieties of apples, spices, and pear; $5.50). LAGORIO

@SQC, 270 Columbus Avenue, 212.579.0100; Pete's Waterfront Ale House, 155 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 718.522.3794


Screw New Year's, Christmas Eve is the best night of the year for getting hammered. Perhaps even sloshed enough to let down those inhibitions and sing in public—'tis the season for carols, after all. Japas 55, a cozy midtown karaoke bar, is always open and brimming with revelers filled with spirit (and spirits) on Christmas Eve. Order a Sapporo ($7) or do as the Japanese regulars do and buy a bottle of your favorite liquor ($75 and up), then hunker down at the bar, where bartenders will hand you the mic so you can sing from your stool. Songs—from "Silent Night" to "Havah Nagilah"—cost a dollar. In the past they've put the kibosh on Wham's "Last Christmas" by midnight, so get there early if you plan to celebrate George Michael-style. Downtown at Sing Sing Karaoke, the hefty songbook contains everything from Aaliyah to Zwan, but you'll probably want to concentrate on the four-page Christmas section. Drink some liquid courage (Kirin on tap is $5) and request a song ($2). Feel like singing, "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"? They carry versions by both Springsteen and the Pointer Sisters. Feeling traditional? Try "We Three Kings." Want to celebrate like you're on vacation in sunny Mexico? "Feliz Navidad" is for you. Who cares if you are tone-deaf? You won't remember it in the morning! RABER

Japas 55, 253 West 55th Street, 212.765.1210; Sing Sing Karaoke, 81 Avenue A, 212.674.0700

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