Okay, look — we’re all for being razor sharp and classy, but we’re going to embrace a light spritz of gaudy absurdity for Christmas, especially if it’s for a good cause. We’ve heard speculation that people with entirely colour-coordinated Christmas trees are more likely to be psychopaths, but we wouldn’t want to perpetuate the claim without the proper research. Besides, we don’t have time for that level of investigative journalism right now — not when it’s time to drink and be merry.
This week’s cocktail is nothing short of a festive romp: Tiki meets yuletide (and we’re here for it). Behold, the Marshmallows & Unicorns! Yes, it does come served in a unicorn mug, and yes, it is delicious. What’s more, this cocktail is available in multiple Christmas themed bars across Canada, so you don’t have to travel far to bask in its glory.
Miracle is a full-pelt, Noël-all-day-everyday style pop-up, and it’s taking over your favourite bars across Canada. The team behind the award-winning Civil Liberties presents their outlandish offering of Miracle at The Third Place event space on Toronto’s Bloor Street. Plus $1 of every drink will go towards Nellie’s Shelter in the GTA. You can also find Miracle at Quebec City’s Maelstrom, Montreal’s 132 Bar Vintage, Ottawa’s Elgin Beer Project, Niagara Falls’ Old Stone Inn, Collingwood’s Historic Gayety Theatre, Calgary’s Proof, both the Abbotsford and Chilliwack locations of Old Yale Brewing in B.C., Vancouver’s The Pawn Shop and Cough Club , Whistler’s The Raven Room, and Whitehorse’s Woodcutter’s Blanket in The Yukon. Each location is donating to a chosen local charitable cause; cocktail elves in every province!
We love a little Mele Kalikimaka, and we feel like the kitsch nature of tiki is the perfect punctuation to festive imbibing. What’s better than a fruity, delicious, and ostentatiously-garnished sip from a Polynesian head vessel? Sipping it from a unicorn or seasonally adorned cocktail dinosaur, that’s what! One quick question betwixt all this gaiety, though: how did we go from celebrating Don the Beachcomber’s inaugural Hollywood tiki bar to — 90 years later — drinking orgeatty delights from Santa’s pants in a wrapping-paper-ensconced bar? Join us on our cheeky tiki journey, and we’ll tell you!
Our modern day love for tiki owes a huge debt to the late 1800s American obsession with the South Pacific (the trend ran through mid-1900s, largely thanks to Robert Lewis Stephenson’s South Sea Tales and the evocative Norwegian Kon-Tiki voyage). Capitalizing on the success of ‘Ol Beachcomber’s jaunty watering hole, alongside the country’s appetite for tales from French Polynesia, a multitude of imitation tiki bars cropped up across the United States. Island vibes offered a reprieve from the troubling times of the Great Depression. Who wouldn’t want to escape the dust bowl for a theatrical rum-fuelled (albeit fictitious) island getaway? The appetite for tropical joy — even in the most land-locked places — hasn’t diminished since.
Tiki and Christmas make an unconventional, yet fitting pair: big colours, bold flavours, and a little suspension of one’s every day disbeliefs. It just makes sense, right? Right. The spread of Miracle pop-up bars across Canada — especially when we consider how ludicrously drab the pandemic years were for our souls — also makes sense. Hard times are just sharpening blocks for our imaginations, teaching us to embrace joy when the tidings present. That time is now. So please, bartender, get me a Unicorn and Marshmallows post haste. And cheers to Miracle! What a great way to bring us humble Canadians together and raise money for good causes. You’re firmly on our nice list.