Remember the decked-out, ceiling-high Christmas tree that fragranced Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails last year? Well, come December, patrons will find the EDGE District coffee-shop-by-day and cocktail-bar-by-night decking its halls with even more holiday spirit.
Intermezzo is among the 80-plus watering holes across the globe that've been selected to morph into Miracle, the Christmasy pop-up bar serving themed cocktails in festive digs from Nov. 23 through New Year's Eve. Last week's announcement of the participating locations is timely, because the news sort of feels like Christmas in July.
"I get super excited about themed bars," said Intermezzo owner Jarrett Sabatini. "I love the escapism aspect and all the fun content around it — new drinks, new decor, new flavors. And to boot, a pop-up is even more exciting because you may not get to experience this again."
Miracle launched in New York City in 2014, when founder Greg Boehm finished transforming the future home of his East Village cocktail bar, Mace, into the monthlong celebration of Christmastime. The popular program has since expanded beyond the U.S., with pop-ups in destinations like Montreal, Hong Kong and Paris.
According to Sabatini, Miracle's interest in St. Pete — which accompanies seven additional Florida locations in Delray Beach, Gainesville, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Sarasota and West Palm Beach — is a meaningful one.
"The fact that Miracle is even in St. Petersburg is a huge leap for our local cocktail industry and shows that we are making strides," he said.
Locations were selected by event organizers in NYC, and there's no application process to become a part of the program.
"I was contacted by one of the folks who organize Miracle, Joann Spiegel, out of NYC," Sabatini said. "She called and said they've been following us and liked what we do."
When it comes to aesthetics, expect some serious holiday magic from the temporary "Miracle at Mezzo," which will look, as Sabatini puts it, "like the North Pole took over."
In addition to the over-the-top Christmas decor, themed cocktails include the And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (reposado tequila, pear brandy, mezcal, spiced demerara syrup, lime, egg white, club soda, Angostura bitters, cinnamon) and Snowball Old Fashioned (gingerbread bourbon, wormwood bitters, lemon zest).
Intermezzo will also mix holiday cheer into its coffee drinks, making St. Pete's pop-up the first to offer a complementary cafe program.
One more thing: Each cocktail is served in custom glassware from Cocktail Kingdom, Boem's specialty barware company widely recognized by the bartending community. Select locations are set to spread do-goodery in their communities by selling glasses to patrons, and 10 percent of the proceeds benefit Action Against Hunger. 'Tis the season, after all.
Sabatini says a charity element could be incorporated into Miracle at Mezzo, but it's still in the planning stages.
"We will be hardly recognizable," the owner said.