Miracle at Henrietta — a bar that's more Christmassy than Macaulay Culkin sat on the back of a reindeer eating a mince pie — is back for its sixth year in central London. Here's the lowdown snowdown.
Miracle has become a bit of a 'thing' hasn't it? Absolutely. Starting out life as NYC's Miracle on Ninth Street bar in 2014, this orgy of kitschy holiday cocktails has since been franchised in dozens of cities worldwide. In London, Miracle has taken over a room in Covent Garden's Henrietta hotel each year since 2018. Hence 'Miracle at Henrietta'.
What's the vibe then? It's Chriiiiiiiistmas! The sort of tinsel-choked, Dean Martin-infused, glow-up plastic Santa Claus kinda Christmas that transports you to a vintage yule so unashamedly gaudy, the people who do the Blackpool illuminations would say "Ohh, that's a bit much". Actually, let us rephrase that: It's Kiiiiiiiitschmas!
Are the drinks Christmassy too? And how! The menu (styled like a Christmas card, obvs) bids you to sample your way through a cornucopia of OTT eggnogs, mulled wine fizzes, cranberry sauce cosmos and 'Naughty' and 'Nice' shots. All served up in uber chintzy festive drinkware. It makes a sloe gin fizz or a Snowball look like Dry January.
But they DO snowballs, right? You'd have thought. The closest they do is a Snowball Old Fashioned, although it's not got Advocaat or lemonade in it.
What's the best drink? When we visited in 2002, it was very much a split decision between the table. Everyone wanted to try that Snowball Old Fashioned which, alas, was a no-show. But winners on the night were the Holiday Spiked Chai (a kind of espresso martini on steroids served in a ceramic barrel with 'Fa La La' written on it); the Elfing Around (a bubbly aperitif tinged with a mulled wine reduction, and which elves almost certainly drink at weddings); and the Jingle Balls Nog — the kind of over-boozed soup your drunken uncle would cobble together as his eighth drink of the night at the family get together.
And they cost how much? Drinks are £13/£14 (shots are £5). Which, for the quality of the drinks, is not at all bad.
How tempting is it to steal the drinkware? Oh, very. Quite probably why the bar actually sells their novelty mugs and glasses, so you can take them home without ending up in drinkware prison.
When is Miracle at Henriette 2023 taking place? It's open 13 November-23 December 2023. As you can imagine, it's popular, and you'll want to book a slot (each one is 1 hour 45 mins — and frankly any longer than this, and you'd wind up like the Bishop of Southwark). A few tables are kept for walk-ins each day.
Miracle at Henrietta, Covent Garden
All photos Laura Reynolds/Joanna Rutherford/Will Noble/Londonist except feature image, which is from Miracle.