Kirsten Karnitz remembers making cocktails for her grandparents on Christmas. She was just a kid, and she’s pretty sure they were just straight alcohol.
“No soda, no tonic, they were probably the most strong and terrible cocktails anyone could drink,” she said. “But my grandparents always said they were delicious.” It’s one of her favorite holiday memories.
One of the owners of Minneapolis’ Lawless Distilling Co., Karnitz wouldn’t be alone in associating the holiday season with a special drink. That’s why the cocktail room at her Seward neighborhood distillery is hosting Miracle at Lawless, a Christmas-themed pop-up event that runs from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. (2619 28th Av. S., Mpls., 612-276-1000, lawlessdistillingcompany.com)
The cocktail program developed by barware supplier Cocktail Kingdom will show up in 100 bars around the country. This is Lawless’ second time hosting. The event elicited strong reactions from customers last year, Karnitz said.
“The holiday season is just such a special time of year for everybody, and cocktails help bring them together,” she said. “So many people came in and shared memories. They were very emotional about it.”
Miracle provides the festive glassware and develops the menu that Bittercube, Lawless’ cocktail consultants, adapt for their products. Karnitz is given guidelines on the decor, but she had to source 2,000 ornaments herself from thrift stores.
Events will include “cocktails with Santa” on Saturdays and a Sunday holiday market. Spots in the petite lounge can be reserved online.
Lawless is currently donning a darker look, with a Vampire Bar theme.
“We have embraced the pop-up theme and have been changing our space and our menus to go alongside that idea,” Karnitz said. “It’s been working really well for us.”
For Miracle, expect to see drinks like “And a Partridge in a Pear Tree” with vodka and smoked pear syrup, “Snowball Old Fashioned” with butterscotch whiskey and spiced brown sugar, and “Jingle Balls Nog” with raisin-infused whiskey and cream. And don’t worry, Karnitz won’t be behind the bar.