12 Days of Christmas cocktails, beers & cheer in Tucson

December 10, 2021
By Matt Sterner

Have a holly, jolly time with these holiday concoctions

We’ve all heard of the song, The 12 Days of Christmas, and though it may get sort of repetitive after a few of the verses, it’s hard to experience a holiday season without hearing it on the radio, in your head, or from someone else singing it in the street.

Also, when exactly do the 12 days of Christmas actually take place? According to some folks, it’s the days leading up to Christmas Day, and to others, it begins on December 25 and moves onward until January 6 (Google it and see what the internet has to say).

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Well, however you choose to spend the following days in December, there are plenty of cocktails to warm your belly and a few beers to sip on this holiday season. So, mark your advent calendars because here are at least 12 beverages tasty enough to get 12 drummers drumming and even 10 lords a-leapin’.

Borderlands Brewing Company

119 E. Toole Ave.

Borderlands Brewing Company is brewin’ up the holiday spirit in the taproom with its new Cranberry Christmas Sour. Plus, bring your dog or multiple dogs along because they’ve got the WOOF! beer on tap for the four-legged buddies.

Don’t worry. The WOOF! brew is not actually made of hops.

For more information, visit borderlandsbrewing.com

Casa Marana 

8225 N. Courtney Page Way, Suite 191

Oh, the holiday atmosphere is alive in well with their 15-foot real Christmas tree and assorted cocktails. One of the new and festive creations is the Frosted Cranberry Cocktail. It’s a minty twist on the vodka and cranberry.

Plus, if you’re stomach is grumblin’ like a grumpy Grinch, they’ve got a few pizzas on the menu.

For more information, follow Casa Marana on Facebook

The Funky Monk

350 E. Congress St.

The party spot across the street from Hotel Congress and a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Rialto Theatre is serving up an assortment of holiday-themed cocktails. You’ll find a Spiced Red Sangria, American Pie, Candy Cane Punch Bowl, and a Peppermint Mochatini, which has crushed candy canes along the rim.

For more information, follow The Funky Monk on Facebook

Ghini’s French Caffe 

1803 E. Prince Rd.
Ghini's Eggnog
Ghini’s Eggnog (Photo by Kennedy Satta-Williams)

This year, Ghini’s has added a variety of holiday food and drink items to the menu. They’re whipping up eggnog made with heavy whipping cream, fresh pasteurized eggs, and spices. Oh, and don’t forget to add rum for that extra kick.

For more information, including hours and full menu, visit ghiniscafe.com.


14 S. Arizona Ave.


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A post shared by HighWire Tucson (@highwiretucson)

This downtown spot, which used to have a longer name (HighWire Lounge) and is in the process of taking over the former Independent Distillery location directly across the patio, is also offering an eggnog creation this holiday season. With a candy cane on the rim and some hints of cinnamon, the Eggnog Martini is worth your time this December.

For more information, visit highwiretucson.com.

The Parish

6453 N. Oracle Rd.
The Parish
Cranberry Mule (Photo courtesy of The Parish on Instagram)

Nothing says the holidays like drinking out of a copper mule. The southern-fusion gastropub is serving up a Cranberry Mule, made of honey syrup, lavender water, lime juice, and ginger beer. Plus, keep an eye out for The Parish’s new downtown restaurant, The Delta, as it enters its final stages before the yet-to-be-announced opening date.

For more information, visit theparishtucson.com

Penca Restaurante

50 E. Broadway Blvd.

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The downtown restaurant and bar is serving up the delicious Ponche de Navidad this year. It’s a hot Brandy punch with tejocote, piloncillo, and mulling spices. Also, keep an eye out for another drink waiting to hit the menu called the Rompope, which is a Mexican Rum Eggnog.

For more information, visit pencarestaurante.com

Playground Bar & Lounge / Miracle on Congress St. 

278 E. Congress St.
Miracle on Congress St.
Photo courtesy of Miracle on Congress St.

Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for a few weeks, the whimsical paradise of lights, jingle bells, and holiday music known as Miracle on Congress St. will be brightening up Playground Bar & Lounge — which has been temporarily closed for the last few months.

You’ll find four wintry cocktails, including the Winter Sangria, HUB’s Coquito, Santa’s Peanut Butter Cookies, and Tucson Boulevardier. Now, the hardest part is choosing which one to try first.

For more information, read our article “Miracle on Congress St.’ is back for another season of cocktails, ice cream & Santa sightings.”


220 N. Fourth Ave.


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A post shared by Portal (@portalcocktails)

Portal, which is located near the back of Ermanos Craft Beer & Wine Bar, has a couple of new drinks that’ll wet your whistle this holiday season. For starters, there’s a Spiced Cider Toddy, which is served hot and includes bourbon with biscotti, almond, lemon, and spiced apple cider. Then there’s the Coquito and its pineapple rum with coconut milk, almond, vanilla, cinnamon, egg white, and cream.

For more information, follow Portal on Instagram

The Red Light Lounge at the Downtown Clifton 

485 S. Stone Ave.
The Red Light Lounge
Hot Toddy (Photo courtesy of The Red Light Lounge)

With the weather getting cooler outside at night, a warm drink in hand is a combination like no other. Sure, there’s hot cocoa and a warm cup of coffee, but a Hot Toddy really hits the spot around this time of year. The Red Light Lounge is currently serving them up to be enjoyed inside or out on the patio.

For more information, follow The Red Light Lounge on Instagram.

The Royal Room

450 N. Sixth Ave.
The Royal Room
The Nutcracker (Photo by Ian Stupar)

They love ya, and they mean it, too. Now, the new Winter 2021 Menu is out and at first glance, there’s lots to choose from like the English Butler, a combination of gin, apple juice, honey, and lemon, or the Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shot — Fireball whiskey and Rumchata.

If you’re looking for something to sip on slowly, try the Nutcracker, which is Rumchata, Disaronno, and a hint of cinnamon on ice.

For more information, follow The Royal Room on Instagram

Ten55 Brewing Company

110 E. Congress St.


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A post shared by Ten55 Brewing Company (@ten55brewing)

The downtown brewery is going green this holiday season — evergreen, that is. The crew has brewed up an Evergreen Holiday Ale, which is an amber-like ale with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. Like all other beverages in this list, it’s only around for a limited time.

For more information, visit 1055brewing.com

More holiday-themed cocktails to come?

It’s still early in the month and it’s quite possible more spots like Tough Luck Club, Hotel Congress, John Henry’s, Sidecar, Union Public House, Good Oak Bar, and other cocktail bars will be spikin’ their eggnog soon.

Notable mentions:

Copper Mine Brewing Company

3455 S. Palo Verde Rd. #135


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A post shared by Copper Mine Brewing (@copperminebrew)

It may not be chestnuts roasting on an open fire, but there’s definitely a hint of marshmallows. The brewery has a beer for those dreaming of campfires and s’mores and it’s called the Campfire Dreams. Additionally, they’ve recently tapped into a Holiday Kolsch. Cheers!

For more information, follow Copper Mine Brewing Company on Instagram

Owls Club

236 S. Scott Ave.
Owls Club (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Owls Club (Credit: Jackie Tran)

For one night only, Owls Club is serving up the Spanish coffee cocktail Carajillos, so stop by if you want to try one of the limited-time beverages. It’s exclusively on the menu for the monthly Scott Avenue Cocktail Corridor on Saturday, December 11.

For more information, read our article “Scott Avenue Cocktail Corridor: December 2021 Edition.”

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At a very young age, Matt Sterner was gifted with the artistic ability to masterfully roll a burrito to the highest of standards, but the wrapped medley of delicious innards wasn’t his first love. Matt’s first true love was a...

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