While the snow is pretty, after days of freezing temperatures, you might be searching for an escape from the cold. If so, you need to check out Sippin Santa in Ottawa. It is a Christmas themed tiki bar happening until December 31, 2019.
The fun pop-up has locations across North America, and here in Ottawa, it is happening at the Standard Luxury Tavern.
All the Sippin Santas will have the same drink menu of nine festive tiki drinks with a Christmas flair. For example, you can get the Kris Kringle Colada (Jamaican rum, amaro, allspice liqueur, lime juice, pineapple juice, cream of coconut) or the Christmas Eve of Destruction (overproof dark rum, lime juice, nutmeg syrup, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters).
Or, if you prefer, you can get a giant cocktail that is large enough for 2-4 people! The Jingle Bowl packs a punch and has Jamaican & Demerara rums, Applejack, Averna, lemon juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, maple syrup, cinnamon syrup and angostura bitters.
My top pick was the Sippin Santa that comes in a cute Santa tiki mug with a tiny surfboard. It is aged Demerara rum, Amaro, lemon juice, orange Juice, and gingerbread mix. It was refreshing with a subtle spicy flavour.
The promotion of Sippin Santa suggested it would be over the top Tiki decor, with festive music. Stepping inside the Standard Luxury Tavern, there was some Tiki decor, but I was disappointed. That isn’t to say there wasn’t any decor, there was – but it was mostly general Christmas stuff.
In particular, at the booths where I was sitting, I could see Christmas lights, so it didn’t feel like I was at a Tiki bar (except for the drinks on the table). Meanwhile, the music was just a mix of pop and a few holiday songs, and nothing Tiki-themed at all!
Is this to say you shouldn’t go? Not at all, it was a unique spot to visit, and I hope they come back next year with a bit more polish on the theme.
The drinks are unique and worth visiting going for them alone. Plus, you’ll feel good purchasing one, as for every Tiki drink sold, $1 is donated to the CHEO Foundation’s Youth Mental Health Program.