Sips and Eats: Philly’s best food and drink picks for Dec. 4-8

Bluebird Distilling's Bourbon Lounge and Sips & Selfies with Santa

Bourbon Lounge and Sips & Selfies with Santa

(Bluebird Distilling’s Bourbon Lounge and Sips & Selfies with Santa)

The Bourbon Lounge by Bluebird Distilling and Santa Saturdays will be taking over The Shops at Liberty Place each Saturdays in December from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Christmas extravaganza includes free photos with Santa, a charitable selfie contest, and a pop-up Bourbon Lounge. Each Saturday, Santa will sit on his throne, inviting guests and their little ones to tell him their Christmas wishes and take photos with him. Guests can also expect to see different pairs of holiday characters spreading good cheer alongside Santa. On December 7, the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who will be joining the fun, followed by Buddy the Elf and Mrs. Claus on December 14, and Frozen’s Elsa and Olaf on the final Saturday, December 21.

After snapping festive photos with Santa, the adults can head over to the Bourbon Lounge presented by Bluebird Distilling, adjacent to the Rotunda, to enjoy $10 spirited libations such as a Peppermint Mojito, a spiced Cranberry Mule the Winter Sweater Old Fashioned, and Hot Mulled Cider. In addition to cocktails, guests can sip on Philadelphia Brewing Company pints ($5) of Winter Wünder and Kenzinger on tap and non-alcoholic options such as hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and coffee.

(Bluebird Distilling’s Bourbon Lounge and Sips & Selfies with Santa)

Throughout the month, The Shops at Liberty Place will be partnering with Cradles to Crayons, a local non-profit dedicated to providing children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive, for Selfie for a Cause. At the end of the month, The Shops at Liberty Place will donate $1 for each selfie posted and tagged, up to $1,000 to Cradles to Crayons.

“We are excited to partner with The Shops at Liberty Place for this fun holiday experience,” said Bluebird Distilling owner, Jared Adkins. “The holidays are one of my favorite times of year because they bring together friends and family to create lasting memories, like photos with Santa!”

(Bluebird Distilling’s Bourbon Lounge and Sips & Selfies with Santa)

Cradles to Crayons is a non-profit dedicated to providing children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive. They supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities in the Philadelphia region. By providing these items, Cradles to Crayons enables children to participate more fully in school and life activities while also relieving their parents’ stress.

This Week in Cocktails: Wawa + 2SP Brewing Co’s Seasonal Beer Release & Brew Tour

(Wawa + 2SP Brewing Co’s Seasonal Beer Release & Brew Tour)

Wawa and beer, what’s not to love?  Wawa and 2SP Brewing Company are bringing back the 2018 favorite,  Winter Reserve Coffee StoutBrewed by award-winning Head Brewer, Bob Barrar, the oatmeal stout is brewed with Wawa’s signature winter Blend Coffee.  In addition to the Winter Reserve Coffee Stout, this season, the collaboration will feature new additions — the Reserve Reserve, Coffee Cake Reserve Stout, and Snowbird Reserve Vanilla Porter — all of which feature Wawa Winter Reserve Coffee as the primary ingredient.

Winter Reserve Coffee Stout | Wawa + 2SP Brewing Company

  • 2SP Brewing Company brewed an oatmeal stout because of its balanced sweetness that will showcase the full range of flavors from Wawa’s reserve Winter Blend Coffee, an exclusive four origin bean blend sourced from Guatemala, Brazil, Sumatra, and Ethiopia. The seasonal brew boasts flavors of sweet clove, dark chocolate, and graham crackers. ABV 6%

Reserve Reserve | Wawa + 2SP Brewing Company

  • An English Style Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in Weller Bourbon Barrels for 9 months. This big stout is silky smooth with a lot of influence from the bourbon barrel and the addition of Wawa Winter Reserve Coffee. Expect robust flavors of vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon, all balanced out by Wawa’s exclusive blend of reserve coffee. ABV 10%

Coffee Cake Stout | Wawa + 2SP Brewing Company + Hardywood

  • Best known for spiced stouts including the ever-popular Gingerbread Stout, Hardywood’s breakfast beer combines Wawa’s Winter Reserve Coffee with an oatmeal stout and vanilla bean, cinnamon spice, and brown sugar to create a flavor of freshly dipped coffee cake. ABV 6%

Snowbird Reserve Vanilla Porter | Wawa + 2SP Brewing Company + Coppertail Brewing Co.

  • Brewed for our Florida friends who enjoy a sweet cup of Cuban Coffee, Snowbird Reserve is a robust porter with a sweetness derived from malted barley, intensified by Wawa Winter Reserve Coffee and balanced by a hint of vanilla. ABV 6%


(Wawa + 2SP Brewing Co’s Seasonal Beer Release & Brew Tour)

Delaware County partners Bob Barrar, Head Brewer, 2SP Brewing Company and Michael McLaughlin, Wawa’s Concept Development Manager and World Traveling Coffee Guru teamed up last year to bring their hometown a beer that locals would be proud of and due to an overwhelming response, the duo has done it again with the addition of Reserve Reserve, an all-new bourbon barrel-finished version of the Winter Reserve Coffee Stout, as well as two freshly brewed partnerships with Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, VA, and Coppertail Brewing Company in Tampa, FL. Each brewery created its own special recipe and attended a collaborative brew day with McLaughlin and 2SP Brewing Company, on-site at the 2SP brewery in Aston, Pennsylvania.

This new multi-state “Brew Tour” kicks off on Friday, December 6 in Chadds Ford, PA and will culminate on Thursday, February 20, 2020 in Tampa, FL. Beer and Wawa lovers alike are encouraged to attend one or all of the Brew Tour events to experience a live firkin-tapping, complimentary samples of the specialty brews, while supplies last, and more.

Neighborhood bars, bottle shops, and distributors in the five-county Philadelphia metropolitan area will be selling these limited edition beers.

Bluebird Distilling Launches State-Wide Spirit Delivery and New Website

(Bluebird Distilling)

Bluebird Distilling has launched its all-new website giving patrons access to limited release spirits and free delivery with a purchase of three items or more across the state of Pennsylvania. As one of the first Pennsylvania area distillers to offer this service, Bluebird Distilling is proud to expand its services to include delivery. Featured spirits include Barrel Proof Straight Four Grain Bourbon, Madeira Barrel Finished Straight Rye Whiskey, and their newest spirit, Bluebird Honey Whiskey. 

Those who order through the website must be 21 or older and must show ID at the time of delivery. All available items for purchase can be found here.

Saxbys Winter Menu Brings Trendy Ruby Chocolate to Philadelphia

As you could expect, Saxbys winter menu is a festive one, but it also highlights chocolate, tons of chocolate. Most noteworthy of the chocolate selections is on the precipice of a major food trend, Ruby Chocolate — the fourth chocolate that tastes like white chocolate, raspberries, and milk chocolate with an exceptionally creamy consistency has just made its way to the U.S. in 2019. Saxbys is one of the first spots nationwide to add it to their menu. The trendsetting ruby chocolate will be featured the following Saxbys items:

  •  Ruby Hot Chocolate: House-Made Ruby Ganache, Steamed Milk, Lil’ Ruby Disc
  • Ruby Chocolate Matcha (hot or iced): House-Made Ruby Ganache, 100% Organic Matchaful Matcha, Milk, Lil’ Ruby Disc
  • Ruby Raspberry Greek Yogurt Parfait: Unsweetened Greek Yogurt, Rice Krispies, Raspberry Preserves, Ruby Chocolate Ganache, Ruby Chocolate Chips

Saxbys plans to kick off their winter menu with 12 Days of Chocolate — an initiative featuring a different chocolate-forward product available in Saxbys’ cafes from Wednesday, December 4 -Sunday, December 15.  Each day, Saxbys will unfold a new featured chocolate product (available through Tuesday, March 3), including:

  •  Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mocha
  • Cacao Ball of Energy (including heirloom single-origin cacao from ultra-luxury partner To’ak)
  • Plant-powered chocolate chip cookies + brownies 

Believe it or not, these are just a few of the new menu items gracing Saxbys’ winter menu, home to a whopping 30+ new items. All of these items will be available at all 25 Saxbys cafes spanning five states.

High Street Pizzeria for One Night Only

(Photo by Brenna Huff // On Unsplash)

High Street on Market is bringing back its amazing and delicious pizza pop-up. The all-day cafe’s bakers are kicking the cooks out of the kitchen for a special one-night-only pizzeria menu. The eatery will be kicking off their monthly High Street Pizzeria series, taking place the first Friday of every month, by emphasizing their signature dishes — in the form of pizza on Friday, December 6. The Old City hot spot, with tables decked out in true pizzeria-style with checkered tablecloths, will be serving pies inspired by some of their signature dishes including:

  • Angry Crab (Old Bay, celery leaf)
  • Italian Market (fermented broccoli rabe, coppa and Lancaster bologna, sharp provolone)
  • Kennett Square (wild mushroom cream, farm egg, kale)

Plus, High Street will be offering natural wines not typically available by the glass and a fun slew of Amari, in addition to some small plates including:

  • Tuna Crudo with fennel and citrus
  •  Sweet Potatoes with rose water agro dulce
  •  Sesame Caesar salad 

Weekly Events

Each week, Philly Influencer picks the best parties, events, and social gatherings the area has to offer.

Tippler's Tour

(Tippler’s Tour)

Old City Holiday Tree Lighting: Old City will be hosting carolers, History Makers, and a tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 5.  Come to the Betsy Ross House’s courtyard to signal the start of Historic Holidays in Old City. Meet Betsy Ross, enjoy musical performances, have some seasonal libations and bites, and get the first peek at the new Old City District holiday tree.

A Very Philly Christmas at the Historic Houses of Fairmount Park:  Special events and tours at Cedar Grove, Historic Strawberry Mansion, Laurel Hill Mansion, Lemon Hill Mansion, Mount Pleasant Mansion, and Woodford Mansion will kick-off this week. The houses will revive their colonial-era heritage and bring seasonal history to life. Bring an appetite and culinary curiosity during Flavors of the Season and celebrate some of Philadelphia’s best tastes for the holidays.

Tippler’s Tour Yuletide Cheers & Beers: The Tippler’s Tour, a historic-themed pub crawl, kicks-off this week. Set in the winter of 1777 and led by a costumed reenactor, you’ll be swept through several bars in Old City.

Lock and Key Singles Event: This Friday night Fox & Hound will be hosting this speed dating event. Starting at 8 pm, you’ll have a chance to meet single locals in a fun and entertaining way. There will be happy hour specials all night on both food and drink. There will also be prizes and giveaways.

• Dashin’ through the Bars: This Saturday from 2 p.m.-10 p.m., several bars in the city will be participating in the Dashin’ Through the Bars Crawl. There will be holiday-themed drinks, specials, DJs at each venue, and more.

Running of the Santas: This Saturday is the annual Running of the Santas at Field House. The festivities kick off at 11 A.M. There will be live music, drink specials, a massive after-party, and several VIP options.

You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at

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