JEM Social: Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-Up

Address7601 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
Social MediaJem Social

It’s Christmas in Myrtle Beach with JEM Social and Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-Up!

Continuing through December 30, 2022 locals and visitors of Myrtle Beach can enjoy their favorite holiday music, festive decor, Christmas themed cocktails and an assortment of collectable items, bound to have a jolly time here at JEM Social.

A brisk November Tuesday evening, walking through the building of a former Pizza Hut into a holiday cocktail lounge oasis. I had not previously visited JEM Social before this event but I could tell it was completely transformed into a festive paradise for this Miracle pop-up.

It was decently busy when we first arrived at 5 p.m, a few tables here and there with people but the bar rather empty.

As our group is seated at a table fit for six, I take notice at how comfortable their table chairs are, plush yet stable enough to allow for comfortable table dining.

We are greeted with a delightful waiter, well prepared to take care of our groups cocktails orders as he sets down multiple water glasses and a swing top glass bottle of ice cold water. He places menus down and walks away as we find ourselves in deep conversation about what we want to order.

Our group decided to order our holiday cocktails before placing our meal orders.

I decide to start with the Holiday Spiked Chai, as my friends order the Grandmother Got Run Over By A T-Rex and the Yippee Ki Yay Mother F*****r!

If you enjoy your cocktails strong the Holiday Spiked Chai will have you cork high and bottle deep, ready to deck the halls. This cocktail, priced at $15 features brandy, Jamaican overproof rum, coffee liqueur, amaretto, chai, almond milk, egg white, tiki bitters and dashes of nutmeg atop.

For a few sips, the coffee liqueur stood out alongside the nutty amaretto which complimented so well next to the almond milk and chai. Settling into the aftertaste, the strong fruitiness of the brandy, Jamaican overproof rum and tiki bitters create a layer of citrus which caused my tastebuds to hit a sensory overload.

Assumed to taste close to a chai tea latte, this cocktail subverts all expectations. As I felt the egg white and the almond milk almost coagulate against the liquor, it simply was not the cocktail I had expected to receive upon reading the description.

With my tastebuds tingling, I shutter as I gulp the drink down, scanning the menu for another option. The waiter comes by to check on us as we place our meal orders. My friend and I decided to share a platter of the Gorgonzola Waffle Fries. Smothered with gooey white cheddar, mozzarella and Romano cheese, crisp bacon and chives, with gorgonzola crumbles, I was reminded that waffle fries can be made fancy for a price of $10.

The gorgonzola offers a rich, creamy and salty flavor alongside the melted white cheddar, mozzarella and Romano. The bacon had been crisped to perfection and the fries were fluffy with the perfect crunch.

By the time we had finished the fries that had been coated in the gooey cheese, my friend and I requested our favorite dipping sauce, ranch. While JEM Social does not have ranch per se, they do offer a delightful house made buttermilk and herb dressing that elevated the ranch request to a new height.

Looking to discard the aftertaste of citrus and milk, I place an order for the Christmapolitan. Priced at $14, this cocktail includes vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, lime, rosemary and absinthe mist. At first sip, the crisp floral notes of elderflower stood out on my tongue as the sage-like peppery notes of the rosemary rounded the flavor profile.

The sweetness from the cranberry with a touch of tang from lime among the flavors of the elderflower and rosemary within the Christmapolitan offered a unique holiday twist on the classic Cosmopolitan.

As I sip on my Christmapolitan, my friends order the Hot Buttered Rum and Santa’s Little Helper, both drinks that I place on my to-try list for my next visit. As we finish out our evening, we share many stories and are even greeted by the restaurant owner, Jason who is extremely personable and dedicated as he assists the chefs in the kitchen throughout the evening.

By the time we each parted ways to hear our car doors shut that Tuesday evening, the place was steadily busy, every chair at the bar taken and a few booths had been seated.

Once again, walking through the doors of the festive JEM Social, greeted by the same waiter from the previous visit.

“Please, sit anywhere you’d like, I’ll be with you in a moment.”

For a late Sunday evening, the cocktail lounge was packed. Each booth was filled, one left open, as a large birthday party was being hosted with many tables pushed together.

We glanced at the booth, and then our eyes caught a quiet, cozy spot in the back corner near a television on loop of a fireplace, with a soft plush couch and two soft plush chairs, perfect for a group of four.

The waiter comes by with the menus as well as the slip top glass bottle of ice cold water, and gives us a moment to decide on our cocktail choices.

After slightly experimenting with the cocktails from the previous visit, I knew I wanted to order the Hot Buttered Rum. Priced at $14, this drink is served hot with aged Jamaican rum, velvet falernum, mixed spiced butter, oat milk and nutmeg dusted atop.

A reoccurring pattern I seem to notice in the cocktails featuring milk, the alcohol is extremely potent in a way that overpowers the multitudes of flavor. The flavor profile was warm and comforting as the falernum focuses on a strong hint of clove and ginger with the oat milk and nutmeg, however, there felt a separation with the oat milk and the rum, as I felt with the Holiday Spiked Chai.

While I was trying to enjoy the Hot Buttered Rum, my boyfriend ordered the twist on his favorite, the Snowball Old-Fashioned. Priced at $14, this cocktail features rye, gingerbread, aromatic bitters, wormwood bitters and orange essence. After having a few sips of this classic twist, the notes of gingerbread gave the aftertaste such a cozy, festive feel.

As I sip on the mug of creamy rum, our group decides to order some small bites, choosing the calamari and the ahi tuna tacos.

Priced at $15, this calamari was tempura battered and decorated with pickled Fresno, charred okra, cilantro, lemon aioli and a grilled lemon.

Okra has never been a typical garnish for me to gravitate towards, especially since I did not grow up in the South however, the chefs of JEM Social prepared it so well that I could not stop picking at the delicious pods that offer a sweet flavor that became stronger since cooked longer, with a juicy texture that was crisp.

The pickled Fresno peppers offer heat of balance with the savory and sweet of the lemon aioli, giving moments for the cilantro to shine as you pair it alongside the star of the dish, the calamari, which tasted so fresh. The calamari was only slightly overcooked as it was a little tough to chew, either way our entire group finished the platter without hesitation.

Diving into the Ahi Tuna Tacos, our group devoured every moment, debating who would get the final bite. Priced at $14, these crispy wontons hold a gorgeous package of fresh ahi tuna, cucumber, avocado, frisée, micro cilantro, with a dollop of lemon aioli and a drizzle of ponzu vinaigrette.

The micro cilantro really stood out to me as the most unique choice for a garnish, packing such flavor in a tiny leaf complimented the sweet, buttery moments of the ahi tuna. The frisée and cucumber offered an added crunch against the texture of the avocado and the ahi tuna as the ponzu vinaigrette drips onto the tongue of tart and tang.

We were only wishing for more.

My boyfriend decides to order the Make it a Double handheld burger, priced at $15 with a Kale Caesar salad, priced at $11. I did have a bite of the burger but I look forward to ordering that on my next visit for a proper review. The kale Caesar however, I was able to snag a few bites from and it was a refreshing palate cleansing moment after having some great starters. The herb croutons and Caesar dressing, assuming house made, added for rich flavor and texture against the kale and romaine lettuce. I am happily surprised the chef chose to use a parmesan similarity, the grana Padano which offers a much milder flavor to the saltiness of parmesan. This worked well with the bitterness of the kale.

I chose a handheld as well, for the purpose that I knew I would be drinking a lot and I was searching for that affordable, appetizing platter that would leave me full.

I found this answer in my choice for the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, a dish that truly took me by pleasant surprise.

Priced at $16, the Korean fried chicken was juicy, crisp and thick. Paired with Napa slaw and pickled Fresno, this sandwich had me sitting back enjoying the heat & refreshing feeling that it has to offer. All packed together between a fluffy yet sturdy brioche bun that was smeared with rooster aioli, a sandwich that left me inspired.

Paired of course with a side of their well salted and perfectly tender fries. This handheld dish offered such an elevated take on a bar favorite as the Napa slaw and Fresno chilis create such a spicy, refreshing burst of energy for the Korean fried chicken.

Of course, to finish off my side of fries I requested their house made “ranch,” which is that creamy and cool sauce of buttermilk and herbs.

The Hot Buttered Rum did not pair well with the heat and coolness of this handheld so I decided to order one final cocktail to balance the overall spice and savory of the dish.

Santa’s Little Helper, priced at $14, contains gin, spiced caraway syrup, eucalyptus, sage, lime and a splash of seltzer. This cocktail is in my top choices, alongside the Christmapolitan, to pair with the appetizing food that JEM Social offers. The eucalyptus, sage and lime each balance well, offering a limeade style of choice. It was refreshing and wonderful alongside the heat and savory of the crispy chicken sandwich as the spiced caraway offered a sweet cut to the citrus flavors that were highly present.

The straw koala was an added bonus for charm.

“The cocktails might be good, but are they worth the price?”

I went into this pop-up event expecting to be hit with hefty cocktail prices, and the reason being, this company only has one season to work with in order to make a profit. With that said, some cocktails I felt uninspired by, while others I felt should take center stage.

The milk-heavy cocktails I feel deserve some attention to find the correct balance, too much of many great things can over shadow other flavors, which steals any enjoyment of cocktails that were priced over $10. I will say to much respect for the bartenders at JEM Social, my friend was not a huge fan of the Hot Buttered Rum either and they kindly replaced the drink with something she was more inspired by, seemingly not charging her for the drink she was unsatisfied with.

While I would not usually go out of my way for the most extravagant of cocktails, I think it’s worth the price of the splurge to enjoy a festive event.

You can purchase signature Miracle glassware by stopping by the Handcraft bar. 

For more information on Miracle to see if there is a pop-up located near you, please click here.

“The food might be good, but is it worth the price?”

JEM Social just recently opened this past August, and after waiting a few months to visit this new establishment, it’s clear that the chefs, bartenders and waiters give extreme attention to detail in presentation and hospitality.

After conversating with my friends, the food was most certainly astounding and I’m sure with such fresh ingredients and high quality liquor, the prices are seemingly to match. However, with certain dishes we felt the prices were a little too steep.

“They should place double the portion for the price,” of the calamari my friend states.

While I found every menu item I tried extremely appetizing, some items could be balanced better for the average customer. Although, I understand the need to consider food price and gross profit margins.

JEM Social offers an array of cocktails, main courses, appetizers and more for the experience to have the best social gathering or date night, by limiting the television distractions, dimming the lights and offering great playlists.

While I love that JEM Social adopted the holiday pop-up for the season, I look forward to my visits to JEM Social, as JEM.

For more information on JEM Social, please click here.


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