Best Brunch Cocktails: Go Beyond the Basic on Mother’s Day

Sorry, plain Jane Bloody Mary; you’re just way too basic these days. That goes for you, too, champy and OJ! Mixologists are creating radical cocktails that seriously raise the bar when it comes to midday imbibing. We’re talking cocky concoctions to boost your lobster benny – and your spirits (as well as mom’s) on Mother’s Day and beyond. Here are delish sips of spring in the form of the best brunch cocktails you need to drink this weekend.

The Ruby Soho, Left Bank, New York, New York
The Ruby Soho cocktail is deftly mixed by head bartender Claiborne Fortenberry, who combines grapefruit and pink peppercorn-infused tequila (made in-house), Pamplemousse liqueur, fresh lime, and a salt rim for a super-fresh day drink. Goes especially well with the eggs Benedict, don’t you think? Make a reservation at Left Bank.

Blog Left Bank ruby soho, grapefruit and pink peppercorn infused tequila, pamplemouse liqueur, fresh lime3 copy

Eiffel Affair, Eiffel Tower Restaurant, Las Vegas, Nevada
The Eiffel Affair is the best-selling “new classic” cocktail served at the Eiffel Tower in the desert and features fresh berries macerated in Stoli Blueberi Crème de Cassis, Cointreau, and Rose Nectar. It’s topped off with a splash of Eiffel Tower Cremant for added effervescence. Make a reservation at Eiffel Affair.

Blog eiffel affair copy

Bloody Bull, Momofuku CCDC, Washington, D.C.
Grab the horns and order The Bloody Bull. Made with vodka, tomato, horseradish, and beef broth, the beef broth stars beef shank and oxtail, and is also used in CCDC’s Beef Noodle Soup. The cocktail, served only during weekend lunch, pairs particularly well with Momofuku’s Twice-Cooked Pork Noodles with maple fish sauce vinaigrette and the Scrapple, Egg, and Cheese steamed buns. Make a reservation at Momofuku CCDC.

Blog Momofuku CCDC - Brunch Beverage - The Bloody Bull copy

Citrine, Harvest Table, St. Helena, California
Lead bartender Joel Pfeifle mixes unique, non-spirit based cocktails — many of the ingredients are sourced from the inn’s five culinary gardens — but these certainly aren’t your garden-variety cocktails. Top brunch libations include the Strawberry Belle (Mirabelle Brut, Strawberry Shrub, Garden Mint Syrup, Lime Juice), The Pampered Moose (Giffard Pamplemousse, No. 209 Gin, Grapefruit Oleo, lemon juice), and the Citrine (sparkling wine, garden mint syrup, fresh squeezed orange, bitters). Make a reservation at Harvest Table.

BLog HT_Citrine copy

The Lunchbox, Farmer & The Seahorse, San Diego, California
A seashell’s fling from the beach in San Diego’s Torrey Pines neighborhood, the status cocktail at celebrity chef Brian Malarkey’s restaurant is called The Lunchbox — made with Mama’s Lil Pilsner beer, Peach liqueur, and freshly squeezed orange juice. It is the perfect pairing to the brunch menu’s duck confit and waffles or the pastrami-style pork belly hash. Make a reservation at Farmer & The Seahorse.

Blog Farmer and Seahorse Brunch Cocktails copy

Asparagus Negroni, Davio’s, Boston, Massachusetts
The Asparagus Negroni (Cynar, Stoli Vodka, Peychaud’s bitters, orange bitters and muddled asparagus) is a nod to the star of springtime. And, it’s a perfect complement to Davio’s brunch menu, including specials like the Beef Tenderloin with poached eggs, potatoes, popover, and truffle hollandaise. Make a reservation at Davio’s.

blog daviosboston asparagus negroni copy

Bashment Punch, Solomon & Kuff’s Rum Hall, New York, New York
Known for its almost 100 varieties of rum and a monthly reggae brunch, it’s no shocker that co-owner and mixologist Karl Franz Williams chose to channel the islands when he created his fruity Bashment Punch — a Caribbean-inspired libation of rum, pineapple juice, mango puree, lime juice, and orange bitter. Bonus: Sip it to up your daily fruit intake. Make a reservation at Solomon & Kuff’s Rum Hall.

Blog Solomon Kuff_Bashment Punch2 copy

Millennial Mimosa, CUCINA enoteca, Newport Beach, California
Mimosas are to brunch what beer is to baseball — traditional, but kinda boring. Meet the millennial mimosa! The ingredients are rolled on a cart to your table and a more exciting mimosa is prepared just for you. You’ll have your choice of mixers, purees, and garnish, and the ingredients are seasonal, including pineapple-blood orange, vanilla bean, Meyer lemon, strawberry jalapeno, pomegranate peach, rosemary ginger pineapple, candied ginger, blueberries, rosemary sprigs, blackberries, fresh strawberries, and pomegranate seeds. Make a reservation at CUCINA enoteca.

Blog Cucina_Enoteca_Sept2015_WEB_0022-(ZF-2170-83709-1-022) copy

The Board, Nick & Toni’s, East Hampton, New York
Brunch in the Hamptons, such a chic chill. Wait, what, your bloody is bland, not enough horseradish? Or, hot sauce? Oh, bloody hell, you hate to send it back—what will the Seinfelds think? Or Billy Joel? Such a high maintenance brunchster you are. Nick and Toni’s has your back. They call their brunch Bloody Mary cocktail, “The Board” and describe it as “a drink, a snack and an activity.” The way it works: Pick a liquor (house-infused sweet pepper-onion-and basil-infused Absolut, hot pepper and peppercorn Absolut ,or Maestro Dobel Tequila, choose a mix and and garnish away – and toss in a few condiments to your tasting. Special Stuff: Pickled green garlic from the garden will be rotated into the Bloody Board lineup, too. Make a reservation at Nick & Toni’s.

Blog Nick and Toni's East Hampton The Board 2 copy

P-Town Punch, Sabio on Main, Pleasanton, California
The “deceptively light and fruity” P-Town Punch cocktail served at this newbie restaurant packs a lot of punch — Pisco, Strawberry-Rhubarb Gum Syrup, fresh lemon juice, and a strawberry garnish. The cocktail plays well with menu items like the Hamachi “Nicoise” salad and Eggs Benedict, and, thanks to the acid that is needed to cut through fat, the cocktail can also stand up to bigger flavors like the Liberty Duck Croque Monsieur and burgers. Make a reservation at Sabio on Main.

Blog Sabio on Main's P-Town Punch brunch cocktail copy

Muddy Waters, Geraldine’s, Austin, Texas
Named for the father of Chicago blues music, the Muddy Waters cocktail (Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Averna, Orgeat syrup, cold brew coffee, condensed milk, and nutmeg) is a boozy coffee cocktail that harmonizes well with Geraldine’s Brioche French Toast and Smoked Short Rib Tacos. Make a reservation at Geraldine’s.

Muddy Waters - Photo credit Aubrie Pick

Buffalo Soldier, South Water Kitchen, Chicago, Illinois
Order the Buffalo Soldier (Buffalo Trace Bourbon, egg, maple syrup, two strips crumbled bacon, Peychaud’s Bitters, powdered sugar, and bacon strip garnish), expertly mixed cocktail from by head bartender Dan Rook, and you’ve basically got a beautiful brunch in a glass. Make a reservation at South Water Kitchen.

Blog South Water Kitchen Buffalo Soldier3 copy

Brunch Punch III, Hearth, New York, New York
East Village weekend brunchers get punch drunk with the Brunch Punch III, a brunch-only cocktail that stars Four Roses Bourbon, Atsby, Cocchi di Torino, and blood orange. Order it alongside one of Hearth’s delicious spring brunch dishes like the seasonal vegetable frittata. Make a reservation at Hearth.

Blog Hearth Brunch Punch1 copy

I-5 High Five, Café Eugene, Albany, California
The I-5 High Five (gin, Oregon Marionberry Liqueur, California spiced pear brandy, lemon, rosemary) gives Café Eugene’s cheesy grits with tomatillo-braised pork shoulder, chayote, butternut squash, wild herb sauce and a poached egg a perfect boost. Or, if it’s pancakes you crave, order the Duck-Duck-Punch (rum, orange, carrot, lime, pomegranate, falernum, Oregon chai, nutmeg) and the sweet yogurt raspberry pancakes with orange butter and Vermont maple syrup. Make a reservation at Café Eugene.

Continue Reading

All Abuzz: 15 Coffee Cocktails to Add a Spring to Your Step

We love coffee. We love booze. Put the two together and that’s heaven in a glass. These double-amped cocktails showcase the mastery of mixology combined with the talented touch of a blue ribbon barista. That means they work for breakfast, a mid-afternoon break, or at dinnertime drinks (or all three if it’s one of those days). Here are 15 coffee cocktails that will have you buzzing in no time.

Travelle Kitchen + Bar, Chicago, Illinois
The Midnight Train to Portland cocktail should be renamed the One-Way Ticket to Buzzville. Espresso tequila forms the backbone of the ruby red drink, which gets its hue from Pinot Noir. Pear wine and aromatic bitters add sweetness and bite. Make a reservation at Travelle Kitchen + Bar.

Coffee Cocktails

E.P. + L.P., West Hollywood, California
There’s an Asian accent to this aromatic sipper. Thai chilies, star anise, and cinnamon spice up the espresso, which is mixed with juniper-rich genever, cognac, and bitters to create a truly buzzy bevvie. We don’t recommend drinking more than one of them after dinner if you want to go to bed anytime soon. If your plans include not sleeping, order two. Make a reservation at E.P. + L.P.

Coffee Cocktails

Estrellón, Madison, Wisconsin
There’s a double caffeine kick to this cocktail thanks to St. George coffee liqueur and cold brewed coffee. Fortified with Spanish brandy, bar manager Mike Lu mixes in some Angostura bitters to add depth and lemony oleo-saccharum for sweetener. Guaranteed to put pep in your step. Make a reservation at Estrellón.

Coffee Cocktails

Siegel’s 1941, Las Vegas, Nevada
Made with 12-year aged rum, espresso liqueur, vanilla syrup, and Angostura bitters, the Have a Cigar cocktail is a worthy post-gig pick-me-up for rock stars. Or for you when you’re convinced you’re Roger Waters. You can almost hear Pink Floyd in the background as you sip it, “Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar/You’re gonna go far, you’re gonna fly.” Make a reservation at Siegel’s 1941.

Coffee Cocktails

Rockit Bar & Grill, Chicago, Illinois
Who could resist a cocktail called the Drunken Monk? Not us! Made with Evan Williams Bourbon, Frangelico, chocolate syrup, espresso, and steamed milk, it’s topped off with a cap of flame-kissed marshmallow. Make a reservation at Rockit Bar & Grill.

Coffee Cocktails

Sissy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar, Dallas, Texas
Bardstown Coffee is for java junkies who need something stronger than Starbucks. The coffee cocktail gets a considerable boost from a healthy dose of Jim Beam infused with hazelnuts, vanilla, cinnamon, and allspice. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a finishing layer of Maker’s Mark-enriched whipped cream on top. Make a reservation at Sissy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar.

Coffee Cocktails

Sushisamba, New York, New York
This is not your crazy aunt’s espresso martini. The Café Millonario features coffee-washed Bacardi Black rum, espresso, Tonka bean-infused maple syrup, dark chocolate syrup, and bitters, plus a shower of chocolate powder and a trio of coffee beans on top. Actually, you should definitely order one of these for your crazy aunt. She deserves better. Make a reservation at Sushisamba.

Coffee Cocktails

Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago, Illinois
This Polynesian potable packs a punch courtesy of some cold brew coffee. Oh, yeah, and also tequila, dark rum, and overproof rum. For a tropical flourish, there’s a mélange of passion fruit, lime, and pineapple juices added. Warning: don’t try to walk out with the glass. The tiki gods frown upon such bad behavior and may lay a curse upon you. Make a reservation at Three Dots and a Dash.

Coffee CocktailsContinue Reading

Protein Packed Potables: 11 Meaty Cocktails for Carnivores

There’s no fork and knife required to get your fill of meat these days. Bartenders are creatively working a plethora of protein packed components into their cocktails – from chorizo fat-washed bourbon and prosciutto-infused bourbon to pork enhanced bitters and a butchery’s worth of garnishes. Ron Swanson would approve heartily. Here are 11 meaty cocktails for carnivores.

Scarpetta, Miami Beach, Florida
Rum, rye, and dry sherry are the boozy foundation of the Lombardia. The cocktail is perked up with Angostura and orange bitters and then finished off with a strip of crispy pancetta. Make a reservation at Scarpetta.

meaty cocktails

Old Town Pour House, Chicago, Illinois
Here’s a cocktail worthy of a meat eater. The Churchill Bloody Mary is garnished with a trio of proteins: a peppercorn steak medallion, grilled shrimp, and a Slim Jim. You almost don’t need to bother with an entrée if you order it at brunch. Almost. Make a reservation at Old Town Pour House.

Meaty Cocktails

Steak & Whisky, Hermosa Beach, California
Ron Swanson finally has a cocktail to celebrate his meat-loving ways. The eponymous tipple riffs on an Old Fashioned, featuring whiskey, barrel-smoked maple syrup, and bitters. It’s finished off with a meaty nibble from the charcuterie board. Make a reservation at Steak & Whisky.

meaty cocktails

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Las Vegas, Nevada
Bacon makes everything better — even bourbon, which is pretty darn awesome anyway. It boosts this spicy Bloody Mary, which comes garnished with a chewy strip of housemade jerky. Make a reservation at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar.

meaty cocktails

Estrellón, Madison, Wisconsin
Chorizo takes a starring role at this Spanish restaurant from James Beard Award winner Tory Miller – even the cocktails. Chorizo fat-washed bourbon is the lead in the aptly titled Chorizo Cocktail, alongside Spanish vermouth, lemon and orange juice, maple syrup, and angostura and blackstrap bitters. Make a reservation at Estrellón.

meaty cocktails

Bar Boulud, New York, New York
Give us lardo over butter any day of the week. The whipped fat is zigzagged across a crispy crostini jutting out of the crimson depths of the Bloody Mary. The rosemary-accented porky spread is a nice counterpoint to the cocktail’s spicy tang and perky acidity. Make a reservation at Bar Boulud.

meaty cocktailsContinue Reading

Tap That Sap: 13 Amazing Maple Cocktails

As winter announces its overdue presence and maple harvest time looms, we yearn for maple syrup more than ever. We pour it on pancakes, use it to glaze bacon for our burgers, and drizzle it over snowball-sized scoops of ice cream. However, there’s no place we like it more than at the bar. That’s because the amber liquid has a rich, deeply flavorful sweetness, which works well to mellow out liquor’s sharper tones. Here are 13 amazing maple cocktails.

Charcut, Calgary, Canada
Bar manager Mackenzie Oullette has fond childhood memories of making lollipops by pouring boiling maple syrup into the snow. Now she makes a similar maple taffy to garnish her whiskey rich Fléche cocktail, which gets a sugary lift from even more Grade A syrup. Make a reservation at Charcut.

Maple Cocktails

Burritt Room & Tavern, San Francisco, California
The phrase ‘study abroad’ used to conjure images of drinking in foreign countries while trying to improve international relations one hookup at a time. But now that we’re older, slightly wiser, and a tad more refined, the phrase makes us think fondly of this cocktail with the same name. Bourbon based, it’s sweetened with dark Grade B maple syrup and given some nuance through the inclusion of pear liqueur, allspice dram, and lemon juice. Make a reservation at Burritt Room & Tavern.

Maple Cocktails

Almanac, New York, New York
Simply called the Maple, this cocktail is essentially a seasonally accented Old Fashioned. The kick of the Overholt Rye and the botanicals of the dry vermouth are smoothed out by a dose of salted maple syrup and a couple of dashes of housemade orange bitters. Make a reservation at Almanac.

Maple Cocktails

The Salty Sow, Austin, Texas
The Maple Glazed Old Fashioned sounds like it could be an amazing doughnut. It’s also the name of this self-explanatory sipper, which features the classic cocktail sweetened with…yeah, you guessed it. What gave it away? Make a reservation at The Salty Sow.

Maple Cocktails

Gather, Berkeley, California
Earl Grey-infused maple syrup perks up this scotchy sipper, which would most certainly appeal to Ron Burgundy. Dubbed the Northern Exposure, it’s filled out with lemon juice, egg whites, and bitters. Here it goes, down into our bellies. Make a reservation at Gather.

Maple Cocktails

Wildwood Kitchen, Bethesda, Maryland
The Sunday mornings cocktail evokes brunch in a glass. Bacon-washed bourbon is mellowed out with hickory-smoked maple syrup, and vanilla and cinnamon tincture. The glass is finished off with a Serrano ham chip and an orange peel. Make a reservation at Wildwood Kitchen.

Maple Cocktails

The Smith-Midtown, New York, New York
Named after the lovable pig in Charlotte’s Web, the Sweet Wilbur aims to evoke the countryside. Sugar maple liqueur is blended with bourbon, allspice dram, apple cider, and bacon bitters (an item that made it into our Christmas stocking). To complete the cocktail, the rim is rolled in vanilla salt. Make a reservation at The Smith-Midtown.

Maple CocktailsContinue Reading