Most of us would agree that brunch just wouldn’t be brunch without the drinks. From Appletinis to Zinfandels and everything in between, brunch is a special time of day when it’s not only socially acceptable to be drinking, it’s actually encouraged. To celebrate this time-honored weekend tradition, I’ve categorized the common (and some not so common) brunch cocktails by where they’d fit into the Royal Family of Brunch Drinks. Part 1 is below, but check back for future editions.
Although new to my brunch repertoire, the Manmosa has quickly grown near and dear to my heart. Strong and assertive, the King of Brunch Drinks is much more than just a pint-sized mimosa. Its “secret formula” combines Blue Moon, orange juice and a shot of mandarin vodka, which is sure to help you nurse last night’s hangover, or at least start working on today’s.
Where to find a good one: Check out the Manmosa at Gaslight Bar & Restaurant in Hoboken, NJ. It’s well worth the trek from anywhere in NYC.
Long live the Queen. This brunch “hangover cure” has been getting people up at the crack of noon for almost a century now. Despite its association with Queen Mary I of England, the Bloody Mary’s origin is actually debated between New York and Paris in the mid-early 1900’s.
For serious brunchers, the ongoing quest to find the best Bloody Mary is a lifelong endeavor and many bartenders take pride in their individual recipes. A base of vodka and tomato juice is mixed with any number of sauces, spices and seasonings to get a good balance of flavor, though most fans will agree that a spicy kick is necessary. If you get served a bland Bloody Mary that tastes more like cocktail sauce than a cocktail, ask for your favorite hot sauce to kick it up a notch. One of my recently discovered faves is All Spice Cafe’s Cayenne Habanero XXX, which adds just as much flavor as it does heat.
Where to find a good one: Check out St. Dymphna’s on St. Marks for an awesome Bloody Mary paired with their traditional Irish breakfast. You can thank me later.
Although full of strength and confidence, the Prince of Brunch Drinks can often show his immaturity. Combining vodka and orange juice, the Screwdriver isn’t good for much else than getting you drunk, and getting you drunk quickly. But hey, at least he loads you up on Vitamin C so your hangover isn’t quite as bad.
Where to find a good one: Pretty much anywhere with a bartender. But if you’re going for the Screwdriver, you might as well hit up The Sunburnt Cow for the bottomless glass.
Cute and bubbly, the Mimosa gets more than her share of the attention as daddy’s little princess. Although exact proportions are debated, the Princess of Brunch Drinks is composed of two parts champagne to one part orange juice and is always served in a champagne flute. Mimosas have become a brunch staple and can be found pretty much everywhere, although most prix fixe brunch specials substitute cheap sparkling wine for champagne. That’s usually fine by me, but beware of the hangover if you have one too many.
Where to find a good one: Artisanal Bistro is known for their cheese bar and brunch food (random rec: Pork Belly Hash w Smoked Chili Hollandaise is to die for), but they also make a fantastic mimosa among other brunch cocktails.