A brunch is only as good as the drinks in front of you. You can get eggs and bacon anywhere, but what sets a good brunch apart from a mediocre breakfast is the drink selection. Unfortunately in 2016, make-your-own Bloody Mary bars are a dime a dozen, and bottomless mimosas will leave you with indigestion or a headache (or both). But as a whole, brunch has pigeonholed itself into only offering these drinks without much else.
Luckily, I’m here to help. Brunch isn’t meant to only include the traditionalist drinks we’ve all come to know, love, and grow tired of. Brunch is a time to take whatever tools you have at your disposal and turn that hangover into a normal, high-functioning member of society again. It’s also about putting out luxurious vibes, but that’s neither here nor there. The following drinks will, without fail, do their job when you’re tired of the same ol’ brunch drinks you’ve been slugging back for years.
A bootleg take on the mimosa? Yes. But as everyone’s favorite former contributor, Kendra, explained, “When it stops being ‘early’ and becomes ‘midday’ you have to switch it up or you’re heading to a sugar hangover and those are gnarly.” Sometimes you have to take champagne out of the rotation and tag in some beer. The beermosa does just that. Plus, they’re easy as hell to make so when you’re too hungover to do anything but wipe your hands across your face in angst, beermosas make for an easy way to shampoo in some booze without putting forth any effort.
Grab a Belgian wheat-style beer (you know, like a Hefeweizen) and some orange juice that’s not Minute Maid. Combine the two to your liking and toss some orange slices in that bitch for good measure. Boom, you have yourself a beermosa. Just don’t use a shitty beer and shitty orange juice because then you’re just drinking a Brass Monkey and you’re not in college anymore, so that’s a bad look.
Salty Dog / Greyhound
There’s a reason that vodka is a staple when it comes to brunch drinks. Combined with the right ingredients, you pretty much can’t taste it, and it makes you feel like a million bucks after you considered yourself the cock of the walk the night before. This is especially true with Greyhounds and Salty Dogs, which are just vodka and grapefruit juice. A salted rim makes any Greyhound into a Salty Dog, but it also makes any regular face into a puffy face. The salt is cash money for a hangover, though, as ingesting it allows your body to retain more water thus making you less hungover. That’s science as taught to us by an actual nutrition manager, so you know it’s the truth.
Dark ‘N Stormy
A classic. Traditionally from Bermuda, you already know it’s good because of its tropical vibes. Dark ‘N Stormies, again, are idiot proof which is key considering the night before got a little dark as well. Now, it’s unfair to say that Dark ‘N Stormies should be limited to brunching, because they shouldn’t be. Dark ‘N Stormies are an all-day everyday drink that’ll take you far (and leave with you with a headache the next day). But that’s the love/hate relationship you have to have with any staple cocktail in your arsenal.
The easiest way to make one? Go to the store and buy a fifth of Gosling’s rum and a six-pack of Gosling’s ginger beer. Gosling’s has trademarked the name and recipe, so yeah, it’s legit. Take the fifth and fill up your glass with a ton of that dark, syrupy rum. Then put a splash of ginger beer in it and garnish with a fat lime. Wash, rinse, repeat until you find yourself on a dance floor screaming the words to “Domino” by Van Morrison.
The Screwdriver is the alcoholic cousin of the ‘Mosa family, as it’s incredibly aggressive to substitute beer or champs with vodka. But sometimes you have to throw lower proofs to the side when your hangover is a job for the hard stuff. Simply made by combining vodka and OJ, you have to be careful when ordering this in public because people might think you’re an alcoholic. But fuck those people. They wish they could spend their Saturday mornings drinking screwdrivers instead of running to Whole Foods with their significant others.
Orange Juice Margarita
You see a trend here with the orange juice? If you don’t already have some in your refrigerator on a regular basis, do yourself a favor and invest in some before you actually die from a hangover.
While yes, I agree that tequila in the morning is an aggressive move, putting OJ in your drink immediately tells the world, “Hey, look at me – I’m having breakfast so it’s socially acceptable to drink any type of alcohol my heart desires.” Order and/or make a normal margarita and splash some orange juice in there to make it more palatable. If you’re afraid to order it because the second-rate brunch bartender will inevitably fuck it up, order a normal rocks margarita and a sidecar of orange juice and make yourself into a makeshift mixologist at your table. After all, it’s not actually brunch if you don’t have at least four glasses in front of you filled with different liquids.
Walking into a bar or restaurant at 10:30 in the morning and ordering a Budweiser screams, “I’m a dirtbag.” Plus, if you took down a bunch of micro or macro brews the night before, chances are you don’t necessarily want to stomach even more immediately upon waking up. The alternative if you don’t want hard liquor? Cider. While it’s great out of the can or in a cold glass, it’s even better if you put it on ice and drink it like apple juice. Cider is higher in alcohol content than beer and sweet enough that you can get a one-way ticket to Pound Town when your body is trying to recover from a night of painting the town red.
Full disclosure: I had no idea what this even was until I solicited some help from friends, but this is the United Kingdom’s go-to non-Bloody/Mimo alternative for feeling good the next morning. By mixing equal parts lager and cider into a pint glass, you have yourself a Snakebite. Some also include a dash of blackcurrant cordial, but I don’t even know what that is so the chances of your farm-to-table brunch spot having that are slim-to-none unless you’re in Scotland or England. It’s similar to a Black ‘N Blue (Guinness mixed with Blue Moon) but shows that you’re cultured as fuck because English people drink it.
Whatever You Had The Night Before
I once found myself with a Stage Five hangover slugging down a gin and tonic with a bowl of Cheerios on the roof porch of yacht club while wearing a sailor’s hat. While yes, I felt like an even whiter version of Scott Disick, ordering the same drink as the night before can work wonders when you’re grasping at straws and wondering how you’re still alive after a massive night. When the taste of the night before’s drink is lingering in your mouth, you can create a volatile situation by trying to mix in a rival cocktail. Staying your course on the train you rode the night before is an easy way to stomach some drinks without throwing up.
I know, I know, bringing these drinks to light is God’s work. But advice like this is only as good as its comment section, so feel free to chime in and give us your staple brunch drinks. You know, as long as they’re not Bloody Marys or Mimosas. .