Morning Cocktails Beyond Mimosas

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Photo by Charles Haynes/Flickr CC


The Mimosa is the turkey sandwich of the cocktail world. The day after Thanksgiving, the turkey sandwich is resplendent--slathered in mayonnaise, cranberry sauce, and thick, juicy chunks of turkey meat. Every other day, it's meh.

Too often there's little or no thought to the measure or value of ingredients in a Mimosa. Fresh juice? Forget about it. Instead, when brunch rolls around you're lucky to get Sunny D mixed with a five-dollar bottle of sparkling wine. So who cares if it's unlimited with the purchase of eggs and bacon? I'd just as soon nurse my Sunday morning DTs with beer suds.

Historically there was an entire class of morning drinks with appropriate titles to their curative capabilities. So let's review some other options, shall we?

Yet beer does lack some imagination on the one day a week that allows for multiple beverages to be served simultaneously: coffee, OJ, water, and a Bloody Mary. Not to mention that historically there was an entire class of morning drinks that served just this purpose with appropriate titles to their curative capabilities--corpse revivers, fog cutters, eye openers, and morning glories. So let's review some other options, shall we?

1.) The Ramos Gin Fizz: I've already admitted the bartender hates you so why not just go ahead and order despite the 12-minute shaking time? Made with gin, eggs, cream, sugar, lemon, lime and, orange blossom flower water, it resembles a Sprite milkshake and is well worth the effort. Just make sure to reward your bartender accordingly.

2.) The Corpse Reviver #2: This piquant sipper gives a jolt with its tartness but forces the question: what happened to the Corpse Reviver #1? That's a long story. Gin, lemon, Cointreau, Lillet, and absinthe are a sublime combination for "acid" freaks.

3.) The Morning Glory: Bourbon, brandy, bitters, absinthe, and a little lift from the soda should make this the stalwart of the Bourbon-set brunchers. I'm certainly considering making this my go-to before-noon beverage.

4.) The Red Eye: So you're in a Bloody Mary rut, picking the horseradish from your teeth and wondering if the top accidentally fell off the Tabasco? Why else is your mouth scorched from a few sips? Beer and tomato juice are delicious and needn't be doctored too much.

5.) The Golden Slipper: Apricot brandy, Yellow Chartreuse (some earlier recipes call for Kirschwasser), and an egg yolk. Sounds gross, right? Especially when the god Vulcan is the one controlling the gate to your stomach after a night of binge drinking. Yet as soon as you admit that this is the oyster of cocktails, it tastes amazingly delicious.

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Derek Brown is a writer, illustrator, bartender, and co-owner of acclaimed bars The Passenger and Columbia Room in Washington, D.C. He sits on the board of directors for the Museum of the American Cocktail. More

Derek Brown is a writer, illustrator, bartender, and co-owner of acclaimed bars The Passenger and Columbia Room in Washington, D.C. He travels throughout the country and around the world in search of great drinks, and the stories behind them. Derek's methodical approach to cocktails was profiled in the Wall Street Journal's "A Master of Mixological Science" and his martini lauded as the best in America by GQ. He's been in numerous media outlets featuring his approach to better drinking, including CNN, The Rachel Maddow Show and FOX. Derek is a founding member of the D.C. Craft Bartender's Guild and on the board of directors for the Museum of the American Cocktail.
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