In the last few years, brunch has taken Shreveport-Bossier City by storm. Sunday brunch is now one of the favorite shifts of restaurant-goers. I mean, who doesn’t love a reason to day drink with morning themed beverages and eat unending breakfast food? If you put biscuits and gravy on the menu, I’m going to order them. With all this talk of brunch, I’m getting thirsty. Let’s take a moment to discuss some fantastic brunch cocktails.
First of all, you can’t have brunch without mimosas. This is one of the easiest cocktails in the world to make and it happens to be the most popular brunch beverage. Orange juice and sparkling wine. That’s it. The ratio of bubbles to OJ is completely up to you. The basic rule of thumb on the bubbles is if you like drinking it by itself, you’ll like it with orange juice. I don’t recommend using anything expensive. Try Cava or Prosecco instead. There also are various ways to change up your mimosa or make them flavored. You can use different fruit juices like mango, peach or a citrus blend. If you want to make it a bit boozier and floral, add an ounce of gin to it. Trust me on that.
Next up is the Bloody Mary. This cocktail salad is favored around the South as the quintessential “hair of the dog” drink after a long Saturday night of being social and over served. The base is always tomato juice and 2-ounces vodka (you can have a Bloody Maria by adding Tequila instead of vodka) but for as many restaurants that serve them, there are different recipes. I’ve found people in Louisiana are as particular about their Bloody Mary as they are about their gumbo, crawfish, political views, and musical taste. You can keep it simple at home with pre-made mixes like Tabasco, Zing-Zang or Taste of Florida. It can even be specialized it by adding BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, or literally anything else. I’ve seen the garnish game stepped up a lot in the last few years with things like bacon, pizza, pickled green beans, or even a fried chicken wing but the classic is just a stalk of celery and some olives. As they say, the choice is yours.
The classic French 75 is a great brunch cocktail and probably one of my favorites. The origins of the cocktail go back to World War I. “French 75” is named after the standard issue military weapon during that time — the French 75mm field gun — because it packed just as much of a kick. Originally the cocktail was made with cognac or brandy, but it’s now a popular choice to use gin instead. It’s fun, fancy, bright, and boozy. To make it at home, combine 1.5 ounces of gin or cognac, 3/4 ounce of fresh lemon juice, and 3/4 ounce of simple syrup in a shaker tin and shake. Once chilled, pour into a Champagne flute and top with bubbles. For extra points, garnish with a lemon twist.
There are actually as many great brunch cocktails as there are brunch spots. I’m a huge fan of brunch at Marilynn’s Place, Ki’ Mexico, Wine Country Bistro, and El Cabo Verde, just to name a few. I know mimosas and Bloody Marys are easy go-to brunch drinks but always check the cocktail menu before ordering. You could stumble on to an old-school beverage that will hit the spot or could be missing out on an excellent brunch cocktail designed by your favorite bartender.