If breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day, shouldn’t you enjoy a well-made cocktail with it?
To clarify, we’re not suggesting washing down that bowl of Grape-Nuts with a dry martini before your Monday morning commute (although, if you ride the bus … ). But by the time weekend brunch arrives, you’ve earned the right to unwind as early as you want to.
Bloody marys, screwdrivers and mimosas dominate the midday drinks circuit, and we’re not hating on a super spicy, absurdly garnished bloody. But for a break from the a.m. standards, try one of these more interesting brunch-time tipples, drawn from restaurants with top-notch morning fare, on Easter Sunday or your next omelet outing.
The Bachelor Farmer: Coffee Flip
One sip of this bourbon- and espresso-spiked flip and your Starbucks cappuccino will never taste the same. This lavish egg drink is pure liquid velvet, with a delicate froth line lending an elegant texture and lust-worthy appearance in its graceful coupe glass. The luscious, not-too-rich day-starter is as sensuous as any double-vice drink should be, offering a caffeinated, boozy bliss that pairs well with something sweet from the North Loop hotspot’s enticing pastry cart.
50 2nd Av. N., Mpls., 612-206-3920, www.thebachelorfarmer.com
Cafe Maude: Corpse Reviver #2.1
It’s no wonder this old-timey eye-opener is called the Corpse Reviver. By contemporary pre-noon customs, this classic has an inoffensive but dead-wakening kick, thanks to its multi-spirited formula and an invigorating lemon-juice pucker. The Corpse Reviver #2 — gin, Curacao, lemon, Lillet Blanc and a hint of absinthe — has triumphed over time, and this south Minneapolis restaurant’s rendition is pretty straightforward, with the citrusy and slightly bitter aperitif Cocchi Americano pinch-hitting for Lillet (and presumably accounting for the added decimal).
5411 Penn Av. S., Mpls., 612-822-5411, www.cafemaude.com
Eat Street Social: Hot Cold Milk
Bartender Nikola Govich’s forenoon riff on a Dark ’n’ Stormy is as soothing as a glass of warm milk. But, you know, with booze in it. The mustachioed barman’s mix is anchored by an agreeable tandem of white and blackstrap rums, cream, hot water and a zippy ginger syrup that gently bites through the drink’s perfectly viscous body. Let this sublime sipper hold your hand while cleaning out last night’s cobwebs.
18 W. 26th St., Mpls., 612-767-6850, www.eatstreetsocial.com
Meritage: Meritage Sunrise
People love bubbles with brunch. But Bellini-ed out prosecco zombies might try freshening up with something a little stronger. Meritage isn’t rewriting the ’tweener-meal cocktail script with its signature tequila sunrise. However, simply plugging in a sparkling blood-orange drink in place of grenadine adds a welcome effervescence while mimicking the pinkish “sunrise” coloration. Thankfully, the tequila isn’t drowned in the French bistro’s fizzy wake-up drink, which finishes with a smooth agave trail.
412 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-222-5676, www.meritage-stpaul.com
Haute Dish: Peach Fuzz
This Peach Fuzz is one bright reason to stray from Haute Dish’s feisty bloody marys with their hearty add-on skewers. The North Loop gastro haven, which has a sneaky good whiskey selection, gives a Ramos gin fizz the bourbon treatment during weekend brunch. The lightly tart and fluffy tipple combines whiskey, cream and egg with a flavorfully harmonizing peach purée and Rothman & Winter’s apricot eau de vie (fruit brandy).
119 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-338-8484, www.haute-dish.com
Ward 6: Harvey Wallbanger
The Harvey Wallbanger is basically a screwdriver, but an anise-y Galliano float allows vodka and orange juice to feel a little more grown-up. The much-derided ’70s staple has mounted a bit of a comeback of late and can be found on the menu at Ward 6 and Pat’s Tap (the Freehouse offers an interesting-sounding wheat beer version, too). However, any bar with a dusty bottle of Galliano can fashion this disco-era concoction, which makes for an easy-drinking hangover helper.
858 Payne Av., St. Paul, 651-348-8181, www.ward6stpaul.com
NIGHTLIFE NEWS & NOTES
A handful of Minnesota breweries won hardware at the 2014 World Beer Cup — the Brewers Association’s international competition held April 6-8. Schell’s nabbed a pair of medals with Firebrick (gold) and its sour and fruity Framboise du Nord (bronze), while Steel Toe’s Wee Heavy Scotch Ale won a gold and Northbound’s Snownami, Summit’s Extra Pale Ale and Canal Park’s Nut Hatchet Nut Brown each scored silvers. The competition judges brews in 95 categories.
Beer at Bayfront
Tickets are on sale for the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild’s third annual All Pints North Summer Brew Fest. Last year the Duluth beer bash convened 50 mostly Minnesota breweries and 2,300 suds fiends in the scenic Bayfront Festival Park along Lake Superior, selling out the day of the event. This summer’s gathering shows no signs of slowing down, so don’t take too long to plan your Twin Ports voyage.
3-7 p.m., Sat., July 26, 21-plus, $35-$45 ($10 designated driver), www.mncraftbrew.org
Midtown Global Brewery
One-upping taproom/food truck combos across the metro, a new Minneapolis brewery is moving into the Midtown Global Market. According to city documents, Eastlake Craft Brewery and owner Ryan Pitman plan to occupy several stalls’ worth of space in the ethnic eats haven. Its 1,200-square-foot taproom can stay open until 11 p.m., three hours after the market closes. We’re already drooling over the food-pairing possibilities.
Michael Rietmulder writes about bars, beer and nightlife.