Who doesn’t love a good brunch cocktail?

When it comes to brunch, the Bloody Mary and the Mimosa are the two cocktails that stand out as the favorites. They each have their own story and offer creative bartenders a blank canvas to work magic on. Whether it’s craft mimosas or incredible garnishes, there’s no denying that brunch is only as good as what you’re sipping on.

Mezcal Mimosa by marc-babin

Mezcal Mimosa

Photo by Marc Babin

Mimosa

The basic mimosa recipe of juice + Sparkling Wine + Triple Sec (on occasion) is one that can be endlessly riffed on. The easiest way to update the classic is to switch up the juice, but why stop there. Swap out the Triple Sec for another spirit to play with flavor profiles. For a smokey mimosa – try mezcal with grapefruit juice and a smoking rosemary garnish. For something more floral – try gin with an elderflower topper.

Another option is to switch out your bubbly! Opt for a sparkling red wine for an added dose of drama and depth. Sparkling reds have come a long way from the overly sweet bottles popular in the ’70s and ’80s. There are several types of sparkling red now available, and each has its own benefits. We like Brachetto grape varietals for brunch drinks as they have a lower abv and notes of rose, raspberry, and cotton candy, making them a perfect match for a classy mimosa.

Bloody mary by nicole-honchariw

Bloody Mary

Photo by Nicole Honchariw

Bloody Mary

There are few drinks more polarizing than a Bloody Mary, drinkers love them or hate them, but they’re a brunch classic for a reason. The Bloody Mary base doesn’t leave as much flexibility as the mimosa, but it still allows for some variation. It’s possible to swap out the tomato juice but sticking to another savory option is best. Swapping out the spirit is one option, although in most cases, that technically makes your drink a new cocktail rather than a Bloody Mary (i.e., adding Tequila makes a Bloody Maria while Gin makes a Red Snapper). The best way to upgrade your Bloody is to play with the spices and add-ins’ flavor profile.

Right now, we’re loving Asian-inspired Bloody Mary’s. The first is based on a spicy tuna roll and swaps out Worchester and horseradish for a dose of fish sauce, soy sauce, wasabi paste, and a generous amount of siracha. The second is Korean inspired and subs out the vodka for Soju and uses kimchi and its brine as a flavoring and delicious garnish.