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Brunch cocktails, like the meal itself, can get a bad rap. But they don’t have to be boring: As an alternative to flat Mimosas or watered-down Bloody Marys, consider these recipes from some of our favorite Boston brunch institutions. From a classic spritz to boozed-up chocolate milk, click through to learn how to make them at home.
This entry from Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar might be the solution to Mimosa burnout. Though it’s topped with prosecco, it eschews orange juice for apple cider and livens things up with lemon juice, orange liqueur, and a few hearty drops of barrel-aged bitters. It’s particularly fitting for fall when locally made apple cider hits farmers market stalls and grocery store shelves, but it’s enjoyable year-round.
This creamy, industry brunch menu favorite from Trina’s Starlite Lounge might call for Nesquik, but don’t confuse it for kid stuff. Matt’s Quickie grows up with vodka, espresso liqueur, and a floater of high-proof green Chartreuse. You may never think of chocolate milk the same way again.
The Italian Greyhound is a classic cocktail that flies under the radar, but it proves a worthy brunch option because of its low ABV. An equal-parts recipe of grapefruit juice and the bitter artichoke-based liqueur Cynar, simplicity is one of its selling points, but you can introduce another layer of flavor by garnishing it with a salted rim like they do at Benedetto.
The Aperol Spritz checks all the boxes you want from a brunch tipple: it’s bubbly, low in alcohol, and helps whet the appetite for anything salty, fatty, or sweet. For the proper preparation, we defer to our friends at Bar Mezzana, who garnish it the proper Italian way with a single slice of orange and a briny green olive.
Krasi’s reinvention of the go-to brunch cocktail is built on a base of mango-dill juice, which is easily made at home by blending together mango puree, dried dill weed, water, and sugar. Once that sweet and savory foundation is formed, top it off with a Greek sparkling wine to stay true to the restaurant’s spirit, or use a Spanish cava.