Brunch cocktails used to be fairly predictable. There were two choices — Bloody Marys made with canned tomato juice or mimosas made with cheap orange juice. Brunch cocktail menus didn’t exist, and thoughtfully-made cocktails only came out after dark.

Enter the brunch culinary trend. The lines between breakfast, lunch, and dinner are blurred. Waffles and grits are what’s for dinner. Noodle bowls and salad are for breakfast. Eggs are served all day, and it’s always 5:00 p.m. somewhere.

Now more than ever people want a memorable dining experience any time of day. Their desire for local and house-made food starts in the morning, and sometimes the morning doesn’t start until midday.

People roll out of bed for the brunch cocktail trend.

brunch cocktails

Breakfast cocktails should be refreshing and sustaining. They are the hair of the dog, and they help ease you into your day, plus they elevate all those trending breakfast foods, too. Today’s brunch cocktails are made with locally-produced artisan spirits, small-batch mixers, exotic culinary ingredients, and fresh, and house-made garnishes.

Traditional brunch cocktails have been made over. These are just a few we’ve seen at our favorite brunch spots this year.

Bloody Mary Brunch Cocktails

Old-school Bloody Marys are getting an upgrade with infused vodka, craft Bloody Mary mixes, small-batch hot sauce, and fresh and house-brined vegetable garnishes. Some are even garnished with over-the-top towers of bacon, shrimp, and cheeseburgers. (That must be some kind of hangover to call for a garnish like that.)

Look for international variations with ingredients like fish sauce, miso, or curry, and check out this spicy Kimchi Bloody Mary recipe from the chefs at FDR.

Fizz Brunch Cocktails

As the name implies, a fizz is traditionally a drink made with juice and carbonated soda. It can be mixed with gin, Champagne, or any other liquor. The fizz is perfect for brunch because it’s light, fizzy, not too sweet, and it cuts through the heaviness of eggs and sausage.

Look for the traditional Ramos Gin Fizz made with cream and egg white, as well as new creations that show off craft bitters, shrubs, and seasonal herbs.

Coffee Brunch Cocktails

Some mornings require coffee and booze. Irish coffee is great, but there are so many more options now. Today’s coffee cocktails start with high-quality coffee that’s made well — French press, pour-over, espresso, or cold brew. The coffee is then shaken or stirred with any number of quality ingredients. The flavor profiles run the gamut from bitter or herbaceous to sweet or spicy.

Look for coffee cocktails with unusual liquors, exotic spices, and unique flavor combinations. Cold brewed, too.

Cocktails With Low Alcohol Content

Sure, Diet Coke and water will always on the menu at brunch, but low ABV and zero alcohol cocktails are trending at every day part. Why drink ordinary bubbly water when you can add a splash of gin and a lemon twist for flavor? That’s just the start. Mixologists are taking more pride in their low alcohol drinks and mocktails, and we love it.

Read more about what’s coming up in the culinary world with the latest in FDR Food & Beverage Trends!

Thanks for stopping by and reading the Food & Drink Resources blog. Here we talk about food trends, culinary innovation, and the work of our team.