Boozing before noon

Five don’t-miss brunch cocktails

Why choose? Order the bloody mary <i>and </i>the mimosa.

Why choose? Order the bloody mary and the mimosa.


Most people want to talk about brunch, but those of us with different needs only hear “Let’s get day-wasted.” If you’re of a similar mind and just need some poison to rattle the rust from your soul while everybody else gets excited about a poached egg, here are your best options around town.

Morning Glory

Cafeteria 15L

Half the reason for brunching at Cafeteria 15L is leisurely lounging outside in that lovely patio area, right? The Morning Glory ($9) makes a decent complement for light conversation and catching the Delta breeze, what with its tart blend of sparkling wine, orange and pomegranate juice, and hibiscus liqueur. It’s a solid replacement for your usual mimosa, since we’ve all had enough bottomless versions of those to last us our alcohol-drowned lives. Sit with one of these and contemplate the dual nature of the sun’s life-giving properties on a fatally hot day from the comforts of your shaded perch. 1116 15th Street,

The Oaxacan Dead


The Oaxacan Dead ($9) burns with a hate understood only by those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil, as Hunter S. Thompson would say. Del Amigo mezcal lurks under a burning casket of Preservation & Co. Bloody Mary Mix, topped with a white pickled thing—the menu says carrot, but it seemed like an albino pepper to me—all surrounded by a dusted rim of chili flakes. I like my drinks savage, but even then I don’t think I’ve ever been so thoroughly assaulted by a drink as the Oaxacan Dead did to me. Intense heat singed the back of my throat repeatedly, shocking me even after I thought I’d acclimated, and the smoky mezcal taste that followed cemented the “this is truly a product of hell” feel. Still, 10/10, would die again for it. 1801 Capitol Avenue,

The Kitchen Sink

Cask & Barrel

If you’re too indecisive for an entree and too lazy for a fork, you could demand the Kitchen Sink ($25) from Cask & Barrel’s secret menu. It’s classier than your usual fish-a-few-skewers-out-of-the-deep-fryer-and-stick-whatever-comes-up-on-top bloody mary, but let’s not indulge in pretense over an item that’s as much a cocktail as it is a sampler platter. A pretzel, an onion ring, a small leg of fried chicken, bacon, a roasted red pepper, a chicken quesadilla, a grilled cheese sandwich—every meaningful member of the grease-trap food group is there. That said, is it actually worth $25 for a decent bloody and a cornucopia of colon wreckers? Depends on how much you like upper-class novelty. 1431 Del Paso Boulevard,

The Cleanser

Grange Restaurant & Bar

The Cleanser ($10) is named like it’s an elusive hitman in cocktail form, and it pretty much is. It’s a fruit nut’s dream, with fresh orange, carrot and apple juices disguising a strain of No. 209 Gin, garnished with a lemon slice and bits of pungent candied ginger. The blend is smooth, textured by creamy carrot and cut by nips of citrus, making it a sort of a fitting apology to your body for the pitcher-filled night before at Old Tavern. 926 J Street,

Bloody Mary Bar

Ink Eats and Drinks

Not every bartender is as good at the job as you are. For example, many bartenders don’t understand that a proper bloody mary takes three more pickled green beans and two more olives than most serve. No matter. Take the deed into your own hands at Ink’s bloody bar ($8-$17) and get the pickle juice, horseradish and God knows whatever else it is your haggard ass craves. This assumes you can competently mix a bloody mary, of course—I went for a slap of barbecue sauce that I thought was Worcestershire and lived to regret it. 2730 N Street,