I’m a breakfast person. Growing up in the Midwest meant that steak, eggs, strong drip coffee, and OJ were always available early in the morning, especially if you went to a restaurant that catered to local farmers. It was also evident that for some people working the land, diner coffee and juice can become mixed drinks if you pack a flask. I never knew anyone nabbed for a JDWI (John Deere-ing While Intoxicated), but there were plenty of overall-clad men trying their damnedest to tempt fate.
While traditional breakfasts may be old-fashioned, “doing brunch” is as trendy as the phrase “farm-to-table.” I’m confident that if a stranger offered a cell phone charging station and bottomless mimosas inside his paneled van, 92 percent of my friends would happily jump in with him. What the kind of people who don cringe-worthy #BrunchMeBitches and #MimosaMadness t-shirts realize far too late is that drinking metric tons of hobo-grade hooch with bar-gun OJ can turn Sunday Funday into Sunday #ImDying-day.
Luckily, you do not have to succumb to the lure of $1 Deathmosas with your quiche. Little Red Wasp (808 Main St, 817-877-3111) has cocktails specifically designed to pair with its brunch fare. Two standout selections include Morning Bloom, an amalgam of St-Germain, Segura Viudas’ brut cava, and an Angostura Bitters-infused sugar cube, and, for beer cocktail fans, the Bitter Beauty, a lovely mix of Cinco vodka, lemon, grapefruit, orange juice, agave nectar, and Deep Ellum IPA. My personal favorite is the lovely Lavender Fitzgerald, with Gompers gin, lavender simple syrup, lemon, and orange bitters. Vodka seems to get the morning glory, as spirits go, but gin’s herbal and botanical flavor profile proves a perfect complement to sweeter breakfast fare.
Given that most of our year is hot, traditional daybreak libations in Texas often take on a refreshing frozen twist. Taverna (450 Throckmorton St, 817-885-7502) offers mimosas and frozen peach Bellinis, though I prefer the off-menu Double Hybrid, a combination of the two drinks together. The tartness of the mimosa balances the overpowering sweetness of the Bellini, pleasing even people who are not accustomed to ordering pink frozen drinks with a cherry on top.
Over in the Near Southside, swap out the standard brunch mimosas at Cane Rosso (815 W Magnolia Av, 817-922-9222) for a frozen limoncello and consume with Zeppole Italian donuts. If Tex-Mex style brunch is what your crew is craving, a half block west at Yucatan Taco Stand (909 W Magnolia Av, 817-924-8646), snag a lethally strong “Threesome.” The kinkily named combo of a frozen screwdriver and frozen margarita is stacked with sangria, and it’s a great complement to the kitchen’s carne asada chimichurri con huevos.
When it comes to serving mass quantities of mimosas, nobody eclipses the breakfast brunch at Blue Mesa (612 Carroll St, 817-332-6372). The OJ and wine concoction is included with the price of brunch, so it seems almost criminal to not avail yourself of at least a few, right? Resist the temptation and check out three far better selections from the regular bar menu. If it’s a citrus burst you crave at the start of the day, try the Piña Dulce, with Puro Verde silver tequila, pineapple, cilantro, ginger syrup, organic agave nectar, lime, and lemon juice. Sweet meets heat in the Mango Heater, a picante mix of Blue Nectar silver tequila, mango, habanero, chiles, organic agave nectar, lime, lemon juice, and a Tajin spice rim. The refreshing Cucumber Jalapeño Smash, with Milagro silver tequila, cucumber, jalapeño, organic agave nectar, lime, lemon juice, and a Tajin spice rim, is ideal for the warmer days ahead and does not overpower the bites on your plate.
Granted, drinking from a vat of Hangover Helper at 10:30am is cheaper. If the goal is quantity over quality, a bottle of Boone’s Farm Fuzzy Navel and a sack of sausage McMuffins is very economical, too. I’d recommend having your #SundayBloodySunday shirt ready for later in the day if you choose that path.