In the pantheon of daily meals, there’s no beating breakfast (or brunch). While lunch has its light appeal and dinner is known for its hearty ingredients, breakfast is the most versatile and exciting of all the meals. It’s the only meal where you can pair sweet, maple-syrup-slathered Belgian waffles with crispy, salty, savory sausage or bacon. It’s also a meal that fits every palate. You can eat scrambled eggs, a cheesy omelet, thick buttermilk pancakes, crisp hash browns, and a whole cornucopia of tropical fruits.
The only thing about breakfast is the fact that what you drink alongside it is equally important. Sure, you can go the basic route and enjoy fresh squeezed orange juice or grapefruit juice. But if you really want to turn your breakfast experience up to eleven, you’ll pair your salty, savory, sometimes sweet dishes with a boozy breakfast cocktail.
Luckily, there are myriad options available to fit every palate. Below, you’ll find six of the best, complete with a little background and history and an easy-to-follow recipe.
People might look at you funny if you crack open a bottle of champagne (or any sparkling wine for that matter) and start pouring glasses at the breakfast table. But add orange juice and everyone is on board. Maybe it’s the vitamin C. The classy way to imbibe champagne in the morning was likely invented in Paris in 1925 at the Ritz Hotel by a man named Frank Meier.
- 2.5 ounces of fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 2.5 ounces of Champagne (or your favorite sparkling wine)
Preparation: Add chilled orange juice and champagne to a champagne flute. Gently stir to combine and enjoy.
When it comes to breakfast cocktails, there are few more famous than the classic Bloody Mary. While the recipe varies based on tastes, the basic framework consists of vodka, tomato juice, hot sauce, cracked black pepper, and various spices and ingredients. While others have made claims, the most accepted story for the drink’s inception occurred in Paris in 1921. This is when a bartender named Fernand Petiot created the now iconic drink at Harry’s New York Bar.
Bloody Mary ingredients:
- 3 ounces of tomato juice
- 1.5 ounces of vodka
- .5 ounces lemon juice
- 1-2 dashes of hot sauce
- 1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Cracked black pepper
Preparation: In an ice-filled highball glass, add cracked black pepper, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vodka, tomato juice, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Add a celery stalk or bacon garnish.
Sure, you can make a classic daiquiri with lime juice, simple syrup, and white rum and you’ll likely enjoy it. But if you want to crank up the flavor while you wolf down scrambled eggs, you’ll make a Hemingway Daiquiri with white tum, lime juice, maraschino liqueur, and grapefruit juice instead. As you might assume, the drink was named for famed writer Ernest Hemingway.
Hemingway Daiquiri ingredients:
- 2 ounces of white rum
- .75 ounces of fresh lime juice
- .5 ounces of maraschino liqueur
- .5 ounces of fresh grapefruit juice
- Lime wheel for garnish
Preparation: In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, add white rum, lime juice, maraschino liqueur, and grapefruit juice. Shake vigorously. Strain it into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish it with a lime wheel.
If you enjoy sparkling breakfast beverages, but orange juice isn’t your jam, you might prefer the sweet, tropical flavor of a Peach Bellini instead. Originating in Venice, Italy in or around 1948 by a bartender named Giuseppe Cipriani, the drink was named after 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini. The drink is made with peach puree (or nectar) and Prosecco (but any sparkling wine will do in a pinch).
Peach Bellini ingredients:
- 2 ounces of fresh peach puree or nectar
- 4 ounces of Prosecco (or your favorite sparkling wine)
- Peach garnish
Preparation: Add peach puree or nectar to a chilled champagne flute. Add Prosecco. Gently stir. Garnish with a slice of peach and enjoy.
Not only breakfast cocktails are fruity and refreshing. Some or robust, bold, and loaded with caffeine. This is the case with the classic Irish coffee. While there are a handful of stories about the drink’s genesis, one of the most common is that it was created at Foynes Airport in Limerick, Ireland by a chef a bartender named Joe Sheridan in 1943. Regardless of who created it, this still popular drink consists of Irish whiskey, freshly brewed coffee, brown sugar, and cream.
Irish coffee ingredients:
- 1.5 ounces of Irish whiskey
- 2.5 ounces of fresh, hot coffee
- 1 ounce of fresh cream
- 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
Preparation: Heat the coffee, whiskey, and brown sugar together until hot. Stir to combine. Pour it all into a mug or Irish coffee glass mug. Top it with cream.
Could there be a more aptly named breakfast drink than a “Tequila Sunrise”? Originating at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in the 1930s, this drink gained in popularity in the 70s when Jose Cuerva put a recipe for the drink consisting of tequila, grenadine, and orange juice on its label. The Eagles even wrote a song called “Tequila Sunrise” and it was a favorite of the Rolling Stones.
Tequila Sunrise ingredients:
- 1.5 ounces of blanco tequila
- .5 ounces of grenadine syrup
- 3 ounces of fresh-squeezed orange juice
Preparation: Add tequila and fresh squeezed orange juice to an ice-filled Collins glass. Add the grenadine syrup and let it sink. It will look like a sunrise. Don’t stir it.