Day-drinking and carbo-loading in the name of brunch will never get old. That blasé pitcher of mimosas, on the other hand.… Brunch regulars are looking for variety beyond what has become the standard, and they’re finding it on more creative drink menus across the city. These five spots have come up with novel beverage offerings while honoring the whole point of weekend brunch: the copious amounts of booze.
A barrel of Old Fashioned and bottle- service mimosas
Barrel, 613 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; 202-543-3622, barreldc.com
For groups of four, Barrel offers a liter of Old Fashioneds in a barrel ($50). It’s served with flavored syrups, large ice cubes and citrus peels for garnish. For something lighter, try the bottomless make-your-own mimosas ($20), which include bottle-service champagne, juices and syrups. The syrups for both options may be fruity (pineapple and strawberry thyme), herbal (winter spice and lemongrass vanilla) or wacky (Cocoa Puffs).
Beuchert’s Saloon, 623 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; 202-733-1384, beuchertssaloon.com
Beuchert’s mixes Charm City Meadworks’ Basil Lemongrass mead (fermented honey and water) with orange or grapefruit juice to create the meadmosa. “When people think of mead, they think Renaissance fair: super-high alcohol, really thick and syrupy,” general manager Ed Howard says. “But this is actually the opposite.” More like a beer than a wine, the mead ($18) is served on tap and is very dry, with hints of basil.
Carafes of chilcanos
China Chilcano, 418 Seventh St. NW; 202-783-0941, chinachilcano.com
“Everybody knows about the pisco sour,” assistant general manager Nick Porter says. “And then there’s the chilcano, which is what locals [in Peru] would drink.” The favorite — available in carafes during brunch ($32-$61) — is made with pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, ginger ale and aged Peruvian bitters made with more than 30 herbs and spices. The drink can be spiced with various infused piscos, called macerados. Seasonally, the bartenders experiment with farmers market ingredients.
Bottomless brunch cocktails
El Centro D.F., 1819 14th St. NW; 202-328-3131, richardsandoval.com/elcentrodf
A dream come true for the indecisive brunchgoer, El Centro slings eight cocktails for bottomless brunch ($35). In addition to mimosas and bloody marys (or bloody marias, made with tequila instead of vodka), guests mix and match margaritas, micheladas and spiked aguas frescas. Bar manager Jordan Lee recommends pairing a michelada with the Mexican “Benedict,” a poached egg, pork carnitas, black bean puree and salsa verde on a corn sope.
Satellite Room, 2047 Ninth St. NW; 202-506-2496, satellitedc.com
Satellite Room has taken Tang, the “juice” of choice for many middle schoolers, and repurposed it for adults: The neon orange Wu-Tangmosa ($15) is a mix of Tang and champagne. General manager Courtney Williamson says it has to be mixed in massive, multi-gallon vats to meet the demand. The drink is a nod to Satellite’s appreciation of classic hip-hop, and a way to incorporate the Wu-Tang Clan (whose music is pumped through the speakers on Wednesdays) into brunch.
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