It’s a tale as old as turkey and roast beef: You’re exhausted after an epic holiday roast-a-thon and you still have to serve your overnight guests brunch the next morning. What’s the game plan? Two friendly little words: Brunch punch.
Brunch spots around the country have caught on to the trend of serving big-batch cocktails to mid-morning crowds, officially ending the reign of the overworked Mimosa and Bloody Mary. Step aside, Mary: Brunch punch can satisfy that 12-top in one fell swoop. Take a page out of these brunch players’ books by serving your overnight guests an impressive bowl of punch. Trouble is, your guests may never leave.
Bourbon, cider and brown sugar syrup? Sounds like a holiday in a glass.
Washington, D.C. is a proudly brunch-centric city, which means the District knows its way around a morning cocktail or two. The proof lies at GBD, the fried chicken joint that takes its name from the restaurant shorthand for golden, brown and delicious. In addition to offering indulgences like fried chicken and doughnuts, this D.C. depot serves a bottomless brunch punch that rotates every weekend.
GBD’s Pear of Apples Punch is a November or December natural, with its blend of overproof bourbon, fresh apple cider, pear nectar and house-made brown sugar syrup. Not overly boozy, it’s just sweet enough to tickle your guests and tasty enough that they’ll be begging for a second batch.
Meadowsweet’s crystal drink dispenser is the star of its brunch service.
New York City’s no slouch either when it comes to brunch service. Brooklyn’s Meadowsweet offers an enticing punch served from a charming crystal spout. The restaurant was inspired to serve a brunch punch by its collection of vintage crystal cups, and now dedicates a prime spot on the bar to the prized glass dispenser. Bolstered by a gaggle of fresh juices, Meadowsweet’s punch balances its sweetness with Campari, bitter Suze and fresh herbs from an indoor garden.
For a lively play on the stalwart Mimosa, serve the Santa Maria Punch from The Drink Brooklyn. Renowned for its strong punch game, The Drink serves twelve different kinds at any one time. The Santa Maria combines cool-weather flavors like apple brandy, fresh orange juice and honey with Vinho Verde white wine and spiced tiki bitters, and will keep your guests sailing happily on for hours.
Set a pitcher of Pimm’s on the table and commence the perfect brunch.
San Francisco’s got brunch punch in spades. At the trendy restaurant and bar, Dirty Habit, an entire section of the drink menu is dedicated to “cocktails to share,” but the Cinnamon Toast Punch is clearly the brunch-ready MVP, with its clever combination of cachaça, amaro, milk and cinnamon that pays homage to its beloved namesake cereal.
And sure, you can serve your guests a tired pitcher of Bloody Marys, but doesn’t a pitcher-sized Pimm’s Cup from Stones Throw sound much more refreshing after a heavy holiday feast? The ultimate low-proof drink to ease into the afternoon with, Stones Throw’s large-format punch leads the pack with a homemade Pimm’s base of sweet vermouth, Cardamaro, Cocchi Americano and dried juniper berries, best served with ginger beer and plenty of fresh mint.
The final answer to your holiday brunch dilemma? Bulk booze and everybody wins.