In celebration of Los Angeles magazine’s September issue, which highlights the city’s best brunches—including which ones have the best bottomless cocktail options—I give you my top six favorite brunch cocktails around town. These make for some outstanding day drinking and range from an atomic Bloody Mary to a new Matthew Biancaniello creation. Happy drinking and happy brunching!
AOC’s “Honeybee” with its combination of Damrak Gin, honey, basil, lime, honeydew melon and Lillet Blanc is perfect for those looking for something light, refreshing and summery. Fun fact: The orange blossom honey in the cocktail is courtesy of Best of LA winner Bill’s Bees.
Cole’s “Bloody Mary”: This downtown restaurant may not have much of an actual brunch menu but they have one of the best Bloodys in town. Head bartender Brent Falco’s recipe is a combination of the traditional and an old family recipe. Throw in Cole’s atomic pickle juice and you have one heck of an eye-opener.
The Eveleigh’s “Mexican Iced Coffee”: Reposado tequila, Licor 43, Amaro, Cio Ciaro, cayenne, housemade cold brew coffee, with a cinnamon, orange and Angostura cream. The Eveleigh has a kickass selection of day drinking options but this one was my hands-down favorite. Of course, however, I’d totally drink a White Russian for brunch. This cocktail’s pinch of cayenne works so well with the bitterness of the coffee. Flavorful, rich and spicy.
Goldie’s “Aperol Spritz”: Amazingly this is a draft cocktail. It’s so popular that bar manager Brittini Rae Peterson said it’s never coming off the menu. Made with Aperol, Sauvignon Blanc, citric acid and grapefruit shrub, it’s light and effervescent which makes it perfect for day drinking on the patio. According to Brittini, the grapefruit shrub makes “it a little more tart so it’s kind of a blend between an Aperol and a Campari spritz.” Perfetto!
Short Order’s “Sentimental Sanchez”: Mezcal Reposado, fresh green tomato, serrano chili, lime, agave, cardamom bitters. This savory, spicy cocktail paired with the Dante Fried Chicken and Waffle would cure what ails ya right quick.
The Victorian’s “Uno Dos Tres”: 123 Reposado Tequila, lovage, cherry tomatoes, shallot flowers, Hepp's scorpion salt. This brunch drink is so potent and flavorful with complex layers, it can stand up to nighttime imbibing. Leave it to mixologist Matthew Biancaniello, who works at The Victorian on Thursdays and Sundays, to pull off a gourmet meal in a cocktail glass. [UDPATE: Since published, Matt Biancaniello has left the Victorian, but you can still taste a version of this drink at Cliff's Edge in Silver Lake.]