Bartender’s guide to brunch


Amanda Wymore/Iowa State Daily

This gift includes everything you need to make a bloody mary drink.

Jenna Hrdlicka

Adding some class to your alcohol consumption

A Bartender’s Guide to Brunch


By [email protected]


You’re 21. You know binging is bad for you, but you’re not so familiar with casual drinking yet. Brunch is the weekend meal where the drinks play almost as important of a role as the food, and is the perfect place to try your hand at basic bartending. Plus, you get to sleep in.


Three popular alcoholic brunch drinks include bloody marys, mimosas and coffee. Follow this guide to master the basics, and learn how to add your own twist to impress your brunch companions.


Bloody Mary

The bloody mary has been a staple brunch addition ever since its supposed invention in 1921, according to Esquire. This drink typically begins with a classic tomato juice and vodka base, but is often customized according to personal preference.


Classic bloody mary base

*Recipe from Eater.


  • 4 oz. tomato juice

  • 2 oz. vodka

  • 3-5 dashes Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 oz. lemon juice

  • 1 tsp. celery salt

  • Tabasco sauce and horseradish to taste


  1. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake to mix. Pour over ice, garnish and serve.


Spice it up

Adding extra hot sauce or different seasonings can up the heat of the drink or add more depth to the flavor profile. Try a dash of:

  • Sriracha sauce

  • Old Bay seasoning

  • Dried dill

  • Cayenne pepper


Mix it in

Adding mix-ins can help add complexity to the drink. Try adding:

  • Olive or pickle brine

  • A splash of Guinness or another stout beer

  • Clam juice


Top it off

While most bloody marys are garnished with a pickle, a few green olives and a celery stick, some bartenders choose to go above and beyond when topping off their drinks. Try:

  • Bacon

  • Shrimp

  • Cheese cubes

  • Pepperchinis

  • A small triangle of grilled cheese

  • A mini cheeseburger



Another brunch favorite, the mimosa, is most commonly prepared with orange juice, champagne or sparkling wine and sometimes a splash of Grand Marnier or Triple Sec. This simple drink is a classic brunch addition and can be modified in a variety of ways.


Classic mimosa


  • Orange juice

  • Champaign or a dry, sparkling wine

  • Grand Marnier or Triple Sec (optional)


  1. Combine equal parts orange juice and champagne in a flute glass. Top with a splash of Grand Marnier or Triple Sec if desired.


Get fruity with it

Substituting other fruit juices or purees is one of the most common mimosa variations. Try:

  • Pomegranate juice

  • Pineapple juice

  • Cranberry juice

  • Grapefruit juice

  • Mango puree

  • Raspberry lemonade

  • Limeade


Chill it

Freeze small pieces of fruit and add to the finished drink. The frozen fruit will help keep the drink cold, as well as make the drink more visually appealing.


Substitute it

While mimosas are most commonly prepared with champagne or sparkling wine, other alcoholic beverages can be substituted to make mimosa variations. Try:

  • Beer and orange juice for a “beermosa”

  • Tequila, orange juice, and a splash of grenadine for a “tequila sunrise”



For many, coffee is a staple for any breakfast or brunch. Adding in a boozy addition can jazz up your brunch caffeine boost. Irish coffee is one of the most popular alcoholic coffee drinks, but other additions can be used as well.


Irish Coffee

*Recipe from Food Network


  • 1 cup hot coffee

  • 1 tbs brown sugar

  • 3 tbs Irish whiskey

  • Heavy cream to taste


  1. Add the brown sugar to the hot coffee and stir until dissolved.

  2. Stir in the Irish Whiskey.

  3. Slightly whip the cream and top off the drink by slowly pouring the cream in over the back of a spoon.


Other additions

Other liquor additions that pair well with coffee include amaretto, hazelnut liqueur, Baileys and rum.