Brunch Drinks

Time Out Chicago · Guide to Chicago · created about 6 years ago

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    Truffle Shandy at Sprout in Chicago, IL

    I was perfectly pleased sipping Sprout’s Afternoon Delight (fernet, basil, fennel, yum)—until I tasted the shandy: vodka, hard cider and truffle honey syrup, finished by a zillion lemon slices floating in the glass like little rays of sunshine. They brightened the drink and my mood, which always improves when I can pretend it’s summer. $9. Photo: Brendan Lekan

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    Mexican Holiday at 2 Sparrows in Chicago, IL

    Here, all parts—cocoa tequila, espresso liqueur, cinnamon and Cholula—balance perfectly, with the coffee adding depth, not bitterness. $10. Photo: Brendan Lekan

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    Buster Brown at C-House Restaurant in Chicago, IL

    Apparently, whiskey is undesirable at brunching hours, when clear spirits rule. C-House comes to the rescue by offering its dinner drinks at brunch, too. Bourbon (softened by a cinnamon-vanilla-cherry infusion), amaretto and sweet vermouth go down just as smoothly as they did the night before. $13. Photo: Brendan Lekan

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    Negroni di Aquila at Longman & Eagle in Chicago, IL

    Longman doesn’t so much twist as tug this classic cocktail into something that’s better suited for the early hours, subbing mellow Aperol for Campari, introducing effervescence with prosecco and shoving gin out of the picture. $8. Photo: Brendan Lekan

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    La Bastarda at Tiny Lounge in Chicago, IL

    Combining a mimosa, Bloody Mary, Bellini and margarita into one cocktail sounds like an idea we would have proclaimed genius the night before brunch. Yet talented bartenders make this concept work, producing a “bastardized” cocktail that’s fruity (orange juice), aromatic (basil) and doused with just enough tequila to make us want another. $9. Photo: Brendan Lekan

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    Pepino el Pyu at Mercadito Chicago in Chicago, IL

    The cumin salt rimming this cucumber-laced tequila drink will smack any hangover to the curb. Though it’s the hoja santa, or “sacred leaf,” that’s the stuff of legend, says Tad Carducci, part of the New York duo that crafted Mercadito’s cocktail list: According to Mexican lore, Mary dried Jesus’s diapers on the plant. Here, bartenders make it into a syrup to add an herbal finish to each sip. $11.50. Photo: Brendan Lekan

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    Matty's Brunch Punch at Perennial Virant in Chicago, IL

    A $6 cocktail? I watched Perennial’s bartender to see if he was pouring from a premade pitcher. Nope. He attended to each glass as if it were his firstborn, blending vodka and housemade pear puree (ingredients change often) with precision. This might be the best booze deal in town. $6. Photo: Brendan Lekan