Relish Restaurant and Bar's Frozen Salty Dog (Photo by Julie Soefer Photography.)
State Fare's Frozen Lavender Lemonade is a worthy brunch cocktail. (Photo by Lisa Gochman.)
Rainbow Lodge's Berry Toast is drinkable. (Photo by Paula Murphy.)
Prego's answer to a boozy brunch is a Boozy Affogoto. (Photo by David Cook.)
International Smoke's I Got 5 on It Punch Bowl is worth its long name. (Photo by Duc Hoang.)
Hugo’s brings its Jardin de las Rosas to brunch. (Photo by Ricky Gonzalez.)
At FM Kitchen, brunch is all about FM 1495.
Field and Tides' Basic B
Brasserie du Parc gets into brunch cocktails with the The Good Hair Fairy.
Backstreet Cafe's Pretty Old Thang. (Photo by Sean Beck.)
Is there a better time to booze it up than at brunch after a big night out? We didn’t think so. So when it comes to choosing the perfect brunch spot, the drink menu should play as big a part in your decision as the food.
Here are 10 restaurants that go beyond boring mimosas and Bloody Marys for the more unique (and fun) beakfast drinks you need. These are Houston’s best boozy brunches.
I Got 5 On It at International Smoke
800 Sorella Court
The kitchen at International Smoke at CityCentre, from James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina and cookbook author Ayesha Curry, puts a global spin on grilled seafood and barbecue dishes, but the bar holds it own.
Killer drinks like the massive “I Got 5 On It,” which serves four to six people ($60), are a reason to stick around well after the plates are cleared. This super drink features vodka, tequila, hibiscus, lychee and chili, all served in oversized glass cocktail vessel.
Fill a copper mule mug with ice, dispense the boozy concoction from the spigot, and your work is done.
The Good Hair Fairy at Brasserie du Parc
Go big with the batch-size cocktail at Brasserie du Parc, the posh French restaurant by Discovery Green. The glorious Good Hair Fairy, $23, involves a large carafe filled with house-infused citrus vodka, elderflower liqueur, lemon cordial, Spanish sparkling wine and fresh herbs.
Designed for two to four people (you can also get a single serving for $11), it arrives tableside for your sipping (or gulping) pleasure.
Frozen Salty Dog at Relish Restaurant and Bar
At the charming Relish Restaurant and Bar in River Oaks the bar doesn’t lack for juicy, innovative cocktails. Kickstart to your morning with the Frozen Salty Dog. The pink slushy is made with grapefruit juice, aperol, grapefruit vodka and jalapeño-rosemary shrub.
“The drink has a salted chili rim which adds a touch of salt and smokiness, adding another dimension. We also garnish with a piece of bruleed grapefruit which ends up being a great bite at the end of the drink,” bar manager James Hernandez tells PaperCity.
Basic B at Field and Tides
705 East 11th
Bounce back from a huge night out, and gear up for the next round of festivities with the Basic B at cozy hotspot Field and Tides in the Heights. A luscious riff on a Bramble, this drink is made with gin and lemon juice, but trades out crème de mure blackberry liqueur for Chambord raspberry liqueur and simple syrup for lavender flavored syrup. It’s all topped with Topo Chico.
“It’s light and fresh, and a little gin is a cure-all for a hangover,” beverage director Monique Hernandez says.
Berry Toast at Rainbow Lodge
You’ll definitely want to wake up for the Berry Toast at Rainbow Lodge, mixed with strawberry-infused rum, cranberry juice, Italian herb-flavored liqueur and Sprite.
“I wanted to create something that used quality ingredients, and fresh fruit. It’s especially great for brunch,” beverage director Marc Borel says.
Frozen Lavender Lemonade at State Fare
Casual restaurant State Fare, located in the Gateway Memorial City complex, rounds out its menu of Southern eats with some alluring brunch drinks, not least of which is the Frozen Lavender Lemonade. You won’t be able to take your eyes off this vibrant concoction, made with lavender syrup, fresh lemon juice and a double hit of booze: lemon vodka and gin.
It’s guaranteed to have you hooked at first sight, and first sip.
Pretty Old Thang at Backstreet Cafe
1103 South Shepherd
Backstreet Cafe in River Oaks is renowned for its seasonal American cuisine from James Beard Award-winning chef Hugo Ortega’s restaurant empire, but the stellar beverage program run by sommelier/beverage director Sean Beck is also a draw.
The list of midday cocktails includes the Pretty Old Thang. An Italian bitter orange liqueur and six-year reserve rye are joined by passionfruit syrup, bitters, amaro spritz, and an orange water ice cube.
“This drink is the playful next generation an Old Fashioned, combined with the bright, fragrant and pithy elements of an Aperol Spritz,” Beck says.
Jardin de las Rosas at Hugo’s
Hugo’s in Montrose shines the spotlight on Michoacan Mexican rum with the must-try Jardin de las Rosas cocktail. The boozy beverage features Charanda (Michoacan rum), a botanical Dutch spirit, vermouth, muddled cucumber and lime.
“The Michoacan region isn’t as well-known or traveled, but it has produced great spirits, from agave and sugar cane, for a long time,” bar manager Ricky Gonzalez says.
FM 1495 at FM Kitchen and Bar
At low-key gastropub FM Kitchen and Bar, the FM 1495 will put you in an island state of mind.
“It’s a tropical twist on a classic French 75,” says bar manager Rav Bath. Made with mango nectar, gin, simple syrup and a big splash of bubbly, the festive cocktail just may be your ticket to paradise.
Boozy Affogato at Prego
Merging caffeine and alcohol is a brilliant idea, but we’ve had enough Irish coffee to last a lifetime. Luckily, Prego Italian restaurant in Rice Village offers up the Boozy Affogato.
The eye-opening drink, served with a biscotti, blends espresso with your choice of hazelnut or almond-flavored liqueur. It’s poured over two scoops of vanilla ice cream for a treat you’ll want to indulge in morning, noon or night.
But especially at brunch.