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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The City's Best Brunch-Ready Cocktails for Fall

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 1:47 PM

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No matter the season, everyone loves brunch. Sure, our city boasts some incredible fare for early afternoon enjoyment, yet it's fairly obvious the universal appeal of the meal is the socially-acceptable excuse it affords to daytime drinking. Bloody Marys and mimosas are always up to the task, but since we live in such an innovative atmosphere, why not (pumpkin) spice things up with any number of brunch-ready cocktails. Here are a few of San Francisco's finest on menus this autumn. 

A great brunch cocktail should have a touch of sweetness, and a complex assortment of food-friendly tones. Savory ingredients and a pinch of saltiness help launch your afternoon into orbit, readying the palate for the food to follow. At La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, bartender Aom Aphiradi Lee has risen to the challenge of assembling a gin-based morning beverage. The Spice Trade uses the floral components of Nolet's Silver Dry Gin as a foundation for a fizz-like drink, saddled with cider, cardamom and ginger. 

“This drink is fruit forward with bright notes to remind you of summertime while the spiciness from the cider and ginger, along with the heavier consistency from the egg white, hints at the upcoming winter," says Lee. Arriving at the table with an artful mint and pansy garnish, it's just begging to make its way onto your Instagram feed.

In Rincon Hill, the Local Kitchen and Wine Merchant enhances its extensive brunch fare with a Holiday Harvest Punch. It's built around Corbin Sweet Potato Vodka and features all the usual suspects of the season — including a chunk of canned yams. Ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon make this morning mixer the equivalent of a drinkable sweet potato pie. A splash of ginger beer floated on top left me marveling at how I stayed content with just orange juice and bubbles for all these years. 

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Zachary Taylor — the bartender at Ziryab on Divisadero, not the 12th President of the United States — created his Pomegranate-Basil Collins to suit the season. House-made ingredients include basil-infused New Amsterdam Vodka, and Grenadine, electrifying the drink with equal parts herbal freshness and satisfying sweetness.

 "Autumn is prime pomegranate season. It is a sweet, light and delicate cocktail, perfect for autumn brunch," says Taylor. I second that. 

Despite the fact that Comstock Saloon's day fare is more lunch than brunch, mixologist Karri Cormican invented a midday medley that's worth forgoing eggs and hollandaise. The Lady of the Lushery is gentle and warming, with crisp notes to jumpstart any sluggish afternoon. The key to its success is a handful of complex spirits and mixers, introduced with a light hand. Bols Barrel-Aged Genever offers such a subtle anise component which binds to Orgeat with laser-like precision. Some dryness is imparted from a splash of Carpano Antica and Prosecco provides the bubbles. Now you're ready to get on with your day ... and an evening of drinking that surely awaits.

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About The Author

Brad Japhe

Brad Japhe

I enjoy my whiskey neat, my beer hoppy, and my meat medium rare. I have been covering craft spirits, suds, and gourmet cuisine for a decade, with work published from New York, across Montana, and up and down the Pacific Coast.


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