This weekend is the perfect time to up your midday mixology skills, with a new way of seeing daytime cocktails. Once the exclusive territory of brunches and power lunches, day drinking has veered away from three martinis and bottomless mimosas toward moderation and mixology. The news is good for everyone; day drinking no longer requires sugar-laden pitchers or half a bottle of gin.
Whether you’re beefing up your breakfast in bed service, pre-gaming an afternoon activity, or just looking for a replacement for the brunch-staple mimosa, these day drinking strategies and recipes will help you create delicious drinks easily, with stuff you likely already have on hand.
1. Rethink Your Cold Brew
One of the easiest ways to make a quick and tasty drink is to make use of something that would already be in your fridge to drink in the morning, and the first thing that comes to mind for us these days is cold brew coffee. Cold brew is an excellent foundation for a great drink, much the same way as tomato juice, club soda, and orange juice.
You can do as little to spice it up as adding a splash of Kahlua and some half and half for a refreshing morning indulgence, but if you’re up for pushing it a little further, our favorite cold brew cocktail is Miller’s Maker’s & Cola, created by Chef Newman Miller of Star Hill Provisions. “This cocktail is the ultimate afternoon pick-me up,” says Miller, “with cold brew concentrate adding a real kick of flavor and caffeine. Although it can be made with any cola you have on hand, we love Mexican coke because it’s made with real cane sugar and tastes delicious.”
2 parts Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1-part Cola (Mexican cola preferred, but any cola will work)
1-part Cold Coffee or Cold Brew
Slice of lemon
Directions: Add ingredients directly to a rocks glass over ice and stir.
2. Keep Campari Simple
Campari has become synonymous with the legendary Negroni cocktail for good reason: It’s a delicious drink, and an easy one to make. Less legendary, however, are two equally simple and delicious Campari drinks: the Americano and the Campari soda.
An Americano is simple enough to make: equal parts sweet vermouth and Campari in a highball glass filled with ice, and topped with club soda and a wedge of grapefruit or orange. But the endlessly drinkable Campari soda is even simpler: two ounces of Campari in the bottom of a highball glass. Ice. Soda to fill. Enjoy.
3. Mix it Up with Tonic
While the relationship between gin and tonic might be the greatest cocktail love story of our time, the fact is that tonic is much more of a swinger than you’d expect—and it really loves a good aged spirit from time to time.
From tequila to whiskey to cognac, the bittersweet balancing act of tonic can play really well with a lot of spirits. All you need to do is add between 1 to 1 1/2 ounces of liquor into a highball glass, and fill it with between 3 and 4 parts of tonic and some citrus to garnish.
Here are a few of our favorite options:
Rémy Grand Tonic
Rémy Martin VSOP and tonic, garnished with a fresh lemon wedge.
Starward and Tonic
Starward Two Fold Australian Whisky and tonic, garnished with a fresh grapefruit wedge
Tres Agaves and Tonic
Tres Agaves Organic Reposado Tequila and tonic, garnished with a fresh lime wedge.
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