Feature Coverage

Daytime Drinking

Brunch cocktails bring the fun.

Brunch, the meal typically enjoyed on weekends in the late morning or early afternoon, has become a staple throughout the hospitality industry, notes Danny Park, food and beverage director at Café Robey, located within the Robey Hotel in Chicago. “Brunch has obviously taken off, with some businesses even operating solely within the typical brunch hours,” he says. “When I’m working the floor during brunch, or enjoying brunch myself, the energy is completely different than breakfast and lunch. A typical breakfast is usually quick in-and-out and lunch is a combination of business and diners in a small social setting. With brunch it’s usually larger social groups with all sorts of food and beverages ordered.”

Murphy adds that in general consumers are gravitating toward a more European approach to drinking: “They’re embracing lower-octane drinks enjoyed throughout the day,” he explains. And as Moonrise Izakaya’s Batista notes, “When a trend pops up in nighttime cocktails, you’re going to see it in daytime drinks as well—right now amaro is big, so we’re seeing a lot of Spritzes on daytime menus.” At Travelle, Borisov’s Japanese Spritz ($18) features shiso-infused Dolin Dry vermouth, Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto bergamot liqueur, Akashi-Tai junmai daiginjo sake, Luxardo aperitif, Bisol Jeio Prosecco, and soda water, garnished with alyssum and viola flowers. “Our guests prefer low-abv libations such as Highballs and Spritzes,” Borisov notes. “I typically use fresh, seasonal ingredients in my cocktails and brunch and daytime drinks are no exception.” He adds that fresh cucumber, basil, thyme, mint, and tarragon are some of his favorites. His Water Lily Pond ($17) comprises equal parts Ketel One Botanical Cucumber & Mint vodka and Lillet Blanc aperitif, plus Chase elderflower liqueur, Bisol Jeio Prosecco, and soda water, garnished with fresh cucumber and mint.

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Daytime Drinking