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Breakfast cocktails for the long weekend

Indulge in the morning with these classic recipes

Bloody mary
Toni Osmundson / Unsplash

With many people opting to enjoy a long weekend, it’s a fine excuse to indulge a little and enjoy the usually forbidden breakfast cocktail. There’s something awfully decadent about having a drink with the first meal of the day, but for a long, lazy brunch with friends or family then an occasional bit of hedonism is allowed.

If you’re looking for ideas for breakfast cocktails though, skip the martinis and the old fashioneds — no one want straight booze first thing in the morning. Instead, try one of these breakfast classics.

The classic: Bloody Mary

Tomato juice, vodka, and Tabasco sauce form the backbone of the most iconic breakfast cocktail, the Bloody Mary. There are almost infinite variations of this drink to play with, but I like to swap out the vodka for gin, as the juniper works nicely with the tomato juice, and to add a healthy wack of pickle juice and celery bitters to give the drink a sharpness and a savoury heft.

If you’re feeling fancy, add a chilli salt rim to your glasses by mixing chilli powder and salt on a plate, running a lime wedge around the rim of your glass, then rolling the rim in the salt mixture. Garnish with the essential celery stalk.

The brunch darling: Mimosa

Equal parts of orange juice and sparkling wine make up this favorite of the bottomless brunch crowd, but how tasty a Mimosa is depends heavily on the quality of the ingredients. Get freshly squeezed orange juice if you can — or even better, squeeze it yourself — and use decent prosecco. It doesn’t have to be pricey Champagne, but don’t grab bottom shelf stuff.

If you want to kick your Mimosa up a notch, you can add a shot of Cointreau or peach schnapps to each glass. But my favorite addition is Campari. Pour Campari gently over the top of the drink and it will create a beautiful ombre effect, which tastes as good as it looks.

The sparkler: Hugo Spritz

Still decadent without being too heavily boozy, the Hugo Spritz combines a half ounce of St Germain with prosecco, topped up with soda water, for a light, floral drink for hot mornings.

Muddle in some mint as well for a zing to cut through those florals, or use a squeeze of lemon juice if you prefer. It’s the more delicate cousin of the ever popular Aperol Spritz.

Georgina Torbet
Georgina Torbet is a cocktail enthusiast based in Berlin, with an ever-growing gin collection and a love for trying out new…
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Most beers you know and love today have four primary ingredients: water, barley, hops, and yeast. That’s largely due to the centuries-old German beer purity law, or reinheitsgebot, which demanded that beer be made exclusively using these ingredients and set the standard for today’s brews. 
But beer is an ancient beverage — historians believe its story stretches back to 5th millennium BC in Iran and went on to be enjoyed by the likes of Egyptian pharaohs and the Greek philosophers. However, if Socrates or Tutankhamun ever enjoyed a pint in their days, the beer was likely missing one of those four critical ingredients: the hop.
In today’s hop-hungry climate of India pale ales (and hazy IPAs, New England IPAs, as well as milkshake IPAs, and others), it seems impossible that beer could exist without hops. The fact is that many other natural ingredients can serve as substitutes for the bittering, aromatic, and flavoring characteristics of hops. Today, if a beer relies on other herbs to fill the "hops" role, the beverage is classified as a gruit.

Gruit is the German word for herb. Instead of depending on hops, these brews use exotic additives like bog myrtle, horehound, elderflowers, and yarrow to offset the sweetness of the malts and create a more complex beverage.
Thanks to the creativity of modern breweries, you don’t have to travel back to the Middle Ages to find a gruit (though if you can, please let us in on your time travel technology). You can try them right now, but you will have to do some detective work.
“Authentic” gruits can be tough to find in the mainstream marketplace. That’s because some laws require hops to be present for a product to be sold as beer. Not having the “beer” title would limit distribution and sales channels for some breweries.  To illustrate how rare gruits are in the current marketplace, there are currently 32,576 American IPAs listed on the Beer Advocate database and only 380 gruits.
But don’t despair — this list will help you get started on the path toward discovering modern versions of the ancient ale. Start your gruit journey here:

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