When it comes to breakfast cocktails, you’re probably used to light, spritzy classics like the mimosa and bellini. Or maybe you like your hair of the dog drink to lean savory, so you reach for a Bloody Mary instead. While we love these traditional morning staples, lately we’ve been pairing a more unlikely spirit with our first meal of the day—scotch.
While the robust, smoky whisky may seem like an odd thing to drink in the morning, mixing it in a cocktail with the right supporting ingredients makes it a fine choice to pair with pancakes and eggs. Here, three simple and tasty scotch breakfast cocktails that are sure to kickstart your morning.
On its own, whisky is probably too strong for most people to drink in the morning. Orange juice, on the other hand, is a boring mixer if you have an adventurous palate. So Conor Myers, the creative director of Underdog in New York City, decided to marry the two for an undeniably tasty concoction. “The Red Tartan is a perfect combo of them both,” he says. “We combine the Dewars with some OJ, Cherry Heering, and Punt E Mes with a big charge of blood orange soda for a nice refreshing highball. Now you have a breakfast worth Instagramming—all you need is some avo-toast and a good filter!” To make the tastiest cocktail possible, be sure to use fresh-squeezed lime and orange juices.
- 1.5 oz Dewar’s Blended Scotch Whisky
- 1 oz orange juice
- .5 oz Cherry Heering
- .5 oz Punt E Mes
- .25 oz lime juice
- .25 oz sugar
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- San Pellegrino Blood Orange Soda to top
- Nutmeg and a dehydrated orange wheel for garnish
Method: Add all ingredients, save for the Pellegrino and garnishes, to a shaker tin with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Top with the San Pellegrino and garnish.
Located inside The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, oceanfront restaurant and bar Lightkeepers serves coastal cuisine and craft cocktails in a gorgeous setting. Bartender Alexa Delgado created the Miami Godfather cocktail as a homage to Henry Morrison Flagler, an American industrialist who oversaw the construction of the Florida East Coast Railroad. This new mode of transportation paved the way for Miami’s evolution into the city it is today. Amaretto liqueur tempers the scotch, while fresh mango and lemon juice brighten the drink to give it a flavor that’s worthy of brunch-time poolside sipping.
- 1.5 oz Dewar’s Scotch
- .75 oz Disaronno Originale
- .75 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz fresh mango cubes or .5 oz mango puree
- Bourbon cherry for garnish
- Mango peel for garnish
Method: If using fresh mango, muddle in a shaker first, then add all other ingredients, minus the garnishes. If using mango puree, combine all ingredients, save for the garnishes, in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Add fresh ice and garnish with a mango peel and bourbon cherry.
Fruit and citrus are great ways to lighten scotch’s robust, smoky flavor without completely overpowering its bold, woody notes. “The scotch in this cocktail lends a smoky, debonaire base for the other ingredients to flirt with,” says Eleanor Parker, beverage director of Atlas inside The St. Regis Atlanta. “Rhubarb bitters add salt, tartness, and florality, which livens the cocktail. The raspberry gives it a sweet, gentle fruitiness, and the lemon brightens the drink and marries all the flavors. In the end, it’s a refreshing, zippy cocktail with backbone.” If you want to make your own raspberry syrup at home, simply dissolve two cups of sugar in one cup of water in a saucepan over low heat. Add one cup of raspberries and stir until they begin to break down. Strain the mix into a jar and keep in the refrigerator between uses.
- 1.5 oz Glenmorangie 10 Year
- 1 oz raspberry syrup
- .5 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz brown sugar
- 2 dashes 18.21 Rhubarb Bitters
Method: Add all ingredients to shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and strain into rocks glass over large rock ice. Garnish with lime twist or a candied rhubarb spiral.