We can admit that most of us go to brunch as an excuse to drink several hours before 5pm, right? Yes, we also like all the eggs and waffles and variously-shaped meats. But brunch has, for better or worse, become a bit of a drinking ritual.
What we haven’t explored yet is what your favorite brunch item says you should be drinking. Not that brunch is about choosing one thing—the whole idea is getting some protein, carbs, home fries, and, for some reason, a slice of cantaloupe. But if you’ve got a favorite brunch item, it might mean you’re making the wrong choice when it comes to the beverage, or four, that accompany it…
All the Bacon, All the Time – Bourbon
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This one’s easy. You like the saltiness, sure, but the beauty of bacon is sweet smokiness. Tendrils of char pricked with salt, sweet smoke, a bit of crunch (come on, who really likes underdone bacon?) and that fatty, unctuous mouth-coating thing. You need some bourbon: smooth, rich, sweet but smoky, mouth-coating, an All-American treat.
When You Just Gotta Frittata – Sangria
While we ourselves may not be big fans of the massive egg cake that seems to insist on showing up at every Bridal Shower, we can respect its merits: light, fluffy, easy to make, you can basically put anything the hell you want in it. That’s why you gotta go for Sangria. Thrown together, made by the batch, chuck a bunch of fruit inside (probably no bell pepper in this one). It’s a mélange, but an easy one.
You’re Not Waffling (About Definitely Having a Waffle) – Belgian Witbier
If you are in the Leslie Knope camp of Waffle Worship, congratulations, because that means despite all the stress and taxes and slipped discs, you haven’t let go of some of that childhood breakfast nostalgia. Since Belgian waffles are all about filling every single square with maple syrup, something like bourbon might apply here. But since you’re already halfway Belgian, why not go 100% with a nice lightly spicy Belgian witbier? Light and smooth with a cereal sweetness from unmalted wheat, and a bit of spice and orange (which makes it automatic breakfast food).
Back Off My Breakfast Burrito, Bro! – Mezcal
We know what you’re thinking. We’re just lazily trying to pair a hulking food favorite from the American Southwest with another, farther southwestern—and vaguely culturally tangential—item. Fair assumption, but wrong. The breakfast burrito is a cornucopia of flavor in its most efficient form. And while tequila would give you some of the same green jalapeno/bell pepper notes, mezcal seems like a better match if you go the chipotle route.
For Some Insane Reason, Fruit Cup – Champagne! Or…Mineral Water
You’re on some kind of cleanse, or just reject brunch in all its forms, and we can accept that. Either liven up your fruit cup with some Champagne (literally, just dump it in) or go the 100% healthy route with some high mineral content sparkling water. When your friends all have to nap after brunch, you’ll have time to bask in the bland Sundayness of it all.
Dim Sum – Dry Riesling
Dim Sum is its own kind of thing altogether, and quite possibly one of the greatest, if more clamorous, ways to get great quantities of great food into your stomach before noon. The fact that you’re sitting down, possibly with a bunch of strangers at a big table, the fact that you’re there for endless variety, and the fact that said variety is literally going to be rolled up to you, it all points to a demanding palate that just so happens to be attached to a slightly more idle body. No worries, just reach for a bottle of dry, light, complex white wine. A super dry Riesling, maybe even a nice bright Verdejo. Alas, and this the one failing of Dim Sum, no carts to roll you home.
Bustin’ Out Those Fat Blintzes – Mimosa
Why blintzes are relegated to the once-a-week brunch ceremony is beyond us. Delicious light crepes, rolled up with some nice fluffy cheese and maybe a bit of blueberry compote to top? Yes, this sounds like the dinner of kings. If you’re brunching with a blintz, you like a classic, but also something simple. And a Mimosa is both. Bonus points, the bubbly will cut through the richness.
Quiche Freaks (We Know You Out There) – White Wine
OK, since by now it’s gonna become pretty clear, we have a pretty huge bias against cake- or pie-shaped egg dishes. Maybe because they’re stereotypically associated with the kind of genteel ladies’ lunches where they also insist on serving spinach salad. But there’s no denying, to many palates, quiche hits all the right spots. Crunchy pie crust, rich eggy filling, pretty names like Lorraine. If you’re a quicher, you know you just want a simple, easy glass of Pinot Grigio or maybe a lightly oaked Chardonnay, for that slight buttery oomph and maybe some woodier notes to go with the mushrooms, since those seem to be in every quiche, ever. No Sauvignon Blanc. The minerality and green notes of New World styles would just slap the flavors in your subtly rich quiche across the room.
A Ti Te Gusta Chilaquiles (Verdes o Rojos) – Michelada
If you have yet to find a reliable source for this perhaps greatest breakfast food of all time, well, now you have a project for the week. Old corn tortilla wedges fried into crispness, doused with red or green (tomatillo) sauce, served with egg (we prefer when it’s scrambled in, though many places will serve a fried egg alongside), and ideally topped with crema and cotija cheese. Since chilaquiles are the kind of thing best eaten while slightly hungover, we’re guessing some light hair of the dog, plus a bit of tomato juice and spice. Again, not another lazy cultural association. You’re just the Michelada type. Own it.
Forever Pancakes + Miscellaneous Breakfast Meat – Blood and Sand
Ah, a classic combination, and one that never fails to calm the soul—especially following an hour and fifteen minute wait for a two-top. Not to mention you get the best of both worlds, the sweet and fluffy pancake alongside some greasy, possibly spicy breakfast meat—which may or may not make its way to that lake of maple syrup on your plate. You appreciate a classic, elegant combination—which is why you’re drinking blended Scotch at breakfast. Don’t worry, it’s only ¾ of an ounce, plus some Cherry Heering, Sweet Vermouth, and OJ (again, which presence automatically makes it breakfast-legit). Cheers to you and your classiness amidst all this brunch chaos.