Brunch has been a part of American culture since at least the 1930s, when passengers on the transcontinental railroad would exit the train during late-morning stops to grab a bite to eat.
The true origins of brunch, however, began across the pond. In 1895, a man named Guy Beringer penned an article stating, “Instead of England’s early Sunday dinner, a post-church ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare? By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday night carousers.” Beringer implied that after a Saturday night of debauchery, getting up early Sunday morning seemed unproductive. So why not get up a little later, eat a light meal around noon and then go about your day? Pure genius, Mr. Beringer.
Libations served at brunch should be lighter in alcohol content and packed with vitamins from juice. They need to raise the soul from the previous night’s devilish endeavors. Today, Bloody Marys or Mimosas are seen as quintessential brunch cocktails. The former are lighter in alcohol content, as there is normally only one shot of vodka (or gin, if you’re old school, in which case the drink is called a Red Snapper), to four to six shots of spiced tomato-juice mixture. Mimosas are similarly light: three to five ounces orange juice mixed with three to five ounces Champagne or sparkling wine. In the past few years, other cocktails like the Ramos Gin Fizz and Corpse Reviver #2 have been appearing on brunch menus around town, but I’d like to see another introduced: the Momisette.
Momisette is French for “tiny mummy.” I’m not sure how the drink got its name, but it is an exhilarating cocktail. I’ve seen this drink served over ice or like a Mimosa (poured into a champagne flute or wine glass and stirred briefly). There is no wrong way to serve it, so it comes down to personal preference.
Matt Seiter is a co-founder of the United States Bartenders’ Guild’s St. Louis chapter, a member of the national board for the USBG’s MA program and a continuing educator for all desiring knowledge of the craft of mixology. He is a member of Drink Lab and a consultant at Sanctuaria.
Serves | 1 |
- 1 oz North Shore Distillery Sirène Absinthe or Pernod Ricard Pastis ice (optional)
- ½ oz orgeat syrup
- 4 to 5 oz sparkling water or sparkling wine
- lemon twist (optional)
| Preparation | Pour absinthe or pastis into a glass (either over ice or not). Pour in orgeat syrup and stir. Top off with sparkling water or sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon twist.
This sparkling water cheat sheet outlines the differences, however subtle, that distinguish the most popular non-alcoholic bubbly drinks used as mixers in cocktails.
Club Soda. Water made with dissolved carbon dioxide combined with mineral ingredients for flavoring (potassium bicarbonate and sulfate are the most common).
Seltzer Water. Water made with dissolved carbon dioxide.
Tonic Water. Water made with added flavor of quinine (with a distinct bitter flavor) and sugars along with dissolved carbon dioxide.