Brunch isn't all about Bloody Marys and mimosas. Sometimes you need a jolt of caffeine to make it to the table. Fortunately, plenty of metro Detroit bars and restaurants feature fanciful and bracing booze concoctions guaranteed to perk up your brunch. From nonalcoholic cold brews on tap to coffee-infused whiskey drinks, here are some of the city's best options for caffeinated consumption.
Whiskey in the Jar
2741 Yemans St., Hamtramck; 313-873-4154
Whiskey in the Jar might not serve food, but they know a thing or two about how to nurse a hangover. Stop here on weekend days starting at noon for a pour of Great Lakes Nitro Cold Brew coffee on tap. It's alcohol-free and will soothe the rough edges caused by all the shenanigans from last night.
Great Lakes Coffee
3965 Woodward, Detroit; 313-831-9627; greatlakescoffee.com
Open morning to night, Great Lakes started dishing out premium roasted coffee, beer, and coffee-focused cocktails in 2010. It's the perfect spot for that mid-afternoon switch from low- to high-octane drinks. Try the Panacea Cocktail, with coconut-infused rum and Great Lakes' own cold-brew coffee along with aromatics and bitters.
449 E. Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-638-2169; kieslingdetroit.com
Kiesling has become known for its inventive, approachable cocktail program. Among Kiesling's other offerings, try the Conflict of Interest if you're looking for coffee flavor but no caffeine. The drink includes bourbon, lemon, egg white, and bitters, along with house-made coffee maple syrup for a rich, frothy treat.
Lady of the House
1426 Bagley, Detroit; 313-818-0218; ladyofthehousedetroit.com
Lady of the House's carefully selected brunch menu is exquisitely inventive; their signature Irish Coffee is at the top of form. A mediocre Irish Coffee is easy enough to make; Lady of the House's is a masterful blend of Powers Gold Irish Whiskey, fresh coffee, and a perfect, thick head of sweet cream.
22848 Woodward, Ferndale; 248-691-7145; howesbayouferndale.net
Howe's Bayou has seen 20-plus years in the rapidly changing Ferndale restaurant scene. It got there by sticking to the classics of New Orleans cuisine, well-executed, with a stable of carefully designed drinks. Their Spanish Coffee is prepared with flamboyant showmanship and packs a punch.
1241 Woodward., Detroit; 313-237-1000; hudson-cafe.com
Hudson Cafe serves breakfast and brunch only. The extensive menu of omelettes, pancakes, bennies, and crepes is complemented by a pair of decadent coffee cocktails: the Hudson Coffee, a variation on an Irish Coffee; and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Coffee, made with RumChata and cinnamon whiskey.
1413 Brooklyn., Detroit; 313-961-2000; mudgiesdeli.com
Mudgies' popular farm-fresh brunch features massive portions of signature dishes. To wash it down, they serve hot- and cold-brew coffees with Irish cream and feature Brew Detroit's Cold Brew Coffee Stout, a perfect choice for diners looking to ease into the brunch vibe.
Ale Mary's Beer Hall
316 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-268-1939; alemarysbeer.com
Royal Oak's beer lovers' haven was also one of the first bars in metro Detroit to jump on the Jameson Cold Brew wagon; just released on Jan. 24, the coffee-infused whiskey premiered here in Detroit. Ale Mary's crafted an Irish Good Morning, which adds elderflower liqueur, simple syrup, and Great Lakes Cold Brew to the coffee-whiskey for a double dose of toasted flavor.
Hammer and Nail
3800 Woodward, Detroit; 313-555-9281; hammerandnaildetroit.com
The Dude wasn't the first — and won't be the last — to extol the virtues of a well-made White Russian. Hammer and Nail, the city's first midcentury cocktail bar, boasts a Nitro tap Black Russian on draft with Stoli and house-made coffee liqueur. Add the optional cream to make it a dreamy White Russian.
Belt Alley, 1234 Library St., Detroit; theskipdetroit.com
Belt Alley's year-round tropical party spot The Skip boasts two drinks with coffee connections. The Frozen Irish Coffee is a dangerously creamy and sweet boozy milkshake that really packs a punch. And the not-your-grandmother's Breakfast Daiquiri includes rum, Cynar (an artichoke-based digestivo), coffee cordial, and lime. Guaranteed to shake you out of the doldrums and wake you up.
WAB ALEchemy Room
116 East Troy St, Ferndale; 248-546-3696
The first floor of Ferndale's Woodward Avenue Brewers recently shifted to a combined coffee shop/bar model, with the slogan "Drink coffee and beer" illuminated on a screen behind the bar. Coffee, espresso, and beer are served all day alongside a host of inventive coffee drinks like the nonalcoholic Honey Badger Latte and more booze-intensive options. Look for weekend day specials on drinks.
You can sample Detroit’s brunch offerings on Saturday!
Metro Times’ United We Brunch event returns to Detroit’s historic Majestic Theatre complex Saturday for an afternoon of brunch, bowling, and boozy drinks. Tickets get you unlimited brunch tastings. This year’s vendors include 220 Merrill, Bar Verona, Beans & Cornbread, Beyond Juicery + Eatery, Bonefish Grill, Café Muse, Coop Caribbean Fusion, Como’s Restaurant, Frita Batidos, Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company, GreenSpace & Go, Jim Brady’s Detroit, Joe’s Gourmet, Kitchen N The Corner, Le Petit Dejeuner, McShane’s, The Morrie, Mudgie’s, Parc, Parks & Rec Diner, T Gary’s Catering, Toast, Toasted Oak Grill & Market, and the Woodbridge Pub.
From 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Majestic Theatre complex, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; mtbrunch.com. Tickets are $60 for VIP tickets (which gets you eight drink tickets and a commemorative glass, advance only) and $40 for general admission (six drink tickets, advance), or $55 at the door.
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