Meet Detroit's new brunch cocktails — beyond Bloody Marys and mimosas

Feb 6, 2019 at 1:00 am

For decades, two brunch cocktails have reigned supreme on menus across the country — and for good reason. While the battle between the hearty, spice-driven, meal-unto-itself Bloody Mary and the bubbly, always elegant, hangover-guaranteed mimosa rages on, there's a new class of brunch cocktails in town, especially in metro Detroit. These three beautiful, boozy drinks are paving the way for anyone looking to mix (or stir or shake) it up for the most important meal of the day.

click to enlarge The Morning Star, a breakfast sangria at Green Space Cafe. - Jerilyn Jordan
Jerilyn Jordan
The Morning Star, a breakfast sangria at Green Space Cafe.

Green Space Cafe

215 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-206-7510;; Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday.

If the abbreviations GF, SF, NF, OF, or PP mean anything to you, then Ferndale's Green Space Cafe is likely already on your radar (or should be). The plant-based restaurant strives to accommodate a slew of dietary restrictions and preferences while remaining true to seasonal and conscious ingredients. Fingerling potato hash, avocado bennies, and a selection of grain-based bowls are among Green Space's brunch offerings, along with cocktail classics.

The latest addition to the brunch cocktail menu packs a very deceptive punch. Enter the Morning Star. A refreshing take on a breakfast sangria, the Morning Star ($12) is loaded with freshly squeezed juices, and a blend of liquor, vodka, wine, and tonic, as well as fresh blackberries, strawberries, an orange slice, and thyme garnish.

"Brunch has become such a cultural phenomenon," GreenSpace bar manager Brian Edwards says. "We've reached a time where we can push the limits. You see it in New York and L.A., they have a nice rotation of brunch cocktails. People are finally looking at ways to make it different."

Summery, citrusy, and not overly sweet, the Morning Star features Valentines White Blossom vodka, Triple Sec, dry white wine, and blood orange, mango, apple, and lemon juices. It's best served chilled.

click to enlarge Otus Supply’s Irish-ish Coffee. - Jerilyn Jordan
Jerilyn Jordan
Otus Supply’s Irish-ish Coffee.

Otus Supply

345 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-291-6160;; Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

New kids on the brunch block, Otus Supply's brunch menu is reflective of the Ferndale venue and restaurant's transformative ambience: open and airy, with seating options close to a roaring fireplace and a library-lounge setting. Take their customizable Bloody Marys, for example: mix Mezcal with housemade bone broth, or take St. George Green Chili Vodka with a Tajin Rim and a smidge of stout. The spot's standout brunchy beverage, however, is highly caffeinated, and a smooth blend of sweet and savory.

Leave your Bailey's and Folgers at home because Otus Supply's $9 wake-me-up blend, the Irish-ish Coffee, does not dare mask the taste of its ingredients — rather, it spotlights each bold tone.

"It's a little earthy, with cacao tones and darker spices, not too light and acidic and not Starbucks burnt," beverage director Ian Redmond says. "We try and push boundaries while still keeping half the menu dedicated classics."

The Irish-ish contains Black Bush Irish Whiskey, Monkey Shoulder, and a combines Bali and Sumatran blend coffees from Water Street Roasters in Kalamazoo, and is topped with a housemade black walnut whipped cream. Redmond points out that Otus Supply only pours doubles. This includes the Irish-ish. So, drink with caution (or none at all).

click to enlarge The Risgrøt Parfait at Gold Cash Gold. - Jerilyn Jordan
Jerilyn Jordan
The Risgrøt Parfait at Gold Cash Gold.

Gold Cash Gold

2100 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-242-0070;; Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

One of the first Detroit eateries to hop on the "New American" trend has quickly become a staple in Detroit's dining landscape. And Gold Cash Gold's reputation for reimagining familiar classics like pickle-brined fried chicken and waffle, gin-cured lox, and goat cheese grits extends to its drink menu. Newly added to that menu is the ever-so-dreamy Risgrøt Parfait ($12). Inspired by the Norwegian porridge, or Risgrøt, Gold Cash Gold's delicate and creamy take is an unexpectedly botanical palate cleanser following the spot's savory entrees.

"What we're doing is taking what we do at dinner and applying it more seriously at brunch," GCG's beverage manager Eric Welsh says. "Brunch has expanded beyond its former limits of simple bennies and omelets. Because there are so many interesting things going on with the food, we can make drinks that are more exciting."

The drink starts with Norden Aquavit which offers hints of caraway, dill, sumac, orris, and sage. Next comes Vermouth, pear, plum, maple syrup, and yogurt which is made in house. The Risgrøt Parfait is then shaken (for that fluffy, airy texture), and topped with cinnamon.

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