There's a certain art to lingering over a leisurely brunch with a cocktail (or two) and friends. Food is definitely only half of the experience where drinking before noon is the name of the game. We've assembled our top picks for boozy brunches in St. Louis that showcase inspired cocktails made for pairing with this weekends-only feast.
Rooster South Grand (3150 South Grand Boulevard; 314-772-3447)
Rooster's brunch cocktails might just be the perfect cure for Sunday hangovers, as they are made with fresh juice and packed with antioxidants and electrolytes. The "Green with Envy" features green tea-infused vodka and apple, cucumber, lime and pineapple juices blended with spinach, mint and cilantro. The "Pink Paloma" combines hibiscus-infused reposado tequila with fresh grapefruit and lime juices and organic agave syrup. And, as a riff on the Canadian "Bloody Caesar," the classic bloody mary will most certainly wake you up with its combination of pickle juice, clam juice and pink peppercorns.
Robust Wine Bar (635 Washington Avenue; 314-287-6300)
Sunday "RoBrunch" at Robust Wine Bar offers a tempting buy-one-get-one bloody-mary and mimosa specials and half off all local draft beers. Let's get straight to those mouth-watering mimosas: The "Think Pink" features Solerno blood orange liqueur, pomegranate and ginger simple syrup, Ruby Red grapefruit juice and Baron de Breban rosé. The "Just Peachy" pairs Trenel crème de pêche liqueur with a basil and lemon zest simple syrup, lemon juice and Francois Montand blanc de blancs. The "Remedy" uses St. Germain liqueur, a green tea and mint simple syrup, orange juice and Cavicchioli Malvasia. And the "First Light" combines El Dorado spiced rum, Big O ginger liqueur, Ruby Red grapefruit juice, bitters and Francois Montand blanc de blancs. If you simply cannot decide, just order the RoBrunch mimosa flight for $15.
Gamlin Whiskey House (236 North Euclid Avenue; 314-875-9500)
Whiskey is the star of the show at Gamlin Whiskey House's Sunday brunch. Front and center is a spicy Jacobs Ghost White whiskey infused with bell, jalapeño, banana and poblano peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes. Paired with Zing Zang bloody-mary mix, the "Bloody Ghost Bloody Mary" is offered by the glass at $10 or bottomless for $25. The "Champisky" menu offers three whiskey-based champagne cocktails "created for drinking in the early morning sunshine," instructs bar manager Dusty Parres. The "Whiskey in the Morning" is Gamlin's bestseller, made with Seagram's 7, DeKuyper O3 liqueur, orange juice and champagne. The "Whiskey Bellini" features Pow-Wow botanical rye, Cocchi Apertivo Americano Rosa and housemade peach purée and topped with champagne. "Irish Bubbles" blends Jameson Irish whiskey, Big O Liqueur and champagne. Traditional mimosas are also available by the glass for $8 and bottomless for $20.
Three Flags Tavern (4940 Southwest Avenue; 314-669-9222)
You have two chances to enjoy brunch at Three Flags Tavern — Saturday and Sunday — which is good, because you're going to want to go back again to try each of three bloody-mary cocktails. The basic bloody mary is made with Pearl cucumber vodka, a housemade bloody-mary mix and pickled vegetables. The "Bloody Caesar" takes it up a notch with Wódka vodka, housemade mix, clam juice and is topped with fried escargot. Lastly, the "Bloody Bull" features Rittenhouse rye whiskey, a housemade mix and beef bouillon and is served with Serrano ham-wrapped green olives.
Dressel's Public House (419 North Euclid Avenue; 314-361-1060)
Sunday brunch at Dressel's Public House in the Central West End features a different made-from-scratch bellini every week made with housemade cordials, fine liquors, spirits and sparkling wine. This Sunday's recipe blends Hayman's Sloe Gin, a housemade cranberry cordial and prosecco. The housemade bloody mary infuses vodka with Tuscan-inspired spices. Finish your brunch with a simple Irish coffee made with Powers Irish whiskey, Kaldi's fair trade, organic coffee and topped with Jameson whipped cream.
Vin de Set (2017 Chouteau Avenue; 314-241-8989)
Everyone is treated to a complimentary mimosa or champagne cocktail with Vin de Set's Sunday brunch. Add an additional $12, and you can make that glass bottomless. The bloody-mary bar offers several house-infused vodkas, housemade bloody mary-mix and plenty of goodies for customizing your drink: pickled vegetables, kimchi Brussels sprouts, olives, celery, carrots, shrimp, bacon and a variety of hot sauces. And, don't feel the need to rush — after brunch, from 2 to 5 p.m., all bloody marys and mimosas are offered two-for-one at the bar.
Wild Flower (4590 Laclede Avenue; 314-367-9888)
Brunch at Wild Flower includes all the classic brunch cocktails, such as mojitos, the Silver Mercedes, Royal Kir, bellinis plus an espresso martini. But we've got the recipe for the crowd favorite: The award-winning "Wild Orchid Margarita" features Patrón Silver, Chambord, Cointreau, sour mix, an egg white and fresh-squeezed lime juice.
Herbies Vintage 72 (405 North Euclid Avenue; 314 769 9595)
The bloody-mary bar at Herbies Vintage 72 is worth the trip alone. The fully stocked condiment bar offers everything you could possibly want to add to housemade pepper-infused vodka and bloody-mary mix: pickled cucumbers and sweet peppers, seasonal pickled vegetables, bacon, olives, blue cheese-stuffed olives, a variety of hot sauces, lemon wedges, celery, horseradish and tomato juice. Ten bucks will get you one, but why not throw in the additional $2 for a bottomless? An extensive list of sparkling wine is also available.
Cleveland-Heath (106 North Main Street, Edwardsville, Illinois; 618-307-4830)
Cleveland-Heath brings a bit of tradition from the northern Midwest to Saturday brunch in Edwardsville, Illinois. In parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota, bloody marys are often served with a chaser of beer — a "snit" — as a nod to the prevalence of breweries in the state. Here, the bloody mary is made with housemade bloody-mary mix, loaded with housemade pickles and served with a sidecar of Tecate.
Editor's note: This post was changed after publication to include updated information.