In other cities, brunch is the norm at restaurants of note, whereas here in Seattle, it is so uncommon that a recent Seattle Times article highlighted the basic fact that places were actually serving the mid-day meal. Perhaps it's the ski slopes and hiking trails that keep brunch doors shuttered, or maybe that pesky rain the city's famous for keeps eaters out of long lines. French toast and Eggs Benedict might not be inspiring the city to drag itself out of bed, but those who are in the know realize there's a better reason to head to brunch: Seattle's restaurants offer a world of cocktails beyond the clichéd Bloody Mary or Mimosa, all designed to open eyes (and justify pre-noon drinking).
Brunch cocktails walk a fine line, encouraging the drinker to get up and get moving while offering a gentle prod out of sobriety. Coffee makes an excellent vehicle for pepping up a drink, both in its natural form, mixed with Fernet Branca and topped with Angostura whipped cream at Sun Liquor, and in infusions like the Pacific Northwest coffee bitters used in Ba Bar's Rummy Saz. Other tipples take a hint from the classic mimosa and shake the drinker awake with friendly bubbles. Citrus plays a strong role in brunch cocktails, bringing its sunshine-y spritz and offering a bright, acidic touch that makes it food-friendly.
And as far as food goes, we're not just talking scrambled eggs. These drinks are part of a complete, creative meal: a sip of Ma'ono's Currant Affair makes one marvel at how well it pairs with the saimin (Hawaiian-style ramen), while Tolouse Petit's Naked if I Want To balances out the richness of their New Orleans-style shrimp and grits. While Seattle may not be a big brunch town (yet), it's not for lack of adventurous food or inventive cocktails. Follow the map to morning-buzz bliss or click through the slideshow for a look at five Seattle brunch beverages that still haunt our day-drinking dreams.