Brunch doesn’t have to be all bloody marys and mimosas! Reach for the whiskey instead fo celebrate brunch with girlfriends. At Captains Quarters in Louisville, the Kentucky Branch met to learn a little about whiskey and a little about brunch cocktails. With three brunch recipes, each featuring a different spirit from one of the three sponsors, these cocktails leave you with plenty of options when working on a whiskey-centric brunch menu.

Italian Lady cocktail in front of two other cocktails and spirits bottles.

Italian Lady (featuring Disaronno amaretto)

First up, the Italian Lady, a cocktail that features Disaronno, that famous Italian amaretto. Featuring a touch of dry vermouth and a bit of prosecco, it showcases three Italian products that shine when combined. Disaronno, one of the main sponsors of the brunch, serves this cocktail up, over ice, similar to a refreshing summery spritz.

  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1.25 oz Disaronno liqueur
  • Top with prosecco (4-5 oz)
  • Glassware: champagne flute or wine glass
  • Garnish: orange zest twist
  • Method: build in glass over ice

Irish coffee riff with two bottles of spirits behind.

Fae Coffee (featuring the Busker Irish Whiskey Triple Cask blend and Disaronno Velvet Cream liqueur)

The second cocktail honored our second sponsor of the afternoon, The Busker Irish Whiskey. Busker’s green-labeled Triple Cask expression is light but has a complexity to it from the mingling of the different whiskies. It’s another cocktail easy to make in a mug, but make sure that mug is warmed up nice and hot!

  • ¾ – 1 oz Busker Triple Cask
  • ½ oz Disaronno Velvet
  • 1 bar spoon brown sugar simple syrup (1:1 light brown sugar)
  • 6 – 7 oz coffee
  • Cream float on top for garnish
  • Fresh-grated nutmeg to dust on top
  • Glassware: heatproof mug
  • Garnish: heavy cream float on top with a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Method: add ingredients to WARMED mug and top with coffee and a cream float. Garnish with a dusting of fresh-grated nutmeg.

peach highball in front of spirits bottles

Life in Peaches (featuring Buzzard’s Roost small-batch rye)

Life is about choices, and this one is which herb to feature in your highball. For this cocktail, a riff on the John Collins cocktail where whiskey substitutes for the Tom Collins’ gin, attendees had the choice of using basil or mint as the garnish of the drink.

Test out both mint and basil with this delicious combination of spicy rye, lemon juice, and peach simple syrup. It’s a delicious and refreshing sip for an early morning or early afternoon brunch. Choose the basil if you want a more savory tie into the rye and mint if you prefer a more traditional peach-mint flavor pairing.

  • 1.5 oz Buzzards Roost small batch rye
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz peach simple syrup (REAL cocktail ingredients suggested)
  • 3-4 ounces to top with Fever-tree, Q-Mixer, Regatta or other club soda
  • Garnish: mint or basil sprig
  • Glass: chilled highball, straw
  • Method: shake rye, lemon juice, and peach simple in a cocktail shaker over ice, strain into a highball, and top with cold club soda. Garnish with mint or basil, and add a spritz of pecan if you’ve got a small atomizer you fill!

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