Yep, you read that right: The Breakfast Martini has arrived.
Last year I visited my BFF, Kelsey, in New York to reunite with old friends from my big city days, and—equally as important—to check out the new bars and restaurants that had opened since I left. Russ & Daughters, a breakfast go-to for most Manhattan dwellers, has been known for its traditional bagel with lox forever. It’s as iconic to NYC as the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. The spot is super old school—think generations-old staff and Soup Nazi-like rules (don’t even think about asking for your bagel toasted)—but they are truly the best in the biz.
After running the shop since 1914 (!), the owners finally decided it was time to open a restaurant—and the Russ & Daughters Cafe was born. The interior design and branding of the new locale was as well-thought out as their curated offerings, and the experience was as wonderful as I expected to be. What I didn’t expect was such a phenomenal cocktail menu, which went beyond the bloody mary and into new territory that included brunch-appropriate beverages featuring spirits like mezcal and bourbon. Daring and so unique. Sign me up.
We ordered the latkes (obvs), the babka french toast (OMG), and of course the traditional everything bagel/lox/onion combo that I’ve recreated for this post. To accompany it, the Breakfast Martini, which was so tasty I’ve had it on my to-drink list since I landed back in San Francisco. The combination of the sweet cocktail with the savory bagel is just perfection.
This weekend, skip the mimosa or the bellini and opt instead for this bevvy that will have you rethinking all the brunch rules. Russ would totally approve.
The Breakfast Martini
makes 2 cocktails
- 2 oz gin
- 2 oz fresh lemon juice
- 2 bar spoons of strawberry jam
- 2 bar spoons of simple syrup
- two egg whites
Rinse two coupe glasses with absinthe. Add egg whites to a shaker without ice and shake vigorously until frothy, about 60-90 seconds. Add ice, gin, lemon juice, jam and simple to the shaker and shake until very cold, about 20 seconds. Strain into the absinthe-rinsed coupes. Try not to guzzle it at once.
Barware notes: Plates are from Heath Ceramics. Coupes are thrifted. Dishtowel is from IKEA.