Those of us who enjoy the occasional Sunday morning brunch know that there are certain Beverage Conventions that attach to that particular ritual.
Sure, there’s the almost required-by-law glass of orange juice. If you’re having your Sunday brunch in a decent place, it will be freshly squeezed. If not, shame on you.
There is the requisite Hot Beverage. Make mine coffee... but plenty of people enjoy a fine cuppa (that’d be tea, if you’re British-impaired). I do not judge here, merely observe. (Unlike with the orange juice.)
And then there’s the alcohol.
Depending on the laws in the state where you reside, the opening shot on Brunchy Alcohol may not be fired until noon, as is the case here. But once the sun is directly overhead, there are Options.
Some like the Mimosa, a simple blend of orange juice and sparkling wine. If you want to do it right, use freshly squeezed juice (always!) and real Champagne. A bargain bottle works just fine: You do not want to be using Dom Pérignon in your Mimosa unless you are the sort that lights cigars with C-notes.
There’s the Ramos gin fizz (a popular item at T.G.I. Friday’s), a concoction of citrus, gin, seltzer, and, presumably, Ramos. And of course, the Bloody Mary, favorite of the country club set.
Well, all of these Brunchy Beverages are fine, as far as it goes, but they are now officially passé. Defunct. Superseded.
How so? you ask.
Well, a couple of months ago, I happened upon this bizarre, yet strangely irresistible bottle:
Smoked salmon vodka. Insane! I know!
How can you not have fun with an ingredient like that?
It was Josh, Houston Steve’s son, who came up with the perfect Cocktail Concept: Add some dill-infused vermouth, and presto! You have a Loxtini - the perfect Sunday brunch bevvy. If your brunch menu includes smoked salmon, even better!
And so, presented for your Drinky Enjoyment...
The Loxtini. Move over, Bloody Mary!
2½ oz smoked salmon flavored vodka
½ oz dill-infused dry vermouth
Combine ingredients in an ice-filled shaker; stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill and a chunk or two of gravlax.
The dill-infused vermouth is simple enough: Place several sprigs of fresh dill in a cup of dry vermouth, heat to the simmering point and let cool. Strain into a jar or bottle and store in the fridge.
Bloody Mary, move over! Mimosa, scrambooch! Ramos gin fizz, don’t let the door hit you in the ass as you’re leaving! There’s a new drink in town, and he’s gonna eat your brunch.