You can limit brunch to its dictionary definition—a late-morning meal that combines a late breakfast and an early lunch—but that’s missing a big part of what makes it so special as an occasional midday mixer. Brunch today is perhaps one of hustling-and-bustling America’s last slices of the siesta life, less about bacon and breads than it is the aspirational belief that one has the luxury to slow down and procrastinate with friends, giggle and facepalm while piecing together the adventures of last night, and simply be at brunch.
While the food portion of brunch gets the job done—albeit a bit on the stodgy side, with only so many variations on eggs and griddled batter that enjoy mass appeal—it’s the space alongside the plate where we see the real opportunity to innovate: the cocktail glass! Sure, the mimosa and Bloody Mary are the familiar favorites everyone expects to be present and, perhaps, bottomless. When viewed as launching pads, however, the spirit of those titanic tipples can be twisted into anything fruity, savory, bold, bubbly, or even caffeinated. As long as a drink’s vibe and flavors beam just as bright at noon as they do at night, then it has a seat at the brunch table.
Last year’s big brunch debut offered three cocktails that toyed with the traditional, and this year The Vodka Brunch Box 2 is getting ready to venture even further—including a generous charitable donation courtesy of our friends at The Community Spirit Vodka! We’re working with three wildly talented women at the top of their bartending game—two of whom shook up their share of cocktails on Netflix in 2022—to master drinks that’ll excite the early birds out there all April long. Subscribe now through March 31st (while supplies last!) to get yours—it’s slated to ship the week of April 3rd.
You’re not in Kansas anymore when stepping through a door to the sensational land of Ginger and Jasmine and Pear! Oh My! Fear not the Netflix wizard and Soul Palate podcast co-host Kapri Robinson as she ushers us into the delicately botanical-driven tastes of mint, jasmine, and a version of pear that turns the pep all the way up on the pome fruit. A stiff kick of vodka, ginger beer, and bitters carrying the Big Easy–going sweet and spiced notes of currant, pomegranate, and allspice complete the package for this sophisticated sip that’ll make for one wicked brunch to remember.
The 2017 Cocktail Queen from Washington, DC, Kapri has been a part of the beverage community there for over a decade. On top of being a bartender, educator, and event organizer, she is also the president and founder of Chocolate City’s Best, an organizer of Back To Black, the co-host of the Soul Palate podcast, and co-founder of Empowering the Diner, all efforts that aim to bring together Black food and beverage creators to rally continued support of Black activism, normalize Black and Brown palates, and create opportunities for BIPOC industry members. Most recently, Kapri competed on Netflix’s Drink Masters.
Did you hear about Mary? She’s taken a walk around the whimsical garden and went from bloody to lean and green in this totally reimagined savory brunch superstar. No stranger to the spritz, Stacey Swenson has turned to vodka and all things earthy, vivid, and verdant—tomatillo, celery, cucumber, poblano, and Thai chili pepper—to create a piquant blend that achieves liftoff from lime and refreshing tonic water. Mary’s new makeover, the Green Demon, arrives this April wearing a crown of green peppercorn–everything bagel seasoning, and she’s ready for her brunchy close-up!
Formerly the head bartender at NYC’s Dante, Stacey moved on to a new role as bar manager at the newly opened Bar Pisellino until it shut in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also heads up creative drinks strategies for Simple Serve and was named StarChefs Rising Star bartender of 2019.
Fresh off a stirring, starring turn on Netflix (as well as a win at the 2022 Spirited Awards for opening the best new bar in the US), Kate Gerwin continues to aim high, this time with a cocktail creation that, as its name implies, clears an important bar for the brunch hours—but Better Than a Pop Tart is not served in a blinding silver sleeve. This craveable old fashioned is a mix of cozy caramel-vanilla-tea-infused vodka, chicory bitters, and warm and fuzzy green chile syrup (a nod to her beloved Albuquerque) and it’s surely one balanced and high-quality way to start the day!
In 2014, Kate became the first woman and first American to win the Bols Around the World Bartending Championship. A veteran consultant and designer of bar programs around the country as well as a co-owner of Happy Accidents, a bar/distillery in Albuquerque, NM, her “crowning moment,” as she calls it, was being inducted into the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Dame Hall of Fame in 2015. Most recently, Kate competed all the way to the final round on Netflix’s Drink Masters.
Shed those pesky labels of “breakfast” and “lunch” and wake up in the festive and magical middle ground of The Vodka Brunch Box 2, where a round of creative cocktails will suit the scene any hour you wish!
Great drinks and a great cause! For every one of The Vodka Brunch Box 2 shipped, The Community Spirit (one of our recommended vodkas for the box) will make a donation to Another Round Another Rally, a nonprofit financial and educational resource for the hospitality industry. They provide reimbursement grants and immersive educational scholarships to further the education of historically excluded voices in the community and supply emergency assistance to those employed in restaurants, bars, and hotels who have fallen on unexpected hardship.
The Shaker & Spoon Team
*not vegan: nothing
*potential allergens: Stacey’s green everything seasoning contains sesame seeds