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Photo: Courtesy of The Watergate Hotel
Photo: Courtesy of The Watergate Hotel

Beyond the Mimosa: Unique Takes on Brunch Bubbles

I’d never recommend turning up your nose at a good mimosa or bellini, and there’s certainly no shortage of them throughout the DMV. But there’s also something to be said for mixing things up and getting out of your brunch beverage comfort zone every so often. If your brunch routine is starting to feel a bit stale, check out these spots for innovative weekend sips.

BUBBLES AND A FLICK at iPic Pike & Rose
It’s like drinking at home, if home has reclining leather seats, a huge movie theater projection screen and in-seat dining service. Reserve seats for the latest movie with a friend and order a bottle of Chandon Brut to share during the film – it’s a traditional method sparkler from Napa Valley that’s fruity, crisp and delicious. You can order food during the movie (with more gourmet options than your regular theater fare) or get to the theater early to grab brunch at the attached restaurant, CityPerch. Added bonus? You can also take drinks from CityPerch into your movie. 11830 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda, MD; www.ipictheaters.com

Champagne on Ice at Succotash
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Inspired by trips to the south of France, where sweltering summers routinely encourage people to enjoy their bubbles over ice, Moët & Chandon’s winemaker created Moët Ice, a champagne that’s slightly sweeter, richer and able to stand up to the dilution of ice. Succotash, a relative newcomer to Penn Quarter, will be adding Moët Ice bottle service to their brunch offerings this spring. Each bottle will come to the table with self-serve ice cubes and garnishes like fresh berries and mint. 915 F St. NW, DC; www.succotashrestaurant.com

Classic with a Twist at Stable
This new Swiss-American restaurant on H Street is worth a trip for the “Raclette Experience” alone. However, I’d argue that the only way to improve melty, cheesy goodness is to pair it with something bubbly and refreshing – cue sparkling wine! There are plenty of options on the brunch drink menu to satisfy your sparkling desires, including creative cocktails and mimosas spiked with elderflower for a burst of floral complexity. If you’re going the Raclette or fondue route (and I suggest you do), the lively effervescence and hints of citrus bitters in the Aperol spritz are the perfect complement. 1324 H St. NE, DC; www.stabledc.com

Go Big or Go Home at Barley Mac
This Rosslyn spot may be better known for its selection of bourbons and whiskies, but they’re certainly not cutting any corners in the mimosa category. There’s a sparkling selection for every thirst size, so if you’re sipping slowly this weekend, try one of the amped up mimosas flavors – including black raspberry, passion fruit, strawberry basil and blueberry. If it’s a party weekend, order the king-sized “make your own mimosa,” which comes with a magnum bottle (the size of two regular bottles) and two flavors of your choosing. You’ll definitely want to order a side of their addictive crispy dough appetizer, coccoli, alongside your bottle. 1600 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.barleymacva.com

I Scream, You Scream…for Champagne Sorbet at Blue Duck Tavern
This gem tucked inside the Park Hyatt in Georgetown is known for their rotating menu of seasonal, farm-to-table dishes. The food is always stellar, but you’ll be equally smitten with their often-changing sorbet mimosa, available during weekend brunch. Chef’s seasonal sorbet is topped with a French crémant (“CRAY-mont”–that’s a traditional-method bubbly from a region in France other than Champagne). If you want to continue your sparkling theme, try the smoked citrus-cured salmon, accompanied by a champagne gelée. 1201 24th St. NW, DC; www.blueducktavern.com

Weekend Afternoon Tea at The Watergate Hotel
If you’re in the mood for something a bit more high class (or if you’ve just been binge watching Downton Abbey), make a reservation for afternoon tea at Kingbird Restaurant inside The Watergate Hotel. Held every Saturday and Sunday between 2-3:30 p.m., the event is billed as “a traditional tea with a retro twist.” Enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbles as an aperitif to a selection of teas, savory finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and sweet treats. $50 per person, reservations required.  2650 Virginia Ave. NW, DC; www.thewatergatehotel.com


Soon enough, the weather will improve, patios will open and official springtime brunch will be upon us. No matter where your brunch experiences take you this year, remember to drink well. You know what they say: a brunch without bubbles is just a sad, late breakfast.