5 Best Eye-Openers: Best of Breakfast and Brunch 2012

Hair of the dog never tasted so good.

By: Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Jessica Voelker, Anna Spiegel, Cynthia Hacinli

Bloody Mary Bar

Poste

555 Eighth St., NW; 202-783-6060

The make-your-own experience at this Penn Quarter brasserie begins with a base spirit—plain vodka or a house infusion with fresh horseradish and spicy chilies (our favorite) or bacon. Then you’re off to a fixings bar, where jars of tomato juice, pickles, fresh vegetables, spices, and hot sauces inspire creative concocting.

Champagne Crusta

Bistro Bohem

600 Florida Ave., NW; 202-735-5895

This Eastern European cafe’s refreshing take on a crusta, a 150-year-old brandy drink, combines Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice in a glass with a sugared rim, topped off with Russkoe Igristoe—a Polish semisweet sparkling wine—and a lemon twist.

Mimosa Flight

Cork Wine Bar

1720 14th St., NW; 202-265-2675

Mimosas have be-come a brunch cliché, but Cork takes an original approach with flights of three glasses, each featuring a different juice. A recent favorite showcased grapefruit, orange, and blood orange.

The Hemingway

Brasserie Beck

1101 K St., NW.; 202-408-1717

With grapefruit and lime, maraschino liqueur, and a healthy dose of rum, this easygoing daiquiri is a perfect pick-me-up. The Belgian spot—typically more attuned to beer—turns out a flawless rendition in a martini glass with a lime twist.

The Titanic

Trummer’s on Main

7134 Main St., Clifton, Va.; 703-266-1623

No matter when you’re dining at this elegant destination, the cocktail to order is the house specialty, a bracing mix of vodka, sparkling wine, and slushy elderflower sorbet. We also like the mellow Sage, with Plymouth gin, elderflower liqueur, and fresh herbs.