We’ve been through this before: Cause, the now-closed “philanthropub,” tried serving spiked cereals a couple year ago. Now, Driftwood Kitchen is giving the gimmick a try. Beginning this weekend, the H Street NE restaurant will begin serving cereal mixed with cocktails rather than milk.
The boozy breakfast is part of a Saturday morning cartoon-themed brunch conceptualized by bartender Eric Morris. Among his creations: Cap’n Crunch with a strawberry shortcake cocktail, Cinnamon Toast Crunch with eggnog, and Fruity Pebbles with a Tom Collins.
“These cereals aren’t the healthiest,” he admits.
Morris, who used to serve drinks at Irish Whiskey and Roofers Union, knows these are no culinary masterpieces, but he says he wanted to create the drinks for people who are interested in novelty but don't necessarily want something pretentious. “Fancy never has fun,” he said.
He says he’s presenting the cereal cocktails as quick fixer-uppers for brunch-goers with a bad case of the “Irish flu.” A “little hair of the dog” and “a little food in the belly” could pacify them before the meal comes, he suggests.
The verdict hasn’t changed since the days of Cause’s boozy breakfast: cloying sweetness and artificial flavoring aren’t going to do your cocktail any favors. I’ll say this about the combination I tried (Cocoa Puffs with a mint julep): the cereal stayed relatively crunchy—and didn't taint the cocktail too much.
Along with the cereal drinks, Driftwood will also serve a milk punch—a smooth mix of milk, vanilla, nutmeg, and brandy that can be a good teaser for eggnog season. The drink is free Saturday with the purchase of a doughnut, and you can enjoy it while watching cartoons at the upstairs bar. Also: Morris will give out free boozy cereal to anyone wearing PJs at brunch Saturday.
“I don’t want like sweatshirts and T-shirts,” he warns. “I want people to go to Walmart and get a onesie.”
Driftwood Kitchen, 400 H St. NE; (202) 803-2651; driftwooddc.com
Photo of Eric Morris by Allison Cartwright