Photos by Teresa Sabga

A groggy morning often leads to sipping countless cups of coffee, but New York bartender Tonia Guffey suggests a more imaginative alternative to staying alert: tequila.

“Folks in the bar biz tend to work late hours. Many of my colleagues and I refer to tequila as night coffee for its rejuvenative qualities,” says Guffey, who works at a few neighborhood Brooklyn joints, including Dram, Ba’sik, and the Starlight. “It’s wake-up juice.”

This agave spirit is the star of her brunch-perfect My Morning Jacket. The “lovely, slightly smoky taste” of the reposado tequila pairs well with the Borghetti coffee liqueur (“now we’ve got double the buzz”), lime, and dry orange curaçao. Amplified by the almond syrup orgeat, a Tiki go-to, the libation is also reminiscent of a tropical Mai Tai. Much like adding almond milk to iced lattes, “it adds natural sweetness and flavor,” Guffey explains. “I like my breakfast foods for all times of day—especially dinner—so I wanted this cocktail to work that way, too. Now I can’t stop drinking them.”

My Morning Jacket


Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake. Strain into a double rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a cocktail umbrella.

How to Make It

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