BRUNCH COCKTAILS are one of the fastest-growing “food groups.” Oh, sure, everybody has their go-to solid sustenance – fried chicken on waffles with bacon, pancakes and bacon, eggs and bacon, basically anything you can throw bacon on to – but the drinks keep evolving. Whether you’re going out to try that new restaurant, visiting your old favourite brunch joint, of staring down the gauntlet of hosting your own brunch festivities at home, you needn’t rest on your laurels. The recipes below are fool-proof classics and brave new futures. Impress your guests or surprise yourself with these delicious drinks.
It’s a staple for a reason. I actually went hunting to find a perfect recipe from a friend who would drink a Bloody Mary for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, too, if she could — and she abides by it. If you want to do something a little bit different, try a Golden Sunset, which trades in the “bloody” colour of red tomatoes and swaps it for the golden hues of sun gold tomatoes.
- 3 cups tomato juice
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp horseradish
- 1 ½ tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¾ tsp Tabasco sauce
- ¾ tsp celery salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1/3 cup pickle juice
- 6 oz vodka per drink (doesn’t need to be expensive, just not gross)
Place all the ingredients except the pepper and celery salt into a blender. Once transferred to a container you can refrigerate, add the pepper and celery salt to taste. Leave overnight in the fridge (or at least for two hours). When ready to serve, add vodka to the mix, stir, and pour over ice. This mix makes six drinks, so if you want to make sure each drink gets the same amount of vodka, add the vodka to each glass before pouring in the Bloody Mary mixture. Add garnishes including celery, dill pickles, green beans, pickled okra, olives, or even bacon.
Alternatively, you can trade out the horseradish and Worcestershire sauce for a spiced mix like Bloody Bold and Sriracha sauce.
Spiked Tipsy Ice Tea
This take on the classic iced tea is so easy, you’d swear somebody was fooling you. Trust me, we wouldn’t fool anybody about tipsy ice tea!
- 10 cups cold water
- 2 family size or 10 regular black tea bags
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 2 oz orange-flavored liqueur, chilled
- Sliced oranges for garnish
Create a standard sweet tea mix by boiling three cups of water and adding your teabags, covering and letting it steep for 15 minutes. Then remove and discard the teabags before adding your sugar and letting it dissolve. Pour your mixture into a 1-gallon container, and then add the last seven cups of cold water. Stir.
To make the spiked ice tea, simply pour six ounces of your sweet tea mix and two ounces of orange-flavored liqueur, stir, and pour. Add a decorative orange wheel for garnish.
Typically, if tomatoes and horseradish aren’t your thing, then your most common brunch beverage will be the Mimosa. But how do you make a perfect one? If you want a traditional one, then follow these easy instructions (equal parts dry sparkling and orange juice), but if you want to get fancy, experiment with a Sunrise Mimosa.
- 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
- 1 bottle of chilled Prosecco
- 1 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
- ½ cup pomegranate liqueur
Put mango and OJ through a blender. Strain if too pulpy for your liking. Put two tablespoons of the puree in your glasses (should serve four) before pouring in the Prosecco and finishing it off with a tablespoon or two of the pomegranate liqueur.
Sangria is typically made with red wine, but for brunch, why not go a bit flirtier and use a rosé – it can still be more or less alcoholic depending on your, er, appetite.
- 500g seedless watermelon
- 2 limes
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 160ml Licor 43 liqueur, or orange-flavoured liqueur, or Cointreau
- 2 750ml bottles of chilled Rosé
- 1 1L bottle of lemonade
Remove the watermelon rind and cut into thin wedges and then thinly slice the limes. Place them into a large jug and sprinkle with caster sugar and then pour over the Licor 43. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the fruit and Licor 43 to develop. Add rosé and lemonade, adding rum for extra kick. Limes can be substituted with lychees.
Spicy Grapefruit Margarita
We mean spicy. For your friends who like heat, even in their brunch cocktails!
- 2 cups (increase as is your want) tequila
- 1-2 habanero chilies, halved
- Kosher salt (optional)
- 6 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice
Before the day comes of your brunch festivities, you must infuse your tequila with the chilies. This can be done anywhere up to a month in advance (but more realistically overnight), since you want the spicy effect to work. Simply mix the tequila and chilies. Dip the rim of your glasses in water then salt if you want, then add ice and pour over both pink grapefruit juice and infused tequila in whichever ratio you choose. Start small if you’re not sure how the spiciness will take you.
Honey and Marmalade Sour
A sweet treat that twists the idea of a British breakfast of marmalade on crumpets and upgrades it to pure alcoholic bliss.
- 10 oz vodka
- 5 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 5 oz honey syrup
- 5 tsp orange marmalade
Create the honey syrup by simmering five cups water with five cups of honey in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring constantly. Let it cool before mixing. Combine vodka, lemon juice, honey syrup and marmalade with ice into a jug – or divide each ingredient by five and combine into a shaker – before serving strained into a glass.
The Witches’ Coffee
We understand that maybe the assortment of fruity alcoholic beverages listed above may not be what you need in the morning if you have already spent the prior night indulging in, well, fruity alcoholic beverages. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t sneakily partake in the brunch festivities. The best way to do so is with this take on the Irish Coffee that has been the friend and foe of many a caffeine fiend.
- 4 tsp Demerara or other raw sugar
- 12 oz hot brewed coffee (preferably the good kind, Sumatran maybe?)
- 6 oz aged rum
- 3 oz Strega liqueur
- Averna cream for garnish (optional)
Brew your coffee into a heatproof pitcher. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved before adding the rum and Strega. Pour into mugs and add Averna cream if desired. To make Averna cream, simply whip 4 oz of chilled heavy cream with 1 oz Amaro Averna and ½ tbsp of granulated sugar.