Classic Brunch Cocktail

The first published mention of “brunch” was in an 1895 piece written for Hunter’s Weekly. It was entitled “Brunch: A Plea” by British writer Guy Beringer.  He desired for folks to gather for a late breakfast on Sundays.  In the article he explains, “By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. Brunch is cheerful, sociable,  and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” Indeed!

Brunch has always been tied to our drinking culture. During the Prohibition Era, spirits were diluted with juices to hide the fact that they were not aged as long.  It also made it socially acceptable to start imbibing earlier in the day, secretly. 

In modern times, we use brunch as a celebration for not only Mother’s Day, but for birthdays, friendship, family, and just because. Let’s delve into the classic brunch cocktails that have made modern-day brunches so enjoyable and delicious!

Warm Weather Winners

There is nothing like sitting under the shade of a cool tree in the late morning hours and sipping on these brunch classics!

Mint Julep

Mint Julep

Recipe by: Food Network

Take yourself to the South for some crisp, minty flavor that will leave you with minty fresh breath. Say “Hellooooooo!”

You will need:

  • 10 Mint Leaves, plus a sprig for garnish
  • 1 ½ teaspoon superfine sugar
  • Seltzer water
  • Crushed Ice
  • 2 ½ ounces Kentucky bourbon whiskey

Serves 1. First, place the mint leaves in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass and top with the sugar. Muddle these together until the leaves begin to break down. Add a splash of seltzer water, fill the glass ¾ full with crushed ice, and add the bourbon. Top with another splash of seltzer, stir and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve immediately. (This drink is traditionally served in a metal glass.)

Mimosa

Mimosa

Recipe by: AllRecipes

Attention sleepyheads everywhere! This mixer is so easy to make.  Simply roll out of bed and grab a bottle of champagne and some orange juice.  Shower optional.

You will need:

  • ¼ cup orange Juice
  • ¾ cup Champagne, chilled

Serves 2. Divide orange juice evenly into two flute glasses; top with chilled Champagne and serve.

Yep, that’s it! 

If you are more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, you can make a Sherbet Mimosa! Just combine the champagne and your favorite sherbet.  Another variation on the sherbet mimosa is using flavored vodka with a juice of your choosing.  The possibilities are truly endless. (The sherbet mimosa is also appropriate in the evening as a yummy dessert.)

Watermelon Mojito

Watermelon Mojito

Photo and Recipe by: Spoon University

We are talking about serving the classic mojito IN a watermelon, folks! That’s some serious flair.

You will need:

  • Half of one mini seedless watermelon
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ cup light (white) rum
  • 1 cup of ice
  • ½ cup lime juice (fresh is best!)

Serves 4. First, cut the watermelon in half, leaving the top and bottom intact so you can pour the drink back into it later. Scoop out the watermelon pulp of one-half of the watermelon. Put the scooped-out pulp into a blender. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender, and blend for 30-60 seconds or until smooth.  Pour your drink back into the hollowed-out watermelon, and put some mint leaves on it. 

Definitely refreshing!  Here’s an extra tip….try cubing any leftover watermelon innards and toss them in a fruit salad with some cucumber and feta cheese. This makes a delicious brunch salad.

The Real Mojito

The Real Mojito

Recipe by: AllRecipes

Tart and sweet, always the perfect brunch treat!

You will need:

  • 10 Mint Leaves
  • ½ Lime, cut into 3 wedges, divided
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar, or to taste
  • 1 cup ice cubes, or as needed
  • 1 ½ ounces white rum
  • ½ cup club soda, or as needed

Serves 1. Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler and crush to release mint oils and lime juice. Add remaining lime wedges and 2 tablespoons of sugar, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour in rum and fill the glass with club soda. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired.

Easy Traditional Red Sangria

Easy Traditional Red Sangria

Recipe by: Minimalist Baker

Simple and summery with just six ingredients, this concoction is sure to be a brunch hit.

You will need:

  • ½ medium apple (cored, skin on, chopped into small pieces)
  • ½ medium orange (rind on, sliced into small pieces, large seeds removed. Keep a few slices for garnish)
  • 3-4 Tbsp. organic brown sugar (or 3 Tbsp. (37.5 g) organic cane sugar)
  • ¾ cup orange juice (plus more to taste)
  • ⅓ cup brandy (plus more to taste)
  • 750 ml bottle dry Spanish red wine
  • 1 cup ice

Serves 4. Add apples, oranges, and sugar to a large pitcher and muddle with a muddler or wooden spoon for 45 seconds. Add orange juice and brandy and muddle again to combine for 30 seconds. Add red wine and stir to incorporate, then taste and adjust flavor as needed. Finally, add ice and stir once more to chill. Serve as is, or with a bit more ice. Garnish with orange slices. You can store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, but this drink is best served fresh. Don’t forget the coasters with this frosty drink!

Seasonal Sangria

Seasonal Sangria

Spoon University

Do you have a surplus of delightful summer fruit like strawberries and blueberries? No problem! We will put them to great use and make that brunch even better with this recipe.  Just be sure you make it the night before the brunch.

You will need:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 10 strawberries
  • 10 blueberries
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of white wine (recommended: Riesling)
  • ½ cup triple sec (or any similarly flavored liquor)
  • ½ cup vodka

Serves 4. Wash the fruit and cut the apple, orange, and strawberries into small pieces. In a large pitcher, combine the wine, liquor, and vodka. Squeeze the juice from the orange wedges into the pitcher. Drop the squeezed-out wedges, including the rinds, into the pitcher. Gently stir the rest of the fruit into the pitcher. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. Use wine glass charms with your guests for a fun, crunchy flair!

Ultimate Bloody Mary

Ultimate Bloody Mary

Recipe by: Spoon University

What would a classic brunch list be without a Bloody Mary recipe? Rumored to be “just the thing” for the morning after a fun evening, it also makes a fabulous brunch beverage. Done right, it can be a meal all by itself.

You will need:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • Splash of red wine
  • Splash of dry sherry
  • Pinch of celery salt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 7 drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 drops of hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 6 ounces V8 Vegetable Juice
  • Ice

Garnish Options:

  • Pickled green beans
  • Blue cheese-filled olives
  • Celery stalks
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Limes
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Shrimp
  • Bacon

Serves 1. Fill a tall glass with ice. Combine all ingredients (excluding the garnish) into the tall glass. Stir well. Garnish with any variety of vegetables and delicious yummies. You might need a tall skewer stick depending on how many garnish items you add to the drink.

This is a true favorite!

 Brunch is an excellent time to work on your cocktail skills.

The above recipes represent just a fraction of the classic brunch cocktails out there! A classic brunch cocktail can bring friends and family closer together and be a conversation starter.  These tried-and-true recipes are just the beginning. We encourage you to get those creative juices flowing and create a signature brunch cocktail of your own. Your pancakes or bacon and eggs will be that much better!