Mother’s Day brunch at your favorite restaurant may not be possible this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make breakfast in your kitchen feel a bit more effervescent with some delicious brunch cocktails.
Ginny Lawhorn, founder of Baltimore Cocktail Week, recommends “low-octane cocktails”—cocktails that are brighter, more refreshing and have a lower alcohol count than what you might drink during happy hour—to pair with homemade pancakes or bagels and eggs.
Take the mimosa, for example. “You have effervescence and you have the alcohol content of a sparkling being diluted by fresh juice,” Lawhorn says. The idea, she explains, is that your cocktail should be enjoyed with your meal but not impact the rest of your day.
Brunch Cocktails for Mother’s Day
While you can’t go wrong with a mimosa or a Bellini at brunch, Lawhorn says sangria is becoming a popular choice for a morning cocktail. “Sangria is a great at-home treat because it can be as easy or complicated as what you have on hand,” she says.
Simple Sangria for Two
- 12 ounces (half bottle) dry red or white wine
- 2 ounces citrus liqueur, such as triple sec, Grand Marnier or Cointreau
- 1 ounce orange juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Sliced apple, orange and peach or any available fruit
- 1 can soda water, if available
Instructions: In a pitcher, combine wine, citrus liqueur, orange juice and sugar. Stir well until sugar is dissolved. Add sliced fruit and stir. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours. Serve over ice and top with soda water, if available.
If you can’t fathom brunch without coffee, why not try an iced coffee cocktail? It’s also a delicious way to use up any leftover coffee from the previous day, Lawhorn says. Simply cool to room temperature any coffee that’s still in the pot and refrigerate it in an airtight beverage container overnight.
- 4 ounces cold coffee
- 1.5 ounces dark spirit, such as rum, bourbon or rye
- 1 heaping tablespoon of vanilla ice cream
Instructions: In a large shatterproof cup, add coffee and the spirit of your choice, and stir well. Add ice cream. With an iced tea spoon or long bar spoon, stir until ice cream melts. Top with desired amount of ice and enjoy!
Shelf-stable, versatile and timeless, aromatic bitters are the duct tape of bar service. You can find them in so many old school cocktails, including the Old Fashioned, Sazerac, Manhattan, and the under-appreciated Classic Champagne Cocktail.
Classic Champagne Cocktail
- 4 oz. Champagne, chilled
- 1 sugar cube or teaspoon of sugar
- 3-4 dashes Angostura bitters
- Lemon or Orange peel
Instructions: In a chilled flute add a sugar cube, or teaspoon of sugar, and top with bitters. Top with 4 oz. of chilled Champagne, and garnish with your choice of lemon or orange peel. You can upgrade to a French 75 by adding 1 oz. of gin and a splash of lemon juice.
Cheers, moms! You deserve it.
A version of this article appeared in the May 2020 issue of Washington FAMILY.