Spring is finally in the air, and other than the return of seasonal allergies, this means one thing: it’s time to drink and eat (but mostly drink) outside again. That’s right…it’s backyard brunch season, baby! Though rising temperatures have sent hot toddies and mulled wines into hibernation, there are plenty of beverages to take their place. Not only are these cocktails full of spring flavors like fresh fruits and herbs, they’re all a perfect complement to any brunch you’ve got planned, and will look great in the inevitable Instagram posts about it.
The Bourbon Bramble
If you haven’t discovered the magic that happens when you combine lemonade and basil, I hope you’re ready for a flavor combo that will blow your mind. Adding fresh blackberries to the mix, this cocktail by Julie Espy of recipe Bread Booze Bacon is not only delightfully springy, but will have you rethinking all lemonades past.
2 1/2 parts Maker’s Mark whisky
2 parts fresh blackberry puree
5 parts lemonade
1 teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped
Blackberries, for garnish
2 small basil leaves, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the Maker’s Mark whisky, blackberry puree, lemonade, and add the basil. Cover and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Add a couple blackberries to each cocktail and top with a basil leaf for garnish.
I’ll set the scene: It’s Sunday brunch and the crushing reality of returning to work the next day has you wishing you were somewhere else. Well I’ve got a drink for you (betcha didn’t see that coming). With a tropical twist, this mouth-watering passionfruit daiquiri is simple to make and will immediately banish the Sunday Scaries.
2 ounces Mount Gay Rum Black Barrel
1 ounce fresh lime
1/2 ounce passionfruit syrup
1/2 ounce Cointreau
Lemon wheel, for garnish
Add ingredients to cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with lemon wheel or peel.
Nothing says the turn of the season like a bottomless glass of sweet tea. And if it’s your drink of choice, you’ll love this elevated boozy version for brunch. Made with peach and orange blossom vodka, fresh lemon juice, and honey, all memories of too-sweet spiked iced tea in a can will disappear after you’ve had one sip of this delightful cocktail.
2 ounces Ketel One Botanical Peach & Orange Blossom vodka
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
3 1/2 ounces chilled chamomile tea
First, brew two bags chamomile in about four ounces of hot water, let steep and cool. Remove the tea bags from the cooled chamomile tea and combine it with lemon juice, Ketel One and honey. Serve over ice in a rocks glass.
If you’re trying to figure out the best way to simultaneously sip your much-needed iced coffee and your equally as much-needed cocktail—I think it’s time you merge them into one drink. Made with smooth rum and cold brew coffee and balanced with vermouth and a twist of lemon, this drink somehow maintains the bold taste you want from your coffee and the fresh taste you want from your brunch cocktail.
2 parts Havana Club Añejo Clásico rum
1/4 part demerara sugar
3/4 part Martini & Rossi Rosso vermouth
1/2 part cold brew coffee
Lemon twist, for garnish
Single ice rock
Stir all ingredients with plenty of ice until very cold. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice-cube.
Sparkling Hibiscus Limeade
If you’re looking to make a cocktail for a group, this is an easy-to-mix batch drink that will serve six people (or three if you have especially thirsty friends). Using Bacardí’s all new lime-flavored rum highlighted by hibiscus syrup and elderflower liqueur, you might just have to mix up more than once pitcher.
6 parts Bacardí lime-flavored rum
2 parts St. Germain
4 parts lime juice
4 parts Monin hibiscus syrup
8 parts lemon-lime soda
4 lime wheels, for garnish
Add all ingredients into a punch bowl or carafe with ice and stir. Garnish with a lime wheel.
This bright and botanical cocktail contains plenty of fresh specialty ingredients that will have you feeling like a professional mixologist as you prepare brunch. Plus, the beginning of spring means that figs are back in season, and what better way to enjoy them?
1 1/2 ounces The Botanist gin
1/2 ounce Cappelliti Vino Aperiitivo
1/2 ounce Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce Small Hand orgeat syrup
1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 drops of homemade fig bitters
3 ounces soda water
Fresh fig, for garnish
Add all ingredients into a highball glass and add ice. Top with soda water and garnish with quartered fresh fig.
Moët Rose Glow
Spring means we can stop pretending we’re not desperately in love with drinks that are pink and fizzy. With fresh strawberries and Moët’s extremely tasty rosé champagne, this cocktail is begging to be sipped at any occasion this season, especially brunch.
1 ounce muddled strawberries
1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce pinot noir
4 ounces Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial
Fresh strawberries, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a red wine glass. Stir lightly and garnish with fresh strawberries.
Stoli Ohranj Crush
Maybe you’re a seasoned brunch-er and this isn’t your first time at the rodeo. You know what you want, and it’s something with more kick than a mimosa yet still effervescent and fun to drink. Look no further than this: the lovechild of a screwdriver and a mimosa that will make you feel like you’ve never brunched before.
2 ounces Stoli Ohranj
4 ounces fresh orange juice
1/2 ounce orange liqueur
Splash of lemon-lime soda
Fresh orange, for garnish
Add all ingredients to a glass filled with ice. Stir and garnish with a fresh orange slice.
Step aside, Frosé! You had your time to shine last summer; now there are new ways to enjoy rosé in a cocktail. From the mind of Frenchette bar manager Sarah Morrissey, one sip of this bubbly pink drink and you’ll forget all about the frosé of yester-summer.
3 ounces dry rosé
1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce St-Germain
1/4 ounce pamplemousse liqueur
Grapefruit wheel, for garnish
Lemon wheel, for garnish
Pour all the ingredients into a wine glass filled with ice. Stir to combine. Garnish with a grapefruit wheel and a lemon wheel.
You didn’t think that I would let you get through this entire piece without one mention of sangria, did you? If you are a lover of everyone’s favorite fruity wine beverage, you will fall head over heels for this springy version, made with sparkling wine, lime juice and fresh mint.
12 ounces D’Usse cognac
12 ounces fresh lime juice
12 ounces simple syrup
1 bottle Martini & Rossi Asti
12 lime wheels, for garnish
25 mint leaves, for garnish
Slap mint between both hands to release oil. Add all ingredients to a sangria pitcher with ice and stir until well mixed. Ladle into stemless wine glasses and garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig top.
Matcha Made in Heaven
I love a good iced coffee, but I’ve got some news. It’s not the only cold beverage that will give you a jolt—matcha has entered the building. Not only is it one of the trendiest new drinks, it’s also packed with as much caffeine as coffee. Bright and refreshing, this cocktail combines matcha with fresh lemon and silver tequila for a perfect brunch sip.
2 parts Milagro silver tequila
3/4 part matcha green tea syrup
3/4 part lemon juice
1/2 egg white
Mint for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a coupe glass and top with a mint sprig.
Brockmans Gin Ultra Violet
Get out your phone because it would be a crime not to snap a shot of this pretty purple cocktail that’s garnished with an edible flower. Plus, it’s a tasty way to put to use that bottle of crème de violette you bought to make Aviations.
2 ounces Brockmans gin
1/2 ounce absinthe
1/2 ounce crème de violette
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
Edible flower, for garnish
Combine all the ingredients with large ice cubes and stir for five to six seconds, then strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass. Garnish with an edible flower such as a pansy, nasturtium or, of course, a violet.
The Finnish Line
We get it, you want to make a pretty brunch drink but your bartending skills are lackluster at best. No need to fear, this deliciously simple all-grapefruit twist on a vodka soda not only tastes great, but fits perfectly with any spring brunch tablescape.
1 1/4 ounce Finlandia grapefruit vodka
4 ounces sparkling grapefruit water
Grapefruit slice, for garnish
Combine ingredients over crushed ice. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.
Five Points Pavillion
If you’re looking for something with hints of tropical flavors to pair with your early afternoon meal, this cocktail uses coconut tequila and green tea to create a smooth and well-balanced drink that will mach almost meal you serve up.
2 ounces 1800 coconut tequila
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce honey
1 ounce green tea
Cracked black pepper, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Add ice and shake hard for 15 seconds. Double strain into a large coupe glass and garnish with cracked black pepper.
True to its name, this cocktail will have you catching all of the strawberry feels. With sweet fresh strawberries balanced with a few dashes of bitters, this easy-to-drink beverage can practically stand in for your fruit platter.
2 ounces Mount Gay XO rum
1/4 ounce simple syrup
2 strawberries (de-stemmed and halved)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange peel or strawberry, for garnish
Add simple syrup and strawberries to mixing glass. Gently muddle to break down strawberries and infuse simple syrup. Add rum, bitters and ice. Stir and fine strain over a big cube in a rocks glass. Garnish with orange peel or strawberry on the glass.
If you love tequila but you’re burnt out on margs (no judgement, it happens to the best of us) this cocktail is every bit as refreshing and satisfying. With fresh blackberries and lime, it’s a perfect fruity addition to any spring brunch.
2 ounces 1800 silver tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce agave nectar
Lime wheel, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin, add ice and shake hard for 15 seconds. Pour into an ice rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.