Everyone loves brunch. The ultimate weekend meal, it’s a great opportunity to kick back and spend a leisurely morning eating and talking with friends. As well as being the most relaxing meal of all, it’s also the most versatile: at brunch, you don’t have to choose between breakfast and lunch, sweet and savory – you can have it all! Rich, sweet coffee cakes and cinnamon rolls, savory omelets and frittatas, scones and sandwiches, and pretty much anything that strikes your fancy can happily coexist on a brunch menu. Best of all, brunch represents the perfect excuse to drink in the morning! Whether you like a spicy, hearty Bloody Mary, or a light, sophisticated Mimosa, brunch cocktails are the perfect way to start the day.
The Bloody Mary is perhaps the most classic brunch cocktail. With its winning combination of rich, tangy tomato juice, vodka, and (ideally) a whole salad of celery, carrots, and pickled vegetables, it’s a delicious way to combine vice and virtue. A perfectly seasoned Bloody Mary is a thing of beauty; premade Bloody Mary mixes, however, often fall short. They’re often over-salted, contain added sugar, and don’t have the depth of flavor of a homemade mix. Fortunately, it’s easy to make your own! There are no hard and fast rules for the perfect Bloody Mary: it all depends on your taste. Take tomato juice as your starting point, and experiment to figure out what you like best. Lemon juice, freshly grated horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and celery salt are classic, but the options are endless: get creative with olive juice, black pepper, smoky chipotle peppers – whatever you can think of!
Fruit juice based cocktails are another brunch classic. Mimosas (sparkling wine and orange juice), Bellinis (sparkling wine and peach puree), and screwdrivers (vodka and orange juice) are all delicious additions to the menu. Because they are so simple, purity of flavor should be the goal with any of these drinks. Premade mixes, while convenient, often contain artificial flavorings and are excessively sweet. For the best possible flavor, skip the store-bought mix and reach for the best quality juice you can find. Better yet, squeeze your own!
Perhaps the simplest of all morning cocktails is the venerable Campari soda. Campari, an Italian liqueur that gives the oh-so-classic Negroni its vibrant red color, is a bittersweet alcoholic infusion of herbs and fruit. Paired with soda water and ice, it makes a simple, refreshing aperitif that provides the perfect counterpoint to rich brunch fare. A SodaStream lets you make your own soda as you need it, saving you money and letting you get creative with your own custom drinks. Try serving Campari soda at your next brunch gathering – or come up with your own variations using St. Germain, Cointreu, or your favorite liqueur!
Nothing is simpler to make that the timelessly elegant Campari soda:
2 oz Campari
Lime, lemon, or orange wedge to garnish
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add Campari and top with soda water. Garnish with citrus wedge and serve.