The holidays and parties go hand in hand! While I love a good evening holiday cocktail party, I much prefer a more relaxed holiday brunch or drop-in during the day, and there’s no better way to get guests into the holiday spirit than by serving festive holiday brunch cocktails! So I asked fellow TSC alum Katie Weinberger, of King Bean Coffee, to join me in the kitchen to create some unique and fun cocktail recipes for your next gathering.
Be sure to watch the Facebook Live video to see us demonstrate how to make these holiday brunch cocktails step-by-step. We hope you have as much fun as we did, because at the end of the day that is what the holidays are all about! Cheers!
Brunch just wouldn’t be right without some kind of juicy mimosa cocktail! The usual combination of orange juice and sparkling wine is classic and always delicious. But for the holidays, try something a little more festive (both in color and taste) such as this recipe featuring pomegranate juice.
You could just stop with the pretty red-purple juice, but I also like to add some depth of flavor to my cocktails. Simple syrups are an easy way to do this with very little effort, since you can infuse any kind of flavor into the basic sugar and water mix. Think herbs, spices, citrus, and even things like coffee and spirits.
As for serving, I like to use stemless champagne flutes, like these adorable #tsc Tossware flutes from The Summit a few years ago. Or for something a little more elegant, try serving in vintage coupe glasses as Brian Hart Hoffman (author of The Coupe cocktail book) is apt to do. Also, to make serving a large group easier, make a big batch of the juice and syrup mixture ahead of time, and pre-fill and garnish the glasses. Then, you just need to top them off with the sparkling wine when ready to serve.
For each cocktail
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1 ounce Meyer Lemon Thyme Simple Syrup (recipe below)
Thyme sprigs, lemon twist, pomegranate seeds, for garnish
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
4-5 large sprigs fresh thyme
For those chilly days during the holiday season, I like to serve a hot beverage to keep my guests warm. Since I’ll be serving coffee anyway at a brunch party, a coffee-flavored cocktail is an easy way to use the same ingredients in multiple ways.
Since I’m not a coffee expert, I asked Katie for some ideas for coffee cocktails. She mentioned that she had recently collaborated with cocktail wiz Jerry Slater (of the Southern Kitchen) to create a take on the classic Irish Coffee recipe. It’s simple, yet deliciously rich. But the best part about this recipe is his method for making what he calls “Soft Whipped Cream”. He uses a Mason jar to shake heavy cream to create whipped cream. Genius! If you want to see how to do this in action, you’ve got to watch the Facebook Live video of Katie and I shaking like crazy!
Another tip I learned from Katie is to use a Le Creuset French Press to make coffee for a brunch party because you can quickly make a big batch of fresh hot coffee with very little effort. As she was showing me how to plunge the coffee, I got the idea that I could use the French Press to infuse other ingredients as well. So for this recipe, I used the press to infuse the coffee flavor into the bourbon to make the cocktail. As a result, you get extra coffee flavor in the cocktail which is that depth of flavor that I’m always looking for.
For each cocktail
1 ounce Cold-pressed Coffee Bourbon (recipe below)
1 ounce Frangelico liqueur or Hazelnut flavored syrup
8 ounces King Bean Coffee, brewed and hot
About 2-3 tablespoons Soft Whipped Cream and chopped hazelnuts, for garnish
I can cook and make just about anything in the kitchen! However, that doesn’t mean I want (or need) to make everything from scratch, and that is especially true when I’m hosting a large party. So just like everyone else, I rely on really high quality food and drinks that I can just buy and set out.
One of my go-tos in this category for brunching is TSC alum Jimmy Hagood’s Food for the Southern Soul bloody mary mixes. You might remember that he served his Bloody Mary cocktails on the last morning of the TSC Summit last year, and they were amazing! Ripe with tomato and cilantro flavor with just a bit of sweetness and heat, it was perfectly balanced with just the right amount of Cathead vodka to revive the crowd!
But even though I’m serving something from a bottle, I still like to give it a twist to make it my own. Garnishes are a great way to add your own personal flair to a recipe, and there is no limit to the creative ways you can garnish a Bloody Mary! One of my favorite garnish recipes is my Smoked Paprika Rimmer recipe to dress up the rim of the glass. Another way is to garnish with something homemade, such as these Pickled Cherry Tomatoes.
For each cocktail
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 teaspoon lemon pepper