Time to unwrap presents? Not without one of these light, day-drinking cocktails in hand.
While we’d never belittle the merits of a great mimosa — the juice’s acid perks up the palate while the sparkling’s bubbles calm the belly — the brunch cocktail category has expanded to include so many other bright and festive morning-ish beverages, we’d be remiss if we didn’t sip them while tearing into those holiday gifts.
Here’s hoping you — hiccup — get what you wished for.
This traditional Venetian cocktail is as simple as mixing a few tablespoons of peach puree with your favorite sparkling wine. Check out how Italian culinary goddess Giada DeLaurentis transforms it into a winter bellini recipe. Hint: It involves frozen berries and a strainer, and that’s it.
2 Blood Orange Sparkler
A sparkler is just a mimosa with a different name, right? Well, this one’s special because of the bold color and flavor of hand-squeezed blood orange, which has less sugar than navel oranges, according to Nick Mautone, author of the new book, “The Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cocktails” (Workman, $13). Mautone is managing director of New York’s Rainbow Room and loves making this recipe at home with cava for a bit more “earth and funk” and a few teaspoons of vermouth.
3 Anejo Fizz
Bar manager Kevin Diedrich of Jasper’s Tap Room in San Francisco calls this feisty brunch cocktail “an iced tequila cappuccino.” It doesn’t have bubbly, but is lower in alcohol, like a mimosa or bellini, and the addition of soda still gives you that fizzy, fun, approachable vibe. And the coffee liqueur and freshly-grated nutmeg is oh-so-holiday.
4 Fa La La La La, La La La La
How much fun will you have asking guests if they’d like another? It will be a very sing-songy Christmas morning with this frothy (thanks to egg white) beauty, which uses gin and the trendy Scandinavian spirit, aquavit. The recipe, courtesy of the bartenders behind New York’s Christmas cocktail bar pop up, Miracle, also uses a homemade cardamom vanilla syrup that is beyond easy to make. They provide that recipe, too.
5 Hot Buttered Rum Batter
We’re declaring this classic apres ski warmer to be the perfect pre- and post- gift opening sipper, preferably while still wearing your jammies. Jason “Buffalo” LoGrasso of Napa’s Basalt restaurant shares the ultimate hot buttered rum batter recipe, which calls for real butter, dark rum, ice cream and a mix of baking spices. LoGrasso’s recipe suggests 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter in a warm mug with 2 ounces of hot water and 2 ounces of rum, but you can add more batter or water to taste.