Mimosey on Over for These Holiday Brunch Cocktails
These festive morning cocktails are pure celebration in a glass. With seasonal ingredients like ginger, cinnamon, pear, cranberry, and even pine, you’ll want to kiss your new brunch drink of choice under the mistletoe.
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The holidays are usually the time to indulge in rich foods and sweets — you know, Christmas sugar cookies, frosted Yule logs, and endless candy canes. So when it comes to choosing and creating cocktails for your brunch affair, pick something that's not only day-friendly (aka not super heavy or boozy), but also gentle on the sweetness. There are fabulous options at your disposal that prove sugary restraint and holiday spirit can go hand-in-hand. Whether you're looking for a light tipple to sip on as you open presents Christmas morning, or a festive drink to serve alongside a holiday brunch, I've got you.
Here are the best day-friendly drink recipes to serve this holiday season.
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Holiday brunch cocktail basics
Stumped on what to serve at your special brunch? We’ve got recipe ideas, tips, and festive garnishes to make holiday cocktails memorable. Start your brainstorm here.
What drinks are served at a holiday brunch?
Since mimosas are the most popular brunch cocktail, try a holiday twist on it by using a wintry ingredient, such as pomegranate or cranberry juice, instead of orange juice. The same can be said with spritzes, which are made even more bubbly with the addition of club soda. Just splash cranberry juice in an Aperol Spritz and garnish the glass with a rosemary sprig for instant Christmas.
What is an easy Christmas brunch cocktail to make?
The mimosa is one of the easiest holiday brunch cocktail recipes to make since it's basically equal parts sparkling wine and juice. At a brunch party, you can simply set out bottles of bubbly and carafes of pomegranate, pear, and cranberry juice and have your guests help themselves. So easy!
What are simple garnishes to decorate a holiday cocktail?
Dress a spritz with a sprig of rosemary, which is a handy and edible stand-in for a pine tree twig, or spear a couple of candied cranberries. For coffee or hot chocolate drinks, either hook a mini candy cane to the vessel or crush them, rim the glass with chocolate syrup and dab the glass in the peppermint bits for an enticing and merry presentation for your holiday party.
Nice and a little naughty
If you'd rather keep things light because you want to get on with your day, here are some low-alcohol but festive holiday drinks.
This low-alcohol sangria is a fruity celebration of figs, pears, and cranberries. And if prosecco is still too much spirit for the morning, you have the option to use sparkling water here instead. DIY vanilla cinnamon simple syrup enhances the sweetness of the fruit.
In Germany, a radler is basically beer mixed with soda; it's known as a shandy in other parts of Europe. Here, a homemade grapefruit soda is mixed with a chilled beer, preferably a pilsner. This makes for a bright and refreshing beer cocktail, the perfect complement to bagel and lox or chicken and waffles.
This summer drink is winterfied with cranberry juice and orange juice. A wheat beer is recommended to complement these flavors, but a pale ale would work, too. Just stay away from lagers, which are too light to stand up to the tart cranberry in this beer cocktail. Mix up a large batch and serve in pitchers garnished with fresh cranberries and orange slices.
Classic cocktails: The holiday edition
Looking for something familiar but that showcases the season? Try these holiday versions of old favorites.
The best way to adapt a Bloody Mary for winter weather is to use a peaty scotch instead of a clean vodka and to then dose it with sherry for a touch of raisiny sweetness. And instead of the standard celery stalk garnish, go with pickled pearl onions on a spear. They basically look like edible ornaments.
The Ramos Gin Fizz is a classic brunch cocktail and a purported reliever of hangovers. Christmas spice it up with an easy-to-make gingerbread syrup and an adorable gingerbread man garnish and your holiday morning will be much improved.
Sparklers with your tinsel
No better way to mark a celebration than with a sparkly cocktail, which makes it the perfect complement to serve alongside a Christmas or New Year's Day brunch.
This sparkly cranberry champagne cocktail only requires three ingredients: champagne, Cointreau (orange liqueur), and 100% unsweetened cranberry juice. And if you want to make it a kid-friendly mocktail, simply switch out the champagne with nonalcoholic sparkling apple cider or zero-ABV sparkling wine, and the Cointreau for orange juice.
This wintry mimosa requires some prep time the night before when you have to heat up a good-quality pear juice while steeping it with a couple of cinnamon sticks. Then refrigerate the spiced juice overnight. Come Christmas morning, fill up your champagne flute halfway with the juice and top with prosecco and a pinch of ground cinnamon.
Looking for a classy and tasty way to finish off brunch? Drop a tablespoon of raspberry sorbet into a champagne glass and then garnish the Christmas concoction with raspberries. Or try any of your favorite winter flavor sorbet, such as blood orange or persimmon.
For a cocktail recipe that is flexible enough to please every type of drinker, queue up this Christmas cocktail. It allows you to use your spirit of choice, whether it's vodka, rye, or bourbon. The bright citrus notes of the orange mix with the spicy ginger and sweet tartness of the cranberry juice for the perfect seasonal sipper.
Since this "jingle juice" is super easy to make — requiring only whipped cream vodka, sparkling rosé, and lemon-lime soda — you can divert that extra effort into making the holiday ice. Drop rosemary sprigs and cranberries into large ice cube molds the night before and you have something quite pretty to chill your cocktail.
This Christmas twist on the traditional mimosa not only makes for a beautiful red but the perfect flavors for the season. Pomegranate liqueur and cranberry juice comprise the base, which is then topped with bubbly. The pine isn't actually infused into the cocktail, but as a garnish it supplies the aroma of a pine tree. If you don't have a pine tree handy, rosemary works. Since there's no ice in this drink, you'll want to pre-chill your ingredients and/or use frozen cranberries.
The pomegranate French 75 switches out the usual gin and lemon juice for a cozier and merrier cognac and pomegranate juice. But if you can't find pomegranate juice in your local grocery store, or you're not a fan of the bittersweet flavor, the recipe lets you swap it out with even more lemon juice. Just a heads-up that it's boozier than a mimosa, thanks to the ounce of cognac.
Warm and cozy
Need something hot to jumpstart a cold day? Cuddle up to these hot holiday drinks.
Marry mulled wine with chocolate for the ultimate Christmas cocoa. Fix it up in the morning to awaken the household with its delicious aromas. Great news for vegans: This recipe, which makes a big batch of six to eight servings, is dairy-free, using water-based cocoa so you don't have to worry about curdled milk.
The champurrado, a Mexican masa-based hot chocolate drink, is traditionally served during the holiday season with churros. And since it has a thick consistency, it's primed for spiking with mezcal. This recipe calls for roasted corn-infused mezcal to complement the masa in the drink.
Even though this stout-infused Irish coffee recipe was inspired by St. Patrick's Day, it would also work perfectly for a holiday brunch drink. The stout is reduced down with sugar to a simple syrup. Not only will the stout syrup sweeten the coffee cocktail, but it will infuse it with the creamy, malty flavors of the beer.
Not to worry, you won't need a fancy espresso machine with milk foamer to make this rum and eggnog latte. However, you will need a milk frother to foam up the eggnog. And instant espresso or very strong brewed coffee will do just fine. Although rum grabs the headline here, your eggnog latte can be spiked with any type of spirit you prefer, such as brandy, bourbon, or rye whiskey.
Break out the crockpot to cook up this warm winter beverage. As it simmers for five hours on the slow cooker, it'll fill up your home with the scent of the holidays: cloves, cinnamon, cranberries, and pears. The pears provide natural sweetness but you can sweeten up the drink more with maple syrup or brown sugar.
If you prefer to DIY hot cocoa versus tearing open a packet of store-bought hot chocolate, you'll appreciate this hot holiday cocktail, which has you heat up half-and-half and milk, stir in chocolate chips, and whisk until smooth. You then add vanilla extract and peppermint oil to taste and finish off with peppermint schnapps, which is optional but highly recommended.
Continue your search for the perfect holiday beverage with these additional cocktail articles from Yummly: