Mimosas are another quintessential midday tipple that are virtually limitless in variety. A 50/50 mix of sparkling wine and orange juice, they often include a splash of aromatic liqueur such as Grand Marnier or St. Germain (elderflower liqueur). Mimosas can easily be made in large batches in a pitcher or prepared individually. Either way, be sure to pour the wine in first, followed by the juice, to minimize its bubbling over. And while the wine used should be drinkable on its own, there is absolutely no need to spend more than $10 or $12 on a bottle – dry Spanish cava is a good choice. Bellinis are a similar concoction and feature a combination of white peach juice and Italian prosecco. My springtime modification of a mimosa plays up the relationship between strawberries and roses, which happen to be botanical cousins.
For those seeking a caffeinated kick, my brother's recipe for a Bourbon Covered Bridge showcases lightly sweetened cold-brew and sweet maple syrup. lt is ideal for balmy spring mornings. Those in search of stiffer libation can stir together a Coffee Old-Fashioned, a trendy offering available on many hip cocktail menus.
Bourbon Covered Bridge
Makes one drink
Recipe by Robert Glatz
1 ½ ounces bourbon
1 oz heavy cream or 2 oz whole milk
½ ounce maple syrup, to taste
8 ounces cold-brew coffee
Fill a pint glass with ice. Pour ingredients into the glass in the order listed. Stir well, then top with a dollop of softly whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon or cocoa powder.
Makes one drink
1 1/2 oz coffee liqueur (such as Mr. Black)
1 1/2 oz bourbon
2-3 dashes Aztec Chocolate Bitters
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until condensation appears on the side of the glass. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with an orange twist.
Beet Bloody Mary
Makes 4 drinks
3 cups bottled beet juice, divided
3 stalks of celery, chopped, plus more for garnish
1 pint ripe cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2-3 teaspoons each Worcestershire sauce and prepared horseradish, to taste
1-2 teaspoons hot sauce, to taste
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill, plus more for garnish
6 ounces chilled vodka
Roasted beet cubes and feta cubes for garnish, optional
In a blender, combine 1 cup of beet juice along with the chopped celery and cherry tomatoes. Zest half of the lemon into the blender, then slice and juice it. Add the lemon juice to the other ingredients in the blender along with the garlic, Worcestershire, horseradish and hot sauce. Blend thoroughly until very smooth, then pour through a fine meshed strainer to remove the solids. Add the remaining beet juice and chopped dill and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and spice, then cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least two hours and preferably overnight.
To serve, fill highball glasses with ice and pour in 1 ½ ounces of vodka each. Top with beet mixture and stir to combine. Garnish as desired and serve.
Strawberry Rosewater Mimosas
Makes 8-10 drinks
2 quarts fresh strawberries (can also use frozen berries that have been thawed overnight in the fridge)
¼ cup sugar
2 cups orange juice
2-3 tablespoons rosewater
½ cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or triple sec, optional
One 750 ml bottle chilled sparkling wine, such as Cava or Prosecco
Puree the strawberries, orange juice and sugar in a blender, working in batches as necessary. Pour through a fine meshed strainer to remove the solids, then cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. When ready to serve, add the rosewater and liqueur if using. Fill champagne flutes halfway with sparkling wine, then top with juice mixture and serve. Serve with sliced strawberries and rose petals (make sure they haven't been sprayed) if desired.
3 cups orange juice
Makes 8-10 drinks
½ bottle well chilled peach wine (such as Lynfreds)
½ cup orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier or triple sec)
1 750 ml bottle dry sparkling wine, well chilled
1 pint raspberry sorbet
Combine the juice, peach wine and liqueur in a punch bowl and stir to combine. Pour in the sparkling wine and stir briefly, then scoop the entire container of sorbet into the bowl (it will fizz up). Serve immediately.