There’s never a bad time for bunch, but something about the spring — flowers, Easter, Mother’s Day, warmth — makes the breakfast-lunch meal even more appealing. And what’s brunch without a special beverage to make it a celebratory occasion?
The Mimosa, Bellini and Bloody Mary are all classics, but bartenders have been coming up with innovative brunch cocktails and chefs are developing unique dishes to pair with these libations. We asked a few chefs for some of their featured brunch cocktails and pairing suggestions.
At Brennan’s in New Orleans, the Strawberry Sparkler is a popular brunch option. It’s a match with the restaurant’s Eggs Hussarde, which appears in Brennan’s New Orleans Cookbook. Both recipes are available below.
- 1 pint Louisiana strawberries chopped into quarters
- ¼ cup Granulated sugar
- ½ cup Fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup Very hot water
- 3-4 oz. Champagne or sparkling wine
- Start by making a strawberry basil syrup: Muddle strawberries with sugar to break berries down until sugar is saturated with juice. Add water and basil and allow the mixture to steep for 20 minutes. Stir and double strain until so that the juice is free of seeds. (The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)
- For the cocktail, place 2 oz. of the cold strawberry basil syrup into a cocktail coupe glass. Add Champagne or sparkling wine to fill and garnish with a basil leaf.
- 2 large thin slices ham, grilled
- 2 Holland rusk toasts
- ¼ cup Marchand de Vin sauce see recipe below
- 2 slices tomato, grilled
- 2 eggs, soft poached
- ¾ cup Hollandaise sauce see recipe below
- Lay a large slice of ham across each rusk and cover with Marchand de Vin sauce. Cover next with tomato and then egg. Top with hollandaise sauce. Garnish with sprinkling of paprika.
- ¾ cup Butter
- 1/3 cup Finely chopped mushrooms
- ½ cup Minced ham
- 1/3 cup Finely chopped shallots
- ½ cup Finely chopped onion
- 2 tbsps. Minced garlic
- 2 tbsps. Flour
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ⅛ tsp. Pepper
- Dash cayenne
- ¾ cup Beef stock
- ½ cup Red wine
- In a 9-inch skillet melt butter and lightly sauté the mushrooms, ham, shallots, onion and garlic. When the onion is golden brown, add the flour, salt, pepper and cayenne. Brown well, about 7 to 10 minutes. Blend in the stock and the wine and simmer over low heat for 35 to 45 minutes
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tbsps. Lemon juice
- ½ lb. Melted butter
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- In top half of double boiler, beat egg yolks and stir in lemon juice. Cook very slowly in double boiler over low heat, never allowing water in bottom of pan to come to a boil. Add butter a little at a time, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper. Continue cooking slowly until thickened.