11 Pretty Cocktails to Make for Easter Brunch

11 Pretty Cocktails to Make for Easter Brunch
Photo: Claire Lower

Brunch without a cocktail is merely a late breakfast, and Easter brunch is no exception. There are no “official” Easter cocktails, but I usually go for beverages that look pretty, and match the vibe of an Easter egg. Don’t let their looks deceive you however, these drinks pack a punch (or a bunny kick, as it were).

A pretty bluebell

Photo: MODpix, Shutterstock Photo: MODpix, Shutterstock

This purple pleaser is bright, tart, and visually pleasing — perfect for pairing with Easter ham. To make it, you will need:

  • 60mL vodka (or gin, if you prefer)
  • 22mL crème de violette
  • 22mL fresh lemon juice, with a strip of zest reserved for garnishing if you like

Add all ingredients except zest to a shaker filled with ice, and shake with much vigour until the the shaker is uncomfortably cold. Strain into a coupe glass, and garnish it up with that zest.

A berry peachy bourbon drink

Photo: Claire Lower Photo: Claire Lower

You still have time to make your own shrub (just use frozen berries), but I wouldn’t blame you for buying one. Just make sure to give this beverage a good stir, as it is quite piquant. To make it, you will need:

  • 60mL bourbon
  • 15mL peach liqueur, such as Combier
  • 15mL blackberry shrub, either homemade or store-bought

Pour everything into a stirring glass that is absolutely filled with ice and stir longer than you think you should. (Your stirring spoon should take at least 75 trips around the glass.) Strain into a lowball over fresh ice, and enjoy.

A jammy brunch beverage

Photo: Claire Lower Photo: Claire Lower

Shaking high-quality jam with alcohol is my favourite way to infuse cocktails with sweet and fruity flavour, and it works with nearly any booze and almost every jam. I’ve used jam in gin-, vodka-, and cognac-based beverages and each time I’ve thought “I could drink this for breakfast.” Or in this case, brunch. To make this jammy delight, you will need:

  • 60mL of spirit
  • 3 tablespoons of high-quality jam or preserves
  • 15-30mL of fresh lemon juice (depending on how acidic your jam is)

Combine everything in a shaker filled with ice and shake until it becomes uncomfortably cold. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a coupe glass or a lowball filled with crushed ice (depending on your mood), and enjoy with your morning toast.

The beautiful Elizabeth Taylor

Photo: Claire Lower Photo: Claire Lower

This cocktail is so pretty and so sparkly, it reminds me of the baubles my grandmother’s friends used to wear to church on Easter Sunday. Named after the late actress with the violet eyes, the Elizabeth Taylor cocktail is more potent than it appears. To make this pretty potion in a flute, you will need:

  • 22mL gin
  • 22mL crème de violette
  • Approximately 100mL of some sort of sparkling wine

Add the gin and crème de violette to a champagne flute, give it a little stir, and top with chilled champagne. Sip, and resist the urge to garnish; to do so would be to gild the violet.

A pretty pink punch

Photo: Sara Schober, Shutterstock Photo: Sara Schober, Shutterstock

It’s still a bad idea to gather in large groups, but maybe your family is all vaccinated up and you need a large-format beverage for your brunch. This sweet, tart, and sparkly three-ingredient punch never fails to please. To make it, you will need:

  • 1 bottle of St. Germain
  • 1 bottle (roughly 750 mL) of ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 2 bottles of sparkling wine (anything with bubbles will do you right)

If you know you are going to be making this punch somewhat ahead of time, go ahead and make a giant ice block and get that in the freezer. If you are making it truly last-minute — as I usually am — just grab a bag of ice from the grocery store or whatever. Grab a big bowl and pour your St. Germain and juice in it. Give everything a little stir to get the syrupy liqueur into solution and top with bubbles. Gently stir it once more, then ladle into little cups filled with ice.

A juicy Italian Greyhound

Photo: Alina Yudina, Shutterstock Photo: Alina Yudina, Shutterstock

This was the cocktail that convinced me that gin is ok, actually, and — thanks to the grapefruit — it pairs well with nearly every brunch food you throw at it. To make this tasty citrus elixir, you will need:

  • 75mL gin — I like Hendrick’s (cucumber), Tanquerey 10 (fancy), and Boodle’s London dry (budget)
  • 150mL ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 22mL Campari

Pour everything into an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake until cold. Strain into a lowball with a few ice cubes or one really big ice cube.

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A deceptively sweet-looking pineapple drink

Photo: Claire Lower Photo: Claire Lower

Cachaça, pineapple, and Campari may not seem like a natural trio, but the funky sugar cane spirit benefits from sweet pineapple and bitter Campari in ways I didn’t predict. It’s a gentle rollercoaster of complementary and contrasting flavours, and it will mess you right up. (It’s also surprisingly morning-appropriate, which is something else I didn’t see coming.) To make this pretty pink pineapple number, you will need:

  • 60mL cachaça
  • 30mL pineapple juice
  • 22mL Campari

Pour everything into a shaker filled with ice and shake hard until the shaker becomes too uncomfortable to hold. Strain into a classy coupe. Enjoy.

A simple rosé spritz

Photo: Claire Lower Photo: Claire Lower

This drink is basically your classic “Champagne Cocktail,” only without the cognac, and with much cheaper (and pinker) wine. It’s good though, and really easy to make, even after you’ve had a few. To make it, you will need:

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 4-5 dashes of orange bitters
  • Dry sparkling rosé

Place the sugar cube in the base of a Champagne flute and saturate the sucrose with bitters. Gently pour your sparkling wine down the edge of the flute, and get to sipping in a most sophisticated fashion.

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A fragrant White Lady

Photo: Claire Lower Photo: Claire Lower

You could make this with any ol’ lemons, but I recommend you grab some Meyers while they’re still in season. Their heady, floral fragrance really takes the drink some place special. To make this slightly bracing, refreshing classic cocktail, you will need:

  • 60mL of gin
  • 30mL fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 30mL Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao

Put everything into a shaker filled with ice (or one big cube) and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a strip of zest if you like. I’ve found it’s not necessary — the Meyer lemon juice has such a heady, botanical fragrance, I don’t usually miss the garnish.

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Popsicle frosé

Photo: Claire Lower Photo: Claire Lower

Make these for the adults while the kids eat their chocolate. You don’t have to float extra booze on top, but I recommend it, at least for the first one (I use Campari). To make this pink slush thingy, you will need:

  • 120mL cheap rosé
  • 2 strawberry popsicles (the bar-shaped kind, not two skinny twin pops)
  • 22mL of whatever alcohol you wish to float on top

Scrape the popsicles off of their little sticks into a blender or a cup large enough to accommodate an immersion blender. Add the wine and blend until you have a slush. Pour it into a chilled coupe, then float your gin (or whatever) on top.

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Berry-infused Campari

Frozen berries, work best here. They help chill the drink, but they also break down more easily than their fresh counter parts. Shake the Campari and berries with a little simple syrup to infuse, then add ice and shake again to chill and agitate. To make it, you will need:

  • 60mL Campari
  • 1/3 cup frozen berries
  • 15mL simple syrup

Add everything to a shaker and shake for about 30 seconds. Strain out the berry solids if you want a frothier end product, then add ice and shake for another 30 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a pretty glass, add more ice, and sip as is or top with something fizzy.

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