Boozy brunch options beyond the Mimosa
March 9th, 2012
04:30 PM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

Ah, brunch. People go bonkers for brunch. Say the word “brunch,” and your friends will say things like, “Yeah! Great! Let’s do it!” Unless they have kids, in which case they’ll look sort of morose, because instead of going to brunch with you they’re going to be at a birthday party for 5-year-olds. But that’s the human condition: Sunday-morning cocktails, then offspring, and finally death.

Be that as it may, in terms of drink options, folks tend to default to one of three things: a Mimosa, usually made with some Minute Maid and a bottle of random sparkling wine that someone brought over six months ago; a Bloody Mary (which I’m not knocking at all); or Champagne. Yet because life is short and the human condition is dire, why not experiment while you still have a chance?

Brunch Cocktail: Batida
This is the other famous cocktail from Brazil, the first being, of course, the lethal-but-oh-so-tasty caipirinha. A batida is generally fruit and/or fruit juice, cachaça (the sugarcane rum that is Brazil’s national spirit), a little sweetened condensed milk, and ice, blended until smooth. Personally, I love the batida de caju served down there, but cashew fruit is almost impossible to get in the U.S. Another classic, easier to do here, is the batida de morango (strawberries).

The following is a guideline, since everyone pretty much has their own sense of what a proper batida ought to be: 2 ounces cachaça (Beleza Pura is very good), 1/2 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen), 2 ounces sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 teaspoon sugar (or to taste), 1 cup ice. Put in blender, blend, drink.

Brunch Wine: Moscato d’Asti
Moscato is going gangbusters in the U.S. right now, but most of what’s being sold is (a) not sparkling, and (b) fairly lackluster. For a perfect brunch wine, head to Asti, in Italy. Moscato d’Asti is light in alcohol (about 5%), gently effervescent and has a summertime fragrance of flowers and peaches that’s effectively irresistible. Top producers run about $17 to $20 a bottle, but the wines are worth it. Look for Ceretto, Saracco, La Spinetta’s Bricco Quaglia and Vigneto Biancospino bottlings, Michele Chiarlo’s Nivole bottling, and Massolino.

(When peaches and nectarines are in season, by the way, here’s an excellent variation: Peel and slice peaches/nectarines, put them in a bowl, top with Moscato d’Asti, chuck the bowl in the fridge for an hour or two, then serve the macerated fruit along with chilled glasses of the same wine.)

Brunch Beer: Belgian Lambic Ale
Beer for brunch tends to conjure up the image of a bunch of frat boys sitting around a trashed living room and not really bothering with the whole “food” part of the equation, but there are other possibilities out there. Fruit lambic beers from Belgium are an excellent brunch choice. They’re tangy and intensely flavorful, yet moderate in alcohol (mostly), balancing fresh fruit flavors and aromas with malt and yeast notes. Ones to seek out include the fragrant, peachy Lindemans Peche; Oude Kriek (kriek, a type of fruit lambic, is flavored with cherries); Hanssens Kriek and its Oudbeitje (made with strawberries); and anything at all made by Cantillon. Or, if you're a hung-over frat boy, maybe a warm can of Natural Light.

More from Food & Wine:

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Best Breakfast Sandwiches in the U.S.

Best Burgers in the U.S.

Brunch Recipes

Easter Recipes

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Filed under: Beer • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Spirits

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. jay

    weird. an article about getting drunk on sunday morning.

    March 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • cosmicsnoop

      I agree, totally weird. I always prefer coffee and bong hits.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • E

      why? not everyone goes to church.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Jimmy-James

      E, this is mainly for those of us who DO go to church.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  2. Braniff

    This article does not list any non-alcoholic drinks. Why aren't there more non-alcoholic beverages available? Everyone KNOWS that drinking and driving is a problem. It is not enough just to have a designated driver or to booze in "moderation". Offer lots of non-alcoholic beverages–not just water or soda!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Sunni

      One of the best ways to celebrate with non-alchoholic drinks is to find drink recipies such as these listed and omit the liquor. They are fruity and refreshing without the booze!

      March 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Cameron

      Braniff, the title of the article is "Boozy brunch options...", therefore it is likely going to be an article about alcoholic drinks. If you would like some non-alcoholic options, of course there are plenty of them out there, just google them.
      That being said, this is a pretty weak article with only three alternatives to the usual brunch fair (normally Mimosas and Bloody Mary's) I would have liked to have seen more cocktail recipes.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:09 am |
  3. Taylor

    I went to La Spinetta winery last year. Their wine is amazing! I highly recommend it.

    March 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  4. MoonRidr

    No link to a Batida recipe?! Whose brilliant idea was THAT?!!! Typical incompetence....

    March 12, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Lard

      Uh, you do realize he tells you how to make it? "Since everyone pretty much has their own sense of what a proper batida ought to be: 2 ounces cachaça (Beleza Pura is very good), 1/2 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen), 2 ounces sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 teaspoon sugar (or to taste), 1 cup ice. Put in blender, blend, drink."

      March 12, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Einstein

      I guess you'll finally have to use your brain..there is NO link for that.

      March 12, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  5. Rita Lowe

    Not only am I a lover of Paula but my husband is also . People can be cruel as they see paula has made a life and come from nothing . She is a beautiful women . I am a diabetic and all I can say is no-one makes you sit and eat anything you are the one who moves the elbow and fork from the table to the mouth. LOVE you PAULA

    March 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Lost@Rita Lowe

      Either you have run into a Mimosa tree, or had too many Mimosa's to drink..Wrong thread.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
      • E


        March 12, 2012 at 9:00 am |
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