While there’s definitely nothing wrong with brunch cocktail classics like mimosas and Caesars, it’s always fun to get inspired by seasonal ingredients and new methods of mixology. From cold brew coffee to jam-packed cocktails, the next time you host a brunch, you can tell your guests to expect the unexpected.
Spice up warm-weather brunches with a pitcher of micheladas, a beer-based cocktail from Mexico that’s packed with enough savoury flavour to rival any Caesar or Bloody Mary. Made from Mexican beer (or another favourite crisp pale lager), lime juice, tomato or Clamato juice, hot sauce, spices, and chili peppers, micheladas should be poured into salt-rimmed glasses just before serving. The beer and tomato or Clamato juice are mixed together in equal amounts (making this a relatively light cocktail when it comes to alcohol content) and can be made up ahead of time for easy brunch prep. Garnish micheladas with pickled or roasted hot peppers and lime wedges.
Keep it alcohol-free: Make the micheladas as described, using all tomato or Clamato juice or half non-alcoholic beer. Add extra seasonings to punch up the flavour and serve as instructed.
SmartPoints: Depending on what you feel like adding to your michelada, the SmartPoints can vary. A good rule of thumb is 3 SmartPoints per 6 oz of lager beer and 2 SmartPoints for 6 oz of Clamato.
Use the WW recipe creator in the app to get exact SmartPoints of your cocktail based on your preferred ingredients.
2. Jam jar cocktails
Searching for a new twist on a fruit-infused cocktail? Look no further than your collection of near-empty jam, jelly, and marmalade jars for inspiration. Add a spoonful of preserves to your cocktail shaker or pour spirits directly into the jar and shake until the sides of the jar are free from leftover jam. Alternately, jam can be added directly to a cocktail and muddled for a more rustic texture. Add a tiny spoonful of blackcurrant jam to champagne flutes and top with sparkling wine for a fun twist on a kir royale. Bourbon, whiskey, and vodka pair well with marmalade and can be used as a particularly flavourful base for ginger- and orange-based cocktails.
Keep it alcohol-free: Instead of combining leftover preserves with alcohol, try adding them to homemade simple syrup. The sugars and solids in the jam will melt directly into the syrup which can be stirred into seltzer water and club soda.
SmartPoints: The best bet for calculating the SmartPoints of a jam-infused cocktail is to use the WW recipe builder, as the combinations are endless. For a quick hack, it’s helpful to know that 1 Tbsp. of jam is 3 SmartPoints, 5 oz of champagne is 5 SmartPoints, and an average 40% a.b.v. liqueur is 2 SmartPoints per 1 oz.
3. Rosé spritzer
The beauty of a rosé spritzer lies not only in its pretty presentation but also in its simplicity. A basic rosé spritzer is made up of two equally measured ingredients: rosé wine and club soda poured over ice. Choose a rosé that’s on the sweeter side and fairly low acidity (although a drier choice is fine if you’re planning on adding liqueur or other flavours), if an acidic rosé is diluted with club soda it can taste unpleasantly sour. Looking to spritz things up? Try adding a dash of bitters, St-Germaine (or elderflower simple syrup) or Crème de Violette (violet liqueur.) Dried or fresh edible flowers, sliced fruit, citrus peel, and sprigs of fresh thyme can quickly transform a rosé spritzer into a drinkable work of art.
Keep it alcohol-free: Substitute guava, passionfruit or papaya juice for the rosé wine and add to the club soda over ice. Use any or all of the suggested garnishes (minus the bitters) to complete the drink.
SmartPoints: A 5 oz glass of rose is 5 SmartPoints and soda is 0! Tropical fruit juices can range from 6-8 SmartPoints for 8 oz.
4. Spiked cold brew cocktail
Iced cold brew coffee makes the perfect caffeinated base for brunch cocktails, its familiar flavour makes it ideal for pairing with a wide range of spirits and liqueurs. Cold brew iced coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 18-24 hours. This gentle refrigerator method results in a smoother, fruitier tasting iced coffee without any of the bitterness of traditionally brewed coffee. Dark or spiced rum, Cointreau, brandy, Grand Marnier, Irish whiskey, and Amaretto can all be used to create delicious coffee-based cocktails; bitters, orange peel, and dehydrated citrus peel will add a touch of sophistication to these buzzy cocktails.
Keep it alcohol-free: Make cold brew coffee memorable by providing plenty of special aromatics and garnishes. Citrus peel, flavoured simple syrups (try orange or ginger), dairy and nondairy milks, and ice cubes made from cold brew coffee will make any iced coffee taste spectacular.
SmartPoints: An average 40% a.b.v. liqueur is 2 SmartPoints per 1 oz and black cold brew coffee is 0! Use the WW recipe creator to get the exact points of your cocktail.