Breezy mornings call for light, delightful drinks that venture beyond the tried-and-tried-again mimosa or Bloody Mary. While cocktails before noon may seem taboo, these sips strike an elegant balance of bright refreshment and smart sophistication. Invite company over for a cocktail party that begins the day on a happy note with these recipes from .
This famous combination, created by the "maestro" Salvatore Calabrese, uses a classic breakfast staple to ingenious effect. There's no better way to serve this than with buttered toast, preferably as part of breakfast in bed.
2 ounces (60 ml) gin (Plymouth, Barr Hill, or Tanqueray)
1/2 ounce (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce (15 ml) Cointreau
1 1/2 teaspoons orange marmalade
Orange twist, for garnish
Shake ingredients and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the orange twist on the rim of the glass.
Originating as early as the 1600s, milk punches are now associated with New Orleans, where they're enjoyed at brunch or during holidays. This fortifying cocktail goes with waffles and sticky buns.
2 ounces (60 ml) brandy or bourbon (Buffalo Trace)
1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Freshly grated nutmeg or a single star anise float, for garnish
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled rocks glass or a wine glass filled with ice. Garnish with grated nutmeg or star anise.
Use ripe—even very ripe—tomatoes for the best results. Pair a Snapper with poached eggs and toast, or a caviar brunch.
For The Salt Rim
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
For The Cocktail
3 ounces (90 ml) gin (Plymouth)
6 ounces (175 ml) fresh tomato juice (about three medium ripe tomatoes)
1 ounce (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
6 drops hot sauce (Tabasco)
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Angostura bitters
Green olive, for garnish
Lemon wheel, for garnish
Prepare a glass with a salt rim. Shake ingredients with ice, and strain into the ice-filled glass. To garnish, spear olive and lemon with a cocktail pick.
A spin-off of the yogurt drink so popular in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, the Flutterby Lassi is a breezy blend of cucumber and dill. Muddling the two together releases flavor notes that uplift the absinthe's mintiness and soften its intensity.
1 ounce (30 ml) absinthe (Butterfly Boston)
1/2 ounce (15 ml) fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce (15 ml) simple syrup (recipe follows)
2 ounces (60 ml) yogurt
3 small dill sprigs, separated
2 slices of English cucumber, peeled
Cucumber peel, to garnish
In a shaker, muddle 2 sprigs of dill and the cucumber. Add the remaining ingredients with ice and shake, then double-strain. To garnish, roll a long cucumber peel into a scroll and stick with a sprig of dill.
Makes 1 1⁄2 cups (12 ounces)
1 cup (200 g) Demerara sugar
1 cup (240 ml) water
Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Do not boil. Stir until sugar dissolves, about 3 to 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the stove. Cool. Transfer the syrup to a clean bottle or jar. Cover and refrigerate.
Note: If you use plain white granulated sugar, you do not need to heat the mixture on the stove. Simply combine sugar and warm water in a jar, then cover it tightly with a lid, and give it a good shake.
Supremely elegant, the Clover Club needs no accoutrements, except for maybe a bowtie and a bowler hat. But if you must nosh: tea sandwiches.
1 1/2 ounces (45 ml) gin (Plymouth)
1/2 ounce (15 ml) dry vermouth (Dolin)
1/2 ounce (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce (15 ml) raspberry syrup (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce (22 ml) egg white
Raspberry, for garnish
Dry shake the ingredients to emulsify the egg. Then, shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a skewered raspberry resting on the glass.
Make a Rich Demerara Syrup with 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) of water and 1 cup (200 g) of Demerara sugar. Heat in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, about 3 to 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the stove and cool. Add 1 1⁄2 cups (190 g) of fresh raspberries. Stir. Cover the mixture, and let it rest on the counter for 8 to 12 hours, or overnight. Strain the mixture and discard the solids. Transfer the syrup to a clean jar and refrigerate for up to a week.
Reprinted with permission from THE NEW COCKTAIL HOUR © 2016 by André Darlington & Tenaya Darlington, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.