Creative Cocktails Perfect for Easter Brunch

by Rebecca Rhoades
( April 18th, 2014 )

Brunch. A wonderful hybrid of breakfast and lunch. It’s as much of an Easter tradition as egg hunts, bonnets, and Sunday church service for lapsed Catholics. After all, who doesn’t love a mouth-watering meal filled with crepes, ham, lamb, Hollandaise sauce, deviled eggs, pavlova, and a virtual cornucopia of delectable eats?

But probably my favorite thing about brunch, whether for Easter or just about any day, is…you guessed it…cocktails. No one even looks twice when you imbibe during brunch. Breakfast, well, that’s a whole other story. But having a cocktail during brunch is acceptable, even encouraged. From the standby screwdriver and mimosa to some downright creative meals-in-themselves Bloody Marys and Bloody Ceasars (Marys made with Clamato instead of straight tomato juice), brunch has evolved into a perfect excuse for some respectable day drinking.

To help you add some sparkle and creativity to your Easter brunch, I’ve selected an assortment of cocktail recipes sure to please everyone at your table.

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Circular at The Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania

2 oz. Grey Goose vodka
½ oz. lemon juice
1 oz. simple syrup
3 oz. lavender tea
Lavender-colored sugar
Lavender sprig

Rim martini glass with lavender-colored sugar. Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cold. Pour into sugar-rimmed glass. Garnish with lavender sprig.



Recipe and photo courtesy of
CAMUS Cognac

1½ oz. CAMUS VS Elegance
¼ oz. pomegranate syrup
1 oz. cranberry juice
3 fresh strawberries

Muddle strawberries and liquids in a cocktail shaker. Add ice to fill shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a rose.






Recipe and photo courtesy of Berentzen USA

1 oz. Berentzen Pear
1 oz. gin
¾ oz. lemon juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
4 blackberries
1 slice pear

Muddle 3 blackberries in mixing glass. Add Berentzen Pear, gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Stir gently. Strain into large rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with remaining blackberry and pear slice.


Recipe and photo courtesy of
Palais des Thés

10 oz. spring water
3 rounded tsp. or 3 tea bags of Palais des Thés Thé du Hammam*
2 tbsp. peach liqueur
10 oz. champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

Bring water to a simmer over a low flame. (Do not let it boil.) Add tea leaves or bags and infuse for 3 minutes. Filter out leaves or remove tea bags. Let tea cool, the place in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Once chilled, combine tea and peach liqueur in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Fill champagne flutes halfway with mixture, and top with champagne or sparkling wine.

*Thé du Hammam is inspired by a Turkish recipe blended with roses, green dates, berries, and orange flower water.


Recipe and photo courtesy of the blue at Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida

2 oz. Passata di Pomodoro (tomato puree)
1½ oz. V8 100% vegetable juice
2 oz. Absolut Peppar vodka
1 espresso spoon Worcestershire sauce
1 espresso spoon beef jus
1 lime wedge
1 lemon wedge
Fresh grated horseradish
1 Maine lobster claw

Add all ingredients except lobster claw to cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Adjust salt, pepper and horseradish as necessary for seasoning and heat. Pour into highball or collins glass. Garnish with lobster claw. Add olives and other garnishes as desired.


AFTER THE EGG HUNT After the Egg Hunt Negroni
Recipe and photo courtesy of The Ice Plant Bar and St. Augustine Distillery in Florida

1 oz. St. Augustine Cane vodka
1 oz. Lillet
1 oz. Aperol
1 wedge ruby red grapefruit

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir, and pour in a rocks glass. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.





Really want to impress your brunch companions? Then try one of these more “exotic” cocktails. They make take a little bit more work, but the end result will be something to brag about.

Recipe and photo courtesy of La Perle Noire at Mamaison Hotel Andrassy in Budapest

2 cl.* coffee liqueur
2 cl. Eggnog
2 cl. Cointreau

*This recipe calls for measurements in centiliters; 1 centiliter is equivalent to 0.33 oz. Using 2 ounces of each ingredient will yield 3 drinks.

In a 2½ oz. shooter glass, first pour coffee liqueur. Slowly pour eggnog over the back of a cold bar spoon, taking care to avoid disturbing the lower layer. Then, in a similar manner using a spoon, pour Cointreau atop eggnog layer. Light on fire to warm.

Remember: Carefully blow out flame and let glass cool before drinking!


Created by Richard Woods, Head of Spirit and Cocktail Development for SushiSamba restaurants
Photo courtesy of SushiSamba

Matcha-Infused Pisco
5 g. matcha tea powder
1 bottle Porton pisco

Add tea powder to bottle of pisco. Replace lid, and shake gently to infuse. Repeat occasionally throughout the day. Infusion is ready by day 2.

Pineapple and Tarragon Syrup
1 qt. simple syrup
17.6 oz./500 g. diced pineapple
1.05 oz./30 g. tarragon

Bring syrup to a boil and reduce to medium heat. (Do not heat above 100°C/212°F.) Add pineapple. Stir to infuse and leave for 30 minutes. While cooling, steep in tarragon. Let set for 20 minutes. Filter, bottle, and seal.

Dehydrated Orange Zest
1 orange, frozen

Zest frozen orange. Place zest on baking paper and heat in oven on medium heat. Allow zest to completely dehydrate. Using pestle and mortar (or fingers), crumble zest. Seal in air-tight container and reserve.

To Pour
1½ oz. Matcha-infused pisco
½ oz. Orange curacao
½ oz. pineapple and tarragon syrup
1 oz. lemon juice
1 egg white
Dehydrated orange zest

Add ingredients to cocktail shaker and dry shake. Add ice and shake. Double strain into coupette/margarita glass. Garnish with a pinch of dehydrated zest in center of glass.

*The Matcha Pisco tells the story of an Easter egg that traveled to Peru and got tipsy on pisco.


Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed all of the Easter cocktail recipes from this week. Do let me know if you try any of them. I’d love to hear what your favorites are.

Veni, Vidi, Bibi!


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Easter Candy-Inspired Cocktails, Part 2

by Rebecca Rhoades
( April 16th, 2014 )

Did my first collection of candy-inspired cocktails satisfy your Easter sweet tooth? No? Well then, go grab that basket and get ready for another round of sensationally sweet liquid treats.


Chocolate Easter BunnyCHOCOLATE BUNNY
Courtesy of Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa

1 oz. Frangelico
1 oz. Kahlúa
1 oz. Amarula*
4 oz. cream
½ cup ice
Chocolate sauce

Add ice, Frangelico, Kahlúa, Amarula, and cream to a cocktail shaker. Shake until the shaker is ice cold. Swirl chocolate sauce inside a large serving glass. Pour contents of shaker in the glass. Garnish with crushed chocolate eggs and Easter decorations.

*Amarula is a cream liqueur produced in South Africa using the unique African marula fruit. If unavailable, Bailey’s Irish Cream can be substituted.

 I have to admit that this cocktail made me smile. It caters to the chocolate-loving kid inside us all.


Created by Jordan Catapano, author of This Girl Walks Into a Bar and expert mixologist for BevMo!, a leading alcoholic beverage-lifestyle specialty retailer.

1½ oz. Pinnacle Peach vodka
2½ oz. margarita mix
½ oz. Blue Curacao
¼ oz. mint simple syrup
Blue Peeps

Fill a martini shaker with ice. Add the vodka, margarita mix, Blue Curacao and mint simple syrup to the ice, then shake for several seconds to mix. Strain into a martini glass, and garnish with a blue Peeps.


Courtesy of Lava’s on Poipu Beach at Sheraton Kauai Resort, Hawai’i

1 oz. 360 Glazed Donut vodka
1 oz. 360 Double Chocolate vodka
Chocolate sauce
Peeps for garnish

Mix vodkas and ice in a shaker, and shake until cold. Dip rim of martini glass in chocolate sauce. Strain drink into glass. Garnish with a Peep for Easter flair.





Courtesy of Couples Resorts, Jamaica

1 oz. cherry brandy
2 oz. coconut rum
2 oz. pineapple juice
Slice of lemon

Shake ingredients and ice, and serve in a hurricane glass. Sprinkle jellybeans on top, and garnish with a slice of lemon.





And finally, if you really want to impress your friends, here’s a little something for the serious home bartender. It takes a little time and planning, and beyond the standard bar tools, you’ll need a Porthole infuser, KitchenAid mixer, piping (pastry) bags, and a gram scale, but the end result is molecular magic. And besides, the Peeps-filled Porthole infuser will look pretty darn cool sitting on your counter.

Courtesy of Shikany in
Miami, FL

Peeps Moonshine
8 oz. Ole Smoky White Lightnin’ moonshine
8 yellow Peeps

Combine both ingredients into a Porthole infuser, and let marinade overnight

Moonshine Fizz
2 oz. Peeps Moonshine
1½ oz. triple sec
20 g. (4 tsp.) sugar
4 oz. egg whites

Pour all ingredients together in a KitchenAid mixer, and blend with whisk attachment on a medium setting until egg whites are a soft peak. Pour ingredients into a piping bag, and reserve in refrigerator.

Carrot/Clementine Foam
100 g. carrot juice
100 g. clementine juice
2 oz. peach liqueur
5 g. versawhip
0.5 g. xanthem gum
20 g. (4 tsp) sugar

Pour all ingredients together in a KitchenAid mixer, and blend with whisk attachment on a medium setting until the solution begins to foam and bubble without falling. Pour ingredients into a piping bag, and reserve in refrigerator.

To Pour
Pipe Moonshine Fizz into chilled martini glass. Top with Carrot/Clementine Foam. Garnish with petite cruciferous greens for color and shavings of Valrhona Dulcey blond chocolate.


Now that you’ve seen what you can do with your kid’s (or, admit it, your) stash of Easter candy, I’d love to hear what recipes you tried. What was your favorite? Of course, while it’s always fun to get creative with your beverages, in my opinion, a holiday just isn’t a holiday without that special once-a-year meal. So head on over to WanderFood for some suggestions for traditional Easter fare. And remember, check back on Friday for some special drink recipes perfect for Easter brunch.

Yum! I can’t wait for Sunday!


Veni, Vidi, Bibi!



Photo credits:
Chocolate Bunny courtesy of Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Peeps Peach Pool courtesy of BevMo!
Chocolate-Covered Malasada courtesy of Sheraton Kauai Resort
One Hoppy Paradise Plum courtesy of Couples Resorts
Moonshine-Clementine Fizz courtesy of Shikany

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Easter Candy-Inspired Cocktails, Part 1

by Rebecca Rhoades
( April 14th, 2014 )

Easter Eggs

Easter. That magical day when children wake up to baskets full of brightly decorated eggs, chocolate bunnies, jellybeans, and of course, those sugary-sweet marshmallow favorites, Peeps. But why should kids be the only ones having fun on this holiday? After putting the little ones down for an afternoon post-sugar-crash nap, it’s time to raid their baskets for some leftover treats that will put a little “spring” in your step.

To help you have a hoppin’-good time, I asked a number of restaurants, bars, and spirits companies to share some of their favorite Easter candy-inspired tipples that you can re-create at home. I received so many tasty, sweet recipes that I couldn’t narrow it down to just a few, so instead of, well, for lack of a better term, putting all my eggs in one basket, I’ve created two recipe round-ups. Following is part 1; part 2 will appear on Wednesday.

Also check out WanderFood’s Easter foods for more Easter ideas!

Created by Niccole Trzaska of The Liberty, New York City

1½ oz. Sobieski Lemon Meringue vodka
½ oz. white chocolate liqueur
1 oz. cream
Peeps for garnish

Dip rim of chilled martini glass into sugar to coat. Add Sobieski Lemon Meringue vodka, white chocolate liquor and cream in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into sugar coated martini glass.  Garnish with a Peeps and serve.

[If you’re going to serve these at a party, try using a variety of colored sugars and contrasting Peeps. — Rebecca]


Created by Stephen Tam Loo, head bartender at Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Waikiki, Hawai’i

1½ oz. Svedka Orange Cream Pop vodkaOrange Peepsicle and Chocolate Bunny
½ oz. orange juice
¼ oz. simple syrup
½ oz. half & half
1 slice orange (no rind)
Orange Peeps

Muddle orange. Add all ingredients into mixing glass. Add ice and shake. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with orange Peeps and/or orange zest

½ oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream
½ oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
½ oz. Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur
¼ oz. Light Creme de Cacao
½ oz. Frangelico
¼ oz. simple syrup
½ oz. half & half
Chocolate sauce
Chocolate candy egg

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and shake. Drizzle chocolate sauce along inside of champagne flute. Strain drink into glass. Garnish with small chocolate candy egg.


Created by Jordan Catapano, author of This Girl Walks Into a Bar and expert mixologist for BevMo!, a leading alcoholic beverage-lifestyle specialty retailer.

1½ oz. Pinnacle Cake vodka
¾ oz. strawberry liqueur
½ oz. hazelnut liqueur
1 oz. half & half
Pink Peeps

Fill martini shaker with ice. Add vodka, strawberry liqueur, hazelnut liqueur, and half & half. Shake for several seconds to mix. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with pink Peeps, and serve.



Courtesy of Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, with Chimas Jellybean Starburst
locations in Philadelphia; Tyson’s Corner, VA; Charlotte, NC; and Fort Lauderdale, FL.

½ oz. vanilla vodka
½ oz. cherry vodka
½ oz. raspberry vodka
½ oz. orange vodka
¼ oz. pineapple juice
¼ oz. cranberry juice
¼ oz. orange juice
Splash sour mix
Splash grenadine
Squeeze lemon

Shake ingredients together, and serve in a hurricane glass. Garnish with an orange slice.
[For some extra Easter flair, add a cocktail pick with multiple fruit-flavored jellybeans. — Rebecca]


Courtesy of Couples Resorts, Jamaica

1 oz. peach schnapps
3 oz. champagne

Place several jellybeans in a champagne flute. Top with peach schnapps and champagne. Garnish with a cherry.





Don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for even more candy-inspired creations. And on Friday, I’ll be bringing you a special collection of seasonal libations perfect for a more-refined Easter brunch.

Veni, Vidi, Bibi!


Photo credits:
Peep-tini courtesy of The Liberty
Orange Peepsicle and Chocolate Bunny courtesy of Sansei Seafood Restaurant
Strawberry Peeps Cake courtesy of BevMo!
Jellybean Starburst courtesy of Chima Brazilian Steakhouse
Peachy Spring Bellini courtesy of Couples Resorts

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