Perfect brunch cocktails to celebrate moms on Mother’s Day

So far this year we have cleared four of the five hurdles of the annual Spring Cocktail Steeplechase — Mardi Gras, Easter, Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby. If we’ve made it this far, we can probably knuckle down and make it over the last one: Mother’s Day.

When Anna Jarvis first conceived of a day to honor her mother in 1908, she was thinking of a pretty solemn affair, specifically surrounding a special Methodist Sunday church service. Jarvis was pretty adamant that the day should be rendered as “a singular possessive, for each family to honor its own mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.” She made the establishment of just such a day her life’s work, succeeding on a national level in 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May a national holiday celebrating mothers (plural).

Jarvis had by then already famously said that “her” Mother’s Day was a day to honor “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.” Jarvis didn’t begin her Mother’s Day quest until after her own mother had died, and ironically, she remained single and childfree at a time when women were expected to do the opposite. Freud probably could have had a field day with that.

However, that sequence of events has left us to pretty much craft and celebrate the day however we see fit, or more correctly, however our own mother sees fit.

To that end, I have assembled a few classic Mother’s Day brunch cocktails, updated them and localized them.

Have a happy Mother’s Day!


Eastern Mary

2 ounces Alamere Spirits Gin

1 teaspoon vindaloo paste

3 ounces organic tomato juice

¼ teaspoon garam masala

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 pickled caperberry

** FOR USE WITH AP SPECIAL EDITION MOTHERS/FATHERS DAY ** Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis, who is seen in this undated picture, inspired the creation of Mother's Day as a national holiday. A member of the Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, her relentless work with the Mothers' Day Work Clubs helped improving public health and sanitary conditions in her community. (AP Photo/File)
AP Photo/FileWhen Anna Jarvis first conceived of a day to honor her mother in 1908, she was thinking of a pretty solemn affair.

1 tomolive (pickled green tomato)

In the bottom of a cocktail mixing glass, combine gin, tomato juice, vindaloo paste and garam masala, stirring to combine. Add ice, stir again and then strain over new ice in a separate serving glass. Garnish with a picked tomolive and the caperberry.

Not your Momma’s Mimosa

¼ ounce Empress 1908 Indigo Gin

¼ ounce Tempus Fugit Spirits Liqueur de Violettes

½ ounce fresh-squeezed tangerine juice

3 ounces Gloria Ferrer demi sec sparkling wine

In a mixing beaker, combine Liqueur de Violettes, tangerine juice and sparkling wine. It will foam up, but let the foam subside and then pour gently into a champagne coupe. Sink indigo gin into the bottom of the glass by pouring carefully down one side of the coupe glass, creating a slightly layered effect.

Note: You can make your own “indigo” spirit by simply adding dried butterfly pea flowers to any spirit and letting soak until a desired “indigo” is reached. Simply strain and serve. The pea flowers don’t add any flavoring, just color.

A Different Kind of Morning Fizz

1 ounce Barber Lee Heirloom Corn bourbon whiskey

¾ ounce St. George Spirits NOLA coffee liqueur

1 whole raw egg

2 ounces whole milk (or unsweetened milk substitute)

Thick dark chocolate syrup

Grated nutmeg

Place syrup in a shallow saucer, dip serving glass into syrup by placing it upside down and then lifting the glass while twirling it, creating a chocolate rim, and then set aside. In a mixing glass, combine whiskey, coffee liqueur, milk and raw egg along with ice and shake until foamy and well combined. Strain into the chocolate-rimmed glass and dust with nutmeg.

Note: Typically, I prefer to use aquafaba (bean water) in cocktails instead of raw egg. But in this drink, you really want the custardy flavor and foamy head of the whole egg. Just remember to always handle raw eggs with appropriate caution.