New Year’s Day is all about starting the year fresh, and on the right foot. Why not mark the occasion with a celebratory brunch? Whether your brunch is sweet or savory, these cocktails will be the ideal accompaniment.
Sour Gold from Blue Ridge Kitchen at The Barlow in Sebastopol, is a festive holiday drink with Nonino Amaro, warm spices, lemon and lime, simple syrup and egg white. “When the colder weather sets in here in California, I was inspired to create a cocktail with warm flavors and festive garnish. It definitely helps me get into the holiday spirit, and I hope it does the same for our guests! There’s a little cinnamon and allspice to balance out the citrus, and the subtly flavored foam from the egg whites gives it great texture. Since Amaro is a digestif, this cocktail will also help you digest your beautiful New Year’s Day brunch meal!” said bartender Adonna Bellefeuille.
The Orchard from Murdoch’s at State Street Market in Los Altos is a cocktail made with apricot liqueur, whiskey, honey, orange curacao, and lemon juice. “The inspiration for this drink was Los Altos history. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Los Altos was a primarily agricultural town; apricot was one of the most common orchards. At State Street Market, being a family oriented place, The Orchard expresses the common feeling of relaxing on a cozy day, enjoying some quality time with loved ones. It would be great to start the year with that note, which is why I think it’s perfect for New Year’s Day brunch. I made it with whiskey, because it makes sense, with apricot liqueur, adding some honey and orange curaçao to enhance the apricots, and lemon juice to balance and round the drink,” said bartender Enrique Sanchez.
Down the Rabbit Hole
At Scarlet Kitchen & Lounge in Rancho Mission Viejo, California, they have the Down the Rabbit Hole. This brunch cocktail features potent superfoods like fresh-pressed celery juice and carrot juice, mixed with Wodka’s gluten-free vodka, coconut sugar, and fiery ginger beer. Rich in potent superfoods like beta-carotene, potassium, and vitamins C, E, and K, this cocktail has hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties. “This cocktail is the perfect way to detox while you re-tox! Ring in the new year with a balance of earthy sweetness from fresh-pressed carrot and celery juice while you awaken your taste buds with the bright zing of ginger beer,” said Jackie Pember, bartender.
Sea Salt & Fig Martini
At Next Door, located next door to Pazza on Porter in Boston, Massachusetts, this cocktail is made with fig puree (easily made at home with dried figs, vanilla extract and water), lemon juice, Pear Brandy, Amaro, sea salt and garnished with shaved chocolate (you can grate your favorite chocolate bar right on top of the cocktail). “Figs symbolize knowledge, unity and understanding and salt is a symbol of profit, joy and happiness. With the festive sea salt & fig martini, our friends and family can toast to a new year filled with peace and prosperity and celebrate the year to come,” said mixologist Josue Castillo.
At Casa Sensei in downtown Fort Lauderdale, their must-have for brunch is the Lychee Saketini made with three simple yet delicious ingredients; vodka, lychee purée and Soto Sake. “When people think brunch, mimosas are usually the go to but this Lychee Saketini is a can’t miss. The pairing between sake and lychee puree with a touch of vodka is the perfect (and unexpected) trio,” said Svetlana Altarrasy, bar manager.
“Our head bartender, Dan Stern, kept asking me to make a Bloody Mary with tomatillo for people with acid reflux, which I didn’t know was a thing. Additionally, long ago, my mentor (Natasha) from Llama Inn and Llama San made a fantastic green Bloody Mary, and I always wanted to make one similar,” said Max Stampa-Brown, beverage director of The Garret Bars.
“We had our Borrachito green sauce for our Taco Cart tots at Bandits, and I wanted to use more of it and thought that it would make a great base for a green Bloody Mary. I also find that the classic flavors of everything going into that drink (tomatillo, jalapeno, cilantro, and everything else), worked really well with tequila in our Maria Mary — the flavors all lived in the same family. The Maria Mary is kinda like a boozy, lovely, culinary gazpacho.”
The Mezcal Mule at Amor Loco, a lively, upbeat new Mexican fusion restaurant that recently opened in the Theater District of New York City, is the perfect brunch drink for a boozy bottomless brunch on New Year’s Day. Spicy ginger and smoky mezcal combine to great effect in this cocktail. Refreshing, yet warm, the Mezcal Mule is well-balanced and ideal for kicking off the fiesta at Amor Loco’s weekend bottomless brunch. Creative Director Raphael Mendez assures diners that this cocktail: “is striking! Mexican legend has it that mezcal was initially created when a lighting bolt struck an agave plant, opening it and then cooking it.”
At Casa Ora in Brooklyn, this cocktail is made with tequila, beets, tomato, habanero, and tomatillo. “We like to call this our Tia (Auntie) Bloody Mary for being sweet, spicy, and known to cure anything you’re working off the night before. The drink is with all freshly pressed juices, house-made habanero tomatillo mix, tajin salted rim, and Espolòn tequila. The familiar palette of a spicy tomato is turned on its head with equal parts fresh beet juice, giving the cocktail its signature merlot red color. Enjoy this drink with tequila instead of the usual vodka, to pair the natural acidity and earthy tones with bright agave, grilled pineapple, and spice,” said Ivo Diaz, beverage director at Casa Ora.
In the heart of Miami, EST. 33 Thai Craft Kitchen & Brewery is spicing up the brunch scene with Thai-inspired cocktails that have guests constantly coming back for more. Their Malakor cocktail is made from lemongrass & Thai basil infused El Jimador Tequila with papaya puree, chili bitters, tamarind paste and fresh lime juice. This buzzing drink is ideal for those wanting that kick to wake up from the night before while still keeping it light and fresh for the day ahead. “You’d never expect a cocktail like this to be the perfect choice for brunch but the flavors are refreshing and delicious. The sweet mix of papaya with the contrast in the tamarind and lime flavors bring out unique flavors that pair perfectly with everyone’s favorite brunch foods,” said Christian Rodriguez, assistant general manager.