Easter Sunday is right around the corner and until last week, I had all the pieces of the menu in place, except one important detail.
My father taught me as a litle girl, the trick to a moist ham is to put it face down in the pain and cover it with a foil tent.
"Only caramelize the glaze at the very last minute," he would tell me every Easter. "And do it at high heat."
Originally from Minnesota, I would be lying if I didn’t admit the trick to perfect potatoes is plenty of butter and cream, and just enough salt.
The missing piece of the puzzle, and what some might consider the most important part of brunch, was the cocktail. To solve the problem, I called up the most discerning food critics I know, my girlfriends. I invited them over one afternoon, to help solve the puzzle of the perfect brunch cocktail.
I made a trip to Sandy's Liquors on Aquidneck Ave. and purchased varieties of sparkling wines, rums and vodkas. I then asked local bartenders and researched reviews on the internet to help find the perfect mix of flavors for an afternoon drink.
After a day of sipping, giggles and gossip, the girls voted the three cocktails below as their ultimate favorites, and will make it onto my Easter Menus for years to come.
I served these with skewers lined with spicy cheeses and stuffed olives purchased at Le Petit Gourmet in Newport and shrimp that I picked up from Anthony’s Seafood. The girls said it could almost be a meal in itself.
- 3 oz tomato juice
- 1 1/2 oz vodka (Skyy was voted the favorite)
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 2 or 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- horseradish sauce
- ground pepper
- celery salt
- dash of juice from pickle jar
- lemon and/or lime wedge for garnish
Build the liquid ingredients in a highball glass over ice cubes and stir well. In addition the skewer of meats and cheeses, I also garnished with a pickle and a stalk of celery.
I served this cocktail in martini glasses with an orange garnish. We learned the trick is to chill the glass with ice before pouring the drink and to shake the cocktail vigorously to create refreshing ice crystals.
- 1 part citrus vodka (Skyy)
- 1 part coconut rum (Malibu)
- 1/2 part freshly squeezed pineapple juice
- 1/2 part cranberry juice cocktail (Ocean Spray)
- Splash sweet and sour mix
- Ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass.
I served these in chilled champagne flutes with orange and lemon garnishes. Without knowing the brand, the girls voted that the Frexinet as the favorite sparkling wine. At an affordable $10/bottle, they enjoyed several of these sparkly cocktails.
- 2 oz freshly juiced peach juice
- 4 oz sparkling wine
- Pour the peach juice a champagne flute.
- Slowly add the sparkling wine.
Patch wants to know! Do you have a favorite brunch cocktail recipe?