29 Brunch Cocktail Recipes That Break the Bloody Mary Mold

Cucumber-jalapeño Gin Coolers
Photo: Photographer Jennifer Causey, Prop Stylist Lindsey Lower, Food Stylist Torie Cox

Southerners will take any excuse to entertain, gather, eat, drink, and be merry. So when a new hosting opportunity comes up on our radar, we're likely to go all in. Whether or not you keep up with horseracing, a Kentucky Derby party is a thrill to host. Non-football fans will still serve a total touchdown of a tailgate spread. And even the most somber occasions like funerals are overflowing with comforting dishes in the South. Southerners have always known how to serve up a delectable breakfast, but when the concept of "brunch" really blew up, Southern entertainers were delighted. We're guessing many Southern cooks have their brunch menus down to a science—prep the breakfast casserole the night before and pop it in the oven that morning, throw together a fruit salad, and have something sweet waiting in the freezer to be thawed overnight. Ta da! To drink, mimosas and Bloody Marys are the obvious choices. Though we have fun twists on both (we're talking bourbon in your Bloody and an herbaceous update on your mimosa), we're rethinking what "brunch cocktail" really means. And guess what? It means whatever you want it to! We're offering up brunch cocktails that will complement any recipes you serve. Start the day with a refreshing spritzer alongside your egg casserole, or spice things up with our Southern-fied tequila sunrise. With festive options like our Pomegranate Mimosas or Cranberry Sangría Punch, your Christmas brunch cocktail needs are fulfilled, too. With recipes to fit your taste and alcohol preference, these creative brunch cocktails will become your house drink of choice. Break the Bloody Mary mold with our list of brunch cocktails that will have your friends calling you the neighborhood mixologist.

01 of 29

Big-Batch Bloody Marys

Big Batch Bloody Marys
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Big-Batch Bloody Marys

If you're hosting brunch for a crowd, there's no sense in mixing up individual Bloody Marys for each guest when you can make one batch for everyone! Set up a toppings bar for guests to enjoy their favorite add-ons.

02 of 29

Grapefruit-Rosemary Mimosas

Grapefruit-rosemary Mimosas
Photographer Jennifer Causey, Prop Stylist Lindsey Lower, Food Stylist Torie Cox

Recipe: Grapefruit-Rosemary Mimosas

If you think we're calling this a Grapefruit-Rosemary Mimosa just because it has grapefruit juice and a rosemary garnish, you are incorrect. This flavorful cocktail includes a homemade rosemary simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and a few dashes of peach bitters for a flavor profile that's more complex than your average sparkling brunch sipper.

03 of 29

Fizzy Cider Punch

Fizzy Cider Punch
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Karin Olsen; Food Styling: William Smith

Recipe: Fizzy Cider Punch

If you haven't heard, apple cider and champagne is the cocktail combo you need for fall. This big-batch drink is so easy to throw together but looks pretty enough for a holiday brunch.

04 of 29

Elderflower-Champagne Cocktail

Elderflower-Champagne Cocktail with flower ice cubes
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Katie Jacobs

Recipe: Elderflower-Champagne Cocktail

Leave it to Nashville entertaining pro Katie Jacobs to create the prettiest spring cocktail for a crowd as part of an al fresco Easter party. Freezing edible flowers in ice cubes is the easiest hostess hack for an Instagram-worthy drink.

05 of 29

Bloody Bull Cocktail

Bloody Bull
Photographer: Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Recipe: Bloody Bull Cocktail

We'd like to introduce you to what our Test Kitchen lovingly calls "the beefier cousin of a classic Bloody Mary." Stay with us here: The addition of a tiny bit of beef broth concentrate adds just the right amount of umami flavor that will have your guests begging you for the recipe.

06 of 29

Sweet Tea Mint Julep

Mint Julep Sweet Tea
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen

Recipe: Sweet Tea Mint Julep

Have you ever heard of a more Southern cocktail than one that combines sweet tea and mint juleps? Perfect for a Derby Day spread or any summer porch party, you'll rely on this recipe again and again.

07 of 29

The Best Paloma

Paloma Cocktail
Getty Images/bhofack2

Recipe: The Best Paloma

If you love margaritas, you'll love this fruity (and pink!) drink that's made with grapefruit juice. We prefer ours with Twist of Grapefruit or Twist of Lime Topo Chico for extra flavor and fizz.

08 of 29

Vodka Cherry Limeade

vodka cherry limeades in glasses on a tray
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist:Christine Keely; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Vodka Cherry Limeade

This five-ingredient limeade is easy to pull together while you're prepping the rest of the brunch. With a few cocktail bar staples and some fresh limes, this sipper is a welcome addition to any weekend meal with friends or family.

09 of 29

Pomegranate Mimosa

Pomegranate Mimosa
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Pomegranate Mimosa

We gave your usual mimosa a festive upgrade for Christmas brunch with this lovely rendition of the recipe. The addition of Aperol ensures this cocktail isn't overly sweet.

10 of 29

Southern Living Bloody Mary

Southern Living Bloody Mary
Jennifer Causey

Recipe: Southern Living Bloody Mary

This is our Test Kitchen's be-all, end-all of Bloody Mary recipes. If you need more convincing to make it than that, just remember that it has a Bacon Salt Rim. Bacon salt, y'all.

11 of 29

Watermelon Sangría

Watermelon Sangría
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Karen Schroeder-Rankin; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Watermelon Sangría

This fun cocktail is preferably enjoyed by the pool. Rosé lovers have to try this summery take on sangria.

12 of 29

Spiffed-Up Orange-Rosé Spritzer

Spiffed-Up Spritzer
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Spiffed-Up Orange-Rosé Spritzer

This pretty, sparkling drink is a favorite of Test Kitchen pro and Hey Y'all host Ivy Odom, and it knocks a plain mimosa way out of the competition.

13 of 29

Cucumber-Mint Mojitos

Cucumber-Mint Mojitos
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Cucumber-Mint Mojitos

This refreshing cocktail tastes like a trip to the spa. A cucumber ribbon spiral makes for elegant presentation.

14 of 29

Grapefruit Margarita

Grapefruit Margarita by Tiffanie Barriere
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn

Recipe: Grapefruit Margarita

Atlanta mixologist Tiffanie Barriere knows how to make a good drink, and this season, she updated the classic margarita with a floral twist that's perfect for spring.

15 of 29

Easter Punch

Easter Punch
Photographer: Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Recipe: Easter Punch

Even though our Test Kitchen created this bright, fruity cocktail with Easter celebrations in mind, you can enjoy it all spring and summer long. Serve from your favorite vintage punch bowl or a large pitcher, and your bartending duties are done.

16 of 29

Southern Sunrise

Southern Sunrise
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Thom Driver; Food Stylist: Tina Stamos

Recipe: Southern Sunrise

Any sunrise will be sweet when this photo-worthy tequila cocktail is waiting for you at brunch that day! Pair with your go-to breakfast casserole recipe and you'll have a happy crew.

17 of 29

Blushing Mimosas

Blushing Mimosas
Ralph

Recipe: Blushing Mimosas

We upped the ante on the classic mimosa with the addition of pineapple juice and grenadine for added flavor and a pretty hue that's perfect for spring and summer gatherings.

18 of 29

Tarragon-Hibiscus Gin Spritzer

Tarragon-Hibiscus Gin Spritzer
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Tarragon-Hibiscus Gin Spritzer

This herby and light cocktail has what our Test Kitchen pros called that "can't-quite-put-a-finger-on-it" flavor from underappreciated tarragon. A base of hibiscus tea gives it a lovely hue and bright feel.

19 of 29

French 75 Cocktail

French 75
Southern Living

Recipe: French 75 Cocktail

This classic sparkling cocktail is refreshing enough to enjoy on a hot day at brunch. Lemon peels and rosemary sprigs make beautiful garnishes.

20 of 29

Bourbon Bloody Marys

Bourbon Bloody Marys
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Bourbon Bloody Marys

Southerners don't save bourbon for the winter, or even the nighttime (hello, Mint Juleps!), and these Bourbon Bloody Marys make the argument for enjoying it at brunch, too. Mix it up the night before your brunch for the best flavor.

21 of 29

Carolina Peach Sangria

Southern Sangria Recipes
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Carolina Peach Sangria

Consider this your Southern-ized sangria recipe for summer gatherings. Fresh peaches and raspberries give this big-batch recipe sweet flavor and beautiful presentation.

22 of 29

Champagne Punch

Champagne Punch
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Champagne Punch

This classic big-batch cocktail is served at practically every shower and luncheon in the South. Frozen fruit is a fun add-in that won't water guests drinks down. You can also add in flavored simple syrups or juices for pops of color on your bar cart.

23 of 29

Garden Pleasures Cocktail

Garden Pleasures Cocktail by Tiffanie Barriere
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn

Recipe: Garden Pleasures Cocktail

Atlanta mixologist Tiffanie Barriere loves using fresh, seasonal produce in her creative cocktail recipes. This gorgeous treat is perfect for an al fresco brunch during spring.

24 of 29

The Dogwood Cocktail

The Dogwood
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: The Dogwood Cocktail

With flavors like white grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur, and rosemary sprig and lemon slice garnishes, this light and breezy cocktail screams spring.

25 of 29

Watermelon-Ginger Mojitos

Watermelon-Ginger Mojitos
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Watermelon-Ginger Mojitos

Homemade mint simple syrup makes this cocktail taste like it was made by a professional mixologist. You can prepare it up to two days in advance and store it in the fridge.

26 of 29

Lemon-Basil Spritzer

Lemon-Basil Spritzer
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Lemon-Basil Spritzer

This refreshing cocktail recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients that you can have on hand all summer for weekend brunches and porch sitting.

27 of 29

Bourbon-Peach Iced Tea

Bourbon-Peach Iced Tea
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Kay E. Clarke; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin

Recipe: Bourbon-Peach Iced Tea

These two beloved Southern ingredients, bourbon and sweet tea, go together beautifully in this big-batch cocktail that's the ideal way to use up any leftover peaches from your farmers' market haul that didn't make it in the cobbler.

28 of 29

Cranberry Sangría Punch

Cranberry Sangría Punch
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Karin Olsen; Food Styling: William Smith

Recipe: Cranberry Sangría Punch

Christmas brunch has met its merry companion! This sparkling punch is a pretty and refreshing pairing for your annual holiday brunch.

29 of 29

Cucumber-Jalapeño Gin Coolers

Cucumber-jalapeño Gin Coolers
Photographer Jennifer Causey, Prop Stylist Lindsey Lower, Food Stylist Torie Cox

Recipe: Cucumber-Jalapeño Gin Coolers

If you're looking for a cool cocktail that also carries a kick, swap your go-to spicy margarita recipe for these refreshing Cucumber-Jalapeño Gin Coolers. Sliced cucumber ribbons make for easy but special presentation.

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