sangria

Starting your day with an alcoholic beverage has a long history in France, where traditionally many people have believed that an early morning dose of wine kills parasites (tuer le ver = kill the worm) and promotes overall health and good living.

While “hair of the dog” hangover remedies are meant to sooth your body after a rough night of drinking, the worm-killing morning drinks are there to assist in your overall health plan and to make you feel even better. Try the following delicious brunch cocktails, and just try to convince yourself that these aren’t health drinks. Kill those worms!

Sangria

Historically, people have tué le ver with a shot of strong red wine, but wine goes down much slower and more smoothly when mixed with fresh fruit juices. Serve sangria at brunch when your menu includes spicy foods such as huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos or chilaquiles. Combine one bottle of red wine such as shiraz, cabernet sauvignon or Spanish rioja with one lemon, one lime and one orange, all cut into eighths (you can also add strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches or any other fruit you have on hand!). Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 4 ounces of brandy to the mixture and chill, then top with 2 cups of club soda when ready to serve. Enjoy!

Strawberry Sunrise

This pretty cocktail blends the flavors of sour citrus and sweet berries for a brunch-friendly wake-up call. In a blender, puree 1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries and place the red mixture in the bottom of 6 glasses. Now combine 4 cups of fresh orange juice with 2 cups of sparking wine such as Champagne, and slowly fill each glass to the top. Garnish with a fresh strawberry and/or slice of orange.

Irish Coffee

With whiskey and caffeine, this hot morning drink combines the best of both worlds and will set you straight for the rest of the day. First heat your glasses with hot water to knock off the chill. Pour out the water and then add 1 ½ ounces of Irish whiskey + 1 teaspoon brown sugar; stir until dissolved. Now fill the glasses with hot, fresh brewed coffee, and top with a large dollop of unsweetened whipped cream, poured slowly over the back of a spoon so that it floats on top.

Greyhound

For a summertime brunch, this punchy, powerful cocktail hits the spot. Simply pour 1 ½ ounces vodka (Grey Goose works well) into a Tom Collins glass filled with ice; add fresh grapefruit juice and stir well. Top with a fresh slice of lime. You can also make a Greyhound with gin if you prefer, and if you salt the rim of your glass, then it’s a Salty Dog.

Pimm’s Cucumber Punch

Pimm’s is a popular English liqueur with only 25% alcohol, so this punch is a good option when you don’t want the brunch crowd to get too sauced. First pour 1 liter of Pimm’s No. 1 into a punch bowl. Add 1 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 cup simple syrup and 1 cup of cucumber puree (peel 3-4 English cucumbers, puree in blender and strain through a sieve). Top off with 2 cups of ginger ale, and float slices of cucumber and lemon on top for a garnish.

image: Dinner Series