Aug 24, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Let's Do Brunch (Beverages)!

Last Saturday was my second year to host a late summer Saturday brunch for our "Secret Sisters" group. After enjoying our favorite brunch dishes potluck style, we assembled care packages for our recent high school grads, so we can send them off to college with a surprise box full of goodies packed with love and care.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit punches, but a brunch just calls out for something special and fun to drink, and there are many mocktails and non-alcoholic drinks that are fun and refreshing.  Last year, I tried out two new beverages on the group: June Bugs and Green Grape Glaciers.   I made grenadine for the June Bugs when I saw how easy it was to make your own.

This year I created my own concoction, which I dubbed Peach-Orange Fizz.  It's reminiscent of Fuzzy Navels and Mimosas, minus the alcohol.

Here are the recipes for all three, including directions for making your own grenadine.  Each recipe makes 8 servings and can be scaled up or down depending on the number of guests.

June Bugs
 6 cups (48 ounces) ginger ale
8 tablespoons grenadine*
8 tablespoons orange juice
6 scoops orange sherbet

Mix together and serve.  (To make in advance, mix all ingredients except sherbet and add it just before serving.) 

Homemade Grenadine
Grenadine comes from the French word "grenade" which means pomegranate.  Most of the commercial grenadines no longer contain pomegranate juice, despite its rise in popularity and healthful qualities.  The commercial syrups also typically contain a lot of high fructose corn syrup.  Try making your own - it's quick, easy and arguably healthier.

1 8-ounce bottle pomegranate (I've also used POM's pomegranate and cherry juice - yum!)
1/2 cup sugar

In a heavy saucepan, bring juice to a boil and let it reduce to half (about 10-15 minutes; keep an eye on it while it boils.)  Add sugar; stir to dissolve. Cool before using; refrigerate.

Green Grape Glaciers
4 dozen seedless green grapes
32 ounces white grape juice
32 ounces cold sparkling water

In advance, wash, dry and layer grapes on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for several hours or overnight.  To mix, combine all but a dozen of the grapes and other ingredients in a blender and pulse until blended.  Pour into glasses, divide remaining grapes among glasses.  Can also add a mint sprig if desired.

Terry's Peach-Orange Fizz
1 large container frozen orange juice concentrate
1 liter peach-flavored sparkling water*
1 liter lemon-lime flavored sparkling water*

Mix together and serve immediately.  

*You'll find flavored sparkling waters in your grocery's beverage section, usually near the seltzer water and club soda and drink mixers.  They are artificially sweetened, so if you'd prefer, you can substitute a lemon-lime soft drink (Sprite, 7-Up) for half the sparkling water and add a few ounces of peach nectar.

Happy brunching,