Hair of the Brunch

My family had the pleasure of brunching at some friends’ house on Sunday. For this particular group of friends we’re all used to bringing something to share, but with limited time to prepare any food, I offered up a brunch cocktail. The hosts approved, so I decided to make the classic Corpse Reviver №2 using a fine recipe from Saveur. This is a bright, citrusy tipple that works well with rich brunch fare, and it’s stupid-easy to make because of the equal portions of each main ingredient. The problem, of course, is that I didn’t want to hover over a bar measuring and shaking cocktails instead of socializing. So I went for a batch instead.

Normally this cocktail is shaken and strained into a coupe, so I made a standard cocktail the night before but strained into a measuring cup so I could get a sense of how much dilution I was adding from the ice. Seeing only about an extra ounce-ish of volume post-strain, I figured I’d be safe to stir in some ice cubes to a batch pour to achieve the desired strength.

On the morning of I juiced all the necessary lemons and then added an equal volume of the juice and each of the spirits to my pitcher. I wasn’t going to shake 1.5 quarts of cocktail, so I sloshed the whole thing around with a whisk to mix it all together. I brought the whole pitcher to our friends’ home along with some small, recyclable cocktail cups, a measuring cup, my little spray bottle of good absinthe, and a zip-lock bag of lemon zest strips I’d peeled that morning as well (the linked recipe above calls for orange zest, but I personally like the way lemon zest’s aroma plays with the absinthe a little better).

If somebody wanted a cocktail, I could serve it up in about 30 seconds – mist the inside of a cup with absinthe, add a few ice cubes, and measure/pour 4 ounces of pre-mixed cocktail. Squeeze the zest over the cup and use the peel to give the drink a little stir. All done! The whole thing worked out better than I could have hoped, and I even ended up with a little left over to take home, though I’d better finish that by tonight before the lemon juice loses its zing!