Mother's Day is really scheduled at the perfect time of year. Tender baby greens, radishes, asparagus, delicate pea tendrils. All the dainty, frilly, beautiful edibles are happening right now and they are the ideal ingredients for creating a brunch for Mom that really shows her how amazing and beautiful she is, amiright?
Now, if your mom is like my mom, then she loves nothing more than a fruity, sparkling cocktail to go along with that meal and celebrate her day. My mom's guilty pleasure is Riunite Lambrusco and Sprite on ice (so nice!), but don't tell her I told you.
Since seasonal fruit is just starting to make its way into the picture again, the Bellini is an ideal beverage option. Classically made with puréed white peaches and Prosecco, we created a few variations that Mom is sure to enjoy. Don't worry about buying expensive Champagne for these; just use your favorite affordable Prosecco or Cava. Be sure to loosen the purée in the glass with a small amount of the wine before filling the glasses. This ensures that you won't have globs of purée floating around in Champagne.
Peach and Aperol Bellini
Since peaches haven't quite ripened up yet (if you're down South, you might find a few), we used frozen for this twist on the classic. Blended with a touch of sugar and Aperol, this purée turns a beautiful orange blush color when combined with sparkling wine. The Aperol adds sweetness and the faintest bitterness which is quite lovely with a dry sparkling wine and the sweet peaches.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Bellini with Basil
Spring strawberries and rhubarb are BFFs no matter what they get themselves into. In this case, I cook the fruit in a little water and then infuse the mixture with basil while it cools. Make sure that you discard the basil before blending the mixture as the leaves can add bitterness and will also turn the puree brown. This pale pink beauty is sweet, a little tart, and has a hint of basil at the end. If strawberry seeds are your nemesis, the purée can be strained through a sieve before serving. If you happen to have a bottle of sparkling rosé, it would be perfect in this cocktail.
Bright and bold, this pleasing drink is a snap to make. I firmly prefer to use Ataulfo mangoes, also known as Champagne mangoes (how fitting!) because they have creamy flesh with few, if any, stringy fibers. Blend the mango pieces up with the juice from a few freshly squeezed oranges and you are ready to roll! I like a little squeeze of lime with this cocktail to liven everything up.
About the Author: Heather Meldrom is a former Senior Food Editor at Martha Stewart. Currently she works as a freelance food stylist, writer, and recipe developer based in NYC. She can be found at heathermeldrom.com and sweetandsavored.com.