Brunch Drinks: Lychee Bellini


Summertime brunches on the patio practically beg for something chilled and fizzy. And preferably, with a little kick. Classics like mimosas and bellinis are popular morning cocktails for a reason: they're effervescent, fruity, and perfect for washing down a frittata and a yogurt parfait. And since summer is a perfect time of year for mani-pedis and haircuts, why not give these classic drinks a bit of a makeover, too?

For this updated bellini, I chose lychee, but you could use any of your favorite fruits that puree well. Don't be afraid to try unusual fruits like longan or dragonfruit, if you can find them. Asian grocery stores sell canned versions of these fruits (just drain off the syrup and you'll be fine), but you can sometimes find fresh lychee and other tropical delicacies at nicer grocery stores.

I think it's best to use a dry sparkling wine to pair with the fruit, or the cocktail ends up cloyingly sweet and tasting like a bad hangover waiting to happen. I used a dry sparkling brut rosé from Alsace, France (Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace, made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes). A dry Prosecco would be excellent as well.

To make the cocktail, just puree the fruit and strain into a glass, 1/3 full. Carefully pour the other 2/3 of the glass with your sparkling wine, stirring gently as you go. Wait at the last inch or so of the glass to allow the foam to rise and subside, then top it off with the last drops of bubbly. Garnish with a plate of French toast.

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