Even Cowgirls Like Brunch

Brunch can get a bad rap.

For those folks out there who don’t like to mix breakfast and lunch in the same meal, I’m not sure I can really help (or understand) you. Haven’t you ever had breakfast for dinner? Classic! But, for anyone who thinks that brunch is too urban or elitist, boy do I have the solution for you.

I recently stumbled upon a fantastic cookbook that was published back in 2007 called Cowgirl Cuisine: Rustic Recipes and Cowgirl Adventures from a Texas Ranch, by Paula Disbrowe, and it had so many great recipes for brunch—the kind of brunch I love, with easy ingredients, recipes that are fun to follow, and all with Paula’s rustic take on delicious food. And, if the word brunch bothers you, just call it a hearty ranch breakfast… problem solved!

Just to be clear, when I want brunch, I want eggs. And pancakes. And bacon. And bread. And fruit. And syrup. And champagne. And another round of bacon. And more champagne.

And I have experimented with a number of champagne cocktails to accompany my brunch meals. Go traditional with orange juice or peach nectar or substitute pear juice for a different twist. Strive for elegance by dropping a sugar cube in the glass and a dash of bitters. But Paula taught me a new lesson: Add verbena leaves. Check out the recipe below—and if that doesn’t convince you, grab a copy of Cowgirl Cuisine and bake up a batch of Paula’s blackberry blue corn muffins and try convincing yourself that brunch isn’t for you. I dare you.

Makes 1 cup verbena syrup, enough for 8 cocktails
Adapted from Cowgirl Cuisine, by Paula Disbrowe


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 20 verbena leaves, plus extra for garnishing the glasses
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • Champagne, Prosecco or other sparkling wine

1. To make the sugar syrup, combine the water, sugar, and verbena leaves in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Cover the syrup and steep until cool, then strain, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

2. To serve, dip the rims of champagne glasses in water, then in superfine sugar. Place 2 tablespoons of the syrup in each glass and fill with champagne. Float and additional verbena leaf in each glass, and serve.

7 Responses to “Even Cowgirls Like Brunch”
  1. You couldn’t be more precise!!!

  2. autoestima says:

    Awfully well executed piece of writing…

  3. financing says:

    This definitely makes perfect sense to me…

  4. This definitely makes perfect sense

  5. electronic says:

    Thank goodness some bloggers can still write. Thank you for this blog

  6. This might be your best article I have read

  7. Great to see the post. Could you please give the cocktail photo a credit with ” courtesy of shellystrazis.com”
    Thanks and have a great weekend.

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