Brunch 101: Seasonal Veggies & Breezy Cocktails
Many people think of brunch as a late-morning weekend meal at a fancy restaurant. Eating out for brunch might include egg-topped salads, crepe stations, bowls of fruit, and pitchers of fruity fizzy cocktails. However, with the right ingredients and some playful brunch attire ideas, you can easily replicate a pricey brunch at home for friends and family, any day of the week! Want to create a fun, innovative brunch spread? Focus on fresh seasonal fruits and veggies, and balance savory with sweet.
Making a Menu: Organizing Brunch Ideas
At the core of a standout brunch menu is one of three signature cocktails: orange mimosas, peach Bellinis… and don’t forget the Bloody Mary’s! Both of the fruity drinks feature summer flavors: the Mimosa spotlighting fresh, juicy O.J., and the Bellini, making use of ripe peach puree. Both drinks sparkle with a splash (or generous pour) of champagne, or prosecco for your sweet toothed friends. The spring and summer season is the ideal time to enjoy either of these concoctions with a group, but different citrus and stone fruit flavors can be substituted year-round.
When it comes down to your Bloody, there are unlimited options! Put together a fun “Make your own Bloody Mary/Maria” station, loaded with items like celery, pickled veggies on toothpicks, bacon, shrimp, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce, and a multitude of vodka or tequila options. Watch your guests get creative and have fun! Rachael Ray notes to freeze bloody mary base into ice cubes so you don’t water it down for your friends.
The perfect brunch features classic items from morning and afternoon meals. Borrow brunch ideas from your first meal of the day by including recipes for eggs in all of their glorious forms. The classic eggs Benedict is always a crowd pleaser, but to truly impress your guests, you can elevate the humble egg by preparing an elegant soufflé or savory quiche. The flavors you incorporate here should reflect what’s currently in season – for example, crisp asparagus and tangy feta in the spring, or sweet butternut squash and melty gruyere cheese in the fall.
When planning your brunch menu, don’t forget about the sweets! With so much focus on savory dishes, don’t neglect fresh fruit as the perfect addition to your spread. As with vegetables, check with your local farmer’s market or community supported agriculture association to see what’s in season locally. For a midsummer affair, reach for bright cherries and strawberries. Melon of all kinds are also great brunch ideas. You can add color and flavor with cut up watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew at the table. To celebrate an end-of-summer harvest, choose tart and tangy cranberries, crisp pears, and crunchy apples. Contrasting textures will add an extra layer of sensory enjoyment to your meal.
Stylish Brunch Decor and Proper Brunch Attire
To make your brunch extra special, go above and beyond by decorating your space for the gathering. Invest in a decorative bar cart where you can store fresh peach puree and orange juice for mimosas and Bellinis. Decorative cups and patterned paper straws can add fun color to your theme. Floral arrangements can take your event from simply welcoming to truly elegant, and you can match your flowers to your other decor to tie it all together.
If weather permits, enjoy the sunshine—get outside while snacking on your delicious creations. Dust off your patio furniture and allow the natural light to show off your creations and entice casual food photography. A picnic brunch is always a fun idea! Additionally, you could encourage your guests to snap a pic by writing a message on a small easel chalkboard with hashtag or check-in instruction – if you want to host events in the future, you may even gain a few likes or followers on Instagram or Facebook!
Weather permitting, proper brunch attire for women might include spring classics like sun dresses, rompers, floral or nautical prints, and seasonal accessories like playful flamingo or anchor earrings. Men, too, should focus on floral or nautical prints – think Hawaiian prints, boat shoes, and bright colors. Another great way to spruce up your brunch is to host a themed party, encouraging guests to wear specific brunch attire. Fun themed brunch ideas might include: Anchors Away!, Great Gatsby, or Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Brunch All Year
Why should Easter have all the brunch-time fun? We often think of brunch as a warm-weather activity, focusing on pretty pastels of spring and fruity flavors of summer. Don’t let those thoughts prevent you from having brunch year round! You could rework your Thanksgiving leftovers into an innovative harvest brunch (who doesn’t love ham and eggs?) or bring friends and family together in colder weather with a warm and cozy brunch by a fireplace featuring egg-nog or spiked cider. Take these ideas for spotlighting seasonal produce, and use them across all four seasons. Your friends and your taste buds will thank you for it!