How to Do Brunch Right

January 18, 2014

There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: Brunch is possibly the perfect meal. It involves breakfast foods you can make mostly in advance -- and cocktails.

How to Do Brunch Right, from Food52

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You know how we feel about eggs -- we talk about them all of the time. And it's a short step from loving eggs to loving brunch (we're a little suspicious of anyone who claims to feel otherwise). This week on the Hotline, our community helped plan the perfect brunch: ATG117 asked for favorite brunch recipes (bonus points for dishes that can be made ahead of time) and seasonal brunch cocktails (looking to shake things up a bit from the standard mimosa or Bloody Mary). We’re pretty sure we want to be at ATG117’s house this weekend. 

The Food

  • Regine makes a strong case for Letha Deibler's Bloody Sunrise Grits Casserole: "It is delicious, easy to make, and presents well. I make it all the time." She's found it's a good make-ahead dish too, just save the toppings for when you reheat it.
  • You know you can make any frittata in 5 steps, don't you? StayAtStoveDad does.
  • Stratas are another brunch hit. Aobenour makes one with potatoes and fontina, and another with spinach and feta. Both are assembled the night before and baked in the morning. She also likes waffles (which can be made ahead, frozen, and toasted in the morning), green salad and fruit, and biscuit cinnamon rolls.
  • Summer of Eggplant puts out quite a spread: "Bagels with smoked salmon (and all the accouterments) with a Bloody Mary and mimosa bar. I also typically serve blanched asparagus with a green goddess dip, and a fruit salad that isn't your usual grapes and and melon -- think blackberries, kiwi, mango, star fruit and orange zest. I also put out muffins and sticky rolls. A girlfriend of mine will usually roll out a room temperature beef tenderloin with horseradish whipped cream at her brunches -- a huge hit."

The Drinks

  • Bevi likes a classic French 75.
  • Em-i-lis sells us on milk punch: "The milk punch makes a fabulous aperitif! It makes an unbelievably good cocktail, often served as a celebratory libation. And done well, I don't find them overly sweet or cloying." (Her version uses uses maple syrup instead of the more commonly used powdered sugar.)
  • Hilarybee suggests a number of delicious drinks: St. Germaine or Crème de Violette stirred into Cava, grapefruit gin and tonic, Earl Grey or black tea infused gin served in sweetened lemonade, or lavender syrup, gin, and lemonade. 
  • Nutcakes has a slew of suggestions too: Ramos Fizzwhite sangria, hot toddy, Pimm's Cup, or pomegranate juice and Champagne.

What are your favorite brunch dishes and beverages? Tell us in the comments!

Photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • em-i-lis
  • Michelle
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


em-i-lis October 8, 2014
Reading this again makes me want to make a milk punch NOW! :)
Michelle January 18, 2014
Smoked trout served with mild spreadable cheese, sliced spicy pickles, and rye crackers (like FinnCrisp). All the ingredients can be bought from my local grocer for a quick dish.