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4 Brunch and Cocktail Pairings (Plus Recipes) – Tricks and Tips

smoked salmon sliders next to Bloody Mary's, a brunch and cocktail pairing

Hosting a weekend brunch? Pairing your scrumptious food with the right cocktails will give your party extra pizzaz. If you’re not sure which drinks complement which dishes, don’t worry; we’ve got four quick, delicious brunch recipe ideas for you to choose from along with four cocktail recipes to match. So, breeze through your get-together with these fresh takes on a.m. favorites that prep in a flash.

1: Smoked Salmon Sliders

Nadine Wolf/Food & Photo

Our hearty brunch sandwiches are so elegant, no one will guess they take just minutes to make.

ACTIVE TIME: 20 min. TOTAL TIME: 30 min. SERVES: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 avocado
  • 8 ounces sliced smoked salmon
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 8 slider rolls

Instructions:

  1. In pot, combine eggs with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Cover. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Drain the hot water, then cover eggs with cold water. Cool, peel, and slice.
  2. Grate 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and squeeze 2 teaspoons of lemon juice from lemon. Mix mayonnaise, zest, and juice.
  3. Halve avocado. Remove pit and peel; slice.
  4. Spread half of mayonnaise mixture over cut sides of rolls. Top bottoms with salmon, avocado, arugula, eggs, and remaining mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle with pepper; add roll tops.

Per serving: Cal. 320 Prot. 12g Carb. 23g Fib. 3g Sug. 4g Chol. 61mg Sod. 466mg Total fat: 22g Sat. 3g

Enjoy with peppery bloody Mary’s.

Bloody Mary's brunch cocktail pairingBloody Mary's brunch cocktail pairing
Adobe Stock

A double dose of pepper amps up this classic — the ideal sip for our sliders.

To make:

  1. Dip rims of 8 glasses in lime juice, then celery, salt, and pepper. Add ice.
  2. In pitcher, mix 46-ounce bottle. tomato juice, 3 ⁄4 cup vodka, 2 tablespoons horseradish, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Divide among glasses and garnish as desired.

2: Baked Apple French Toast

baked apple French toast on a plate next to glasses of orange juicebaked apple French toast on a plate next to glasses of orange juice
Alan Richardson/StockFood/Lines + Angles

Cooking apples in butter and maple syrup makes a rich topping for this tasty twist on a brunch classic.

ACTIVE TIME: 25 min. TOTAL TIME: 50 min. SERVES: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch thick wedges
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 slices cinnamon raisin swirl bread, from 16-ounce package

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat 11 by 7-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add apples; cook, stirring, until tender and golden (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add syrup; cook until thickened and slightly caramelized (2 minutes). Remove from heat; reserve.
  4. In bowl, whisk together half-and-half, eggs, and vanilla extract. Dip bread in egg mixture. Place 6 bread slices, overlapping, in baking dish. Top with half of apple mixture, then remaining 6 bread slices. Bake until set, about 20 minutes.
  5. Heat broiler. Broil until lightly browned, 2 minutes. Top with remaining apple mixture.

Per serving: Cal. 370 Prot. 8g Carb. 54g Fiber 3g Sug. 29g Chol. 86mg Sod. 361mg Total fat: 13g Sat. 6g

Enjoy with spiked orangeade.

spiked orangeade cocktail in tall glasses for brunchspiked orangeade cocktail in tall glasses for brunch
Adobe Stock

This tart tipple is sure to wet your whistle.

To make:

  1. Using a peeler, shave zest from 3 lemons and 3 oranges. Squeeze 1 ¼ cups juice from citrus.
  2. In pot, cook 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, and zest for 5 minutes. Cool; strain into pitcher.
  3. Add juice, 2 cups water, and ¼ cup vodka. Divide among 6 ice-filled glasses. If desired, garnish with citrus slices.

3: Asparagus-Brie Quiche

Asparagus Phyllo TartAsparagus Phyllo Tart
Food & Photo

Flaky pie dough combines with a Dijon-infused custard to make this savory delight.

ACTIVE TIME: 20 min. TOTAL TIME: 1 hr. SERVES: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet (half of 14.3 ounce package) refrigerated pie crust dough
  • 8 ounces asparagus, halved
  • 1 cup ilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 ounces Brie cheese, cut into ⅓ -inch thick slices, from 6 ounce package.
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom; place on baking sheet.
  2. Fit pie dough into pan; press into side. Line with foil; fill with pie weights. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Remove foil and weights. Bake 4 to 5 minutes; reserve. Reduce oven to 400 degrees.
  4. In pot of boiling water, cook asparagus until just tender, 2 minutes; drain. Pat dry; halve bottom pieces lengthwise.
  5. In bowl, whisk milk, eggs, mustard and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  6. Place asparagus, half of cheese, and half of scallions in pie shell; add custard. Top with remaining cheese and scallions.
  7. Bake until set, about 30 minutes, adding nuts during last 2 minutes.

Per serving: Cal. 403 Prot. 15g Carb. 30g Fiber 1g Sug. 4g Chol. 137mg Sod. 761mg Total fat: 26g Sat. 12g

Enjoy with double melon sangria.

double melon sangriadouble melon sangria
Adobe Stock

Juicy watermelon, sweet cantaloupe, zingy lime, and rosé come together in this refreshing blend.

To make:

  1. In pitcher, combine 1 bottle (750 mL) rosé wine, 2 cups cubed cantaloupe, 1 cup cubed watermelon, 1 lime (sliced), 4 sprigs of mint, and 2 tablespoons of honey. Cover; chill for at least 4 hours.
  2. Divide among 6 ice-filled glasses.

4: Crumb-Topped Blueberry Muffins

crumble top blueberry muffins on a cooling gratecrumble top blueberry muffins on a cooling grate
StockFood/Profimedia/Lines & Angles

We jazzed up pound cake mix with plenty of berries to create these tender treats.

ACTIVE TIME: 20 min. TOTAL TIME: 40 min. SERVES: 12

Ingredients:

  • 1 16-ounce package pound cake mix
  • 5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ¼ cups blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
  2. In bowl, combine 2/3 cup pound cake mix and 2 tablespoons butter. Using hands, knead until crumbs form; reserve.
  3. In separate bowl, combine remaining cake mix and 3 tablespoons butter, milk, eggs, and lemon zest. Stir in 3⁄4 cup blueberries. Divide among muffin cups. Top with remaining ½ cup blueberries, then crumb mixture.
  4. Bake until lightly browned and baked through in center, about 20 minutes.

Per serving: Cal. 216 Prot. 3g Carb. 35g Fiber 0g Sug. 20g Chol. 45mg Sod. 188mg Total fat: 8g Sat. 4g

Enjoy with boozy iced coffee.

boozy iced coffee cocktail for brunch muffinsboozy iced coffee cocktail for brunch muffins
Adobe Stock

This orange-scented pick-me-up is the perfect complement to our fruity bites of yum.

To make:

  1. In pot over medium heat, cook ½ cup Grand Marnier and ¼ cup sugar until sugar dissolves; let cool.
  2. In pitcher, stir together syrup and 12 cups chilled brewed coffee.
  3. Pour into 12 ice-filled glasses. Garnish with orange slices and, if desired, top off with more Grand Marnier.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.