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Food & Recipes

4 Brunch Dishes and Cocktail Pairings That Will Make You Want to Throw a Party

Prep time is quick so you can take your time savoring these treats.

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

smoked salmon brunch sandwiches on a gray platter
Food and 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


  • 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


  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 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 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


  • 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


  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 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 Tart
Food and Photo

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



  • 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


  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 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 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


  • 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


  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 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.

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