(BPT) - For many, regular brunch gatherings may have fallen by the wayside in recent months. With the changing of seasons, it's time to bring brunch back to create warm memories as the weather cools. If your go-to brunch plans are no longer possible, start thinking about creating a new routine and hosting a fabulous brunch in the safety and comfort of your home, outdoor living space or virtually.
Whether entertaining a small group of family or friends in your bubble or gathering the whole gang online, pro tips and tricks can help make any brunch your best brunch. From creating a beautiful tablescape and ambiance to pairing Insta-worthy drinks and dishes, insights from expert entertainers will help you create the ultimate elevated brunch experience.
Do your prep work
To avoid a last-minute time crunch, make a plan. Nail down your menu and shop for the essentials a few days in advance of your soiree; make a quick shopping trip or online grocery order the day before for items that are best purchased super fresh. Also the day before, take care of as much slicing, chopping and assembling as you can, and start laying the foundation for your gorgeous table by setting out your linens, china and glassware. Pull out any other kitchen tools, serving ware and essentials you may need. The more you can do ahead of time, the more energy you'll have to welcome and attend to your brunch guests, whether virtually or in person from a safe distance.
Create fun and functional centerpieces
Creating a chic table doesn't need to be complicated or break the bank. You can create a stunning look with flavors you'll be featuring in your menu. Fill small vases with overflowing aromatics and herbs that accent dishes or garnish cocktails - think fresh mint, thyme or lavender. Use glass pitchers to showcase other key accouterments, such as sliced or whole lemons, limes, oranges and berries. This hack adds bursts of vibrant color indoors or out, while getting your guests involved in crafting and customizing their own drinks. Plus, budget-minded entertainers can make use of these fresh ingredients later in the week.
Keep it light
Nothing says brunch like a pretty, sparkling cocktail. Whether guests are joining in person or virtually, an elegant and effervescent drink helps elevate the occasion. For your next 21-and-older get-together*, the Lillet Spritz is a simple and ideal accompaniment to any brunch menu. With low alcohol by volume, this light and refreshing concoction is perfect for sipping during daytime festivities. Just mix three ounces of Lillet (Blanc or Rosé) with three ounces of tonic water over large ice cubes in a tall wine glass, and garnish with cucumber, mint and a strawberry.
Pay attention to pairings
When deciding on a menu, think about how each dish will work with your accompanying beverages. Look for combinations that will complement one another, provide balance or highlight nuances you want to bring out in your culinary creations. For instance, the classic Lillet can draw attention to the hint of citrus and aromatics in baked doughnuts topped with a Lillet Rosé glaze - even better, these easy-to-make show-stoppers from Vallery Lomas, cookbook author and Great American Baking Show winner, can be prepared in advance.
When keeping these expert tips in mind, hosting a simple yet chic brunch experience in your home, on your deck or in your garden is within easy reach. Especially with one final pro tip: Fill your guest list - online or in person, when safe to do so - with fun family and friends who are hungry for connecting through special moments and making lasting memories.
*Please drink responsibly.