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There aren’t many people that can hear the word brunch and not get excited. This wonderful meal that’s nestled somewhere in between the usual hours of breakfast and lunch means there’s no need to roll out of bed at the crack of dawn.

Its more leisurely approach to mealtimes doesn’t mean that it doesn’t pack a punch though. Brunch is the ideal time to experiment with food and drink, and what better way to do that than with some brunch cocktail pairings where you can serve up tasty midmorning dishes alongside a variety of delicious whisky drinks?

Whether you want to host an unforgettable family party or enjoy a catch-up with friends, our guide will help you host a perfect brunch party that will be as full of flavour as it is fun.

Does My Brunch Party Need A Theme?

There’s no need to have a theme when hosting a brunch party, especially if you want to keep it low key but choosing a theme can help if you want to tailor your menu and table décor. Plus, a theme can also add an extra layer of playfulness to the event and make it even more memorable for those that attend.

If you do decide to have a themed brunch, the only limit is your imagination. You could base it around your favourite TV show, tie it in with the season or relate it to a specific destination from the cities of Asia to the shores of Australia – for example.

What Food Should I Serve At A Brunch Party?

When deciding on what food to serve at your brunch party, several things are worth considering: your budget, your cookery skills, how much time preparation will take and any dietary preferences and requirements.

If you love being in the kitchen, following a recipe and you have the time, then a more elaborate menu that includes multiple cooked options and lots of peeling, cutting, and slicing is perfect. However, if you don’t have many spare hours in the day, aren’t the most adept with a pan or don’t know your sourdough from your granary then keeping things easy is absolutely fine too. We recommend popping out a few dishes for everyone to try – read on for some delicious ideas.

How Do I Set Up A Brunch Party Table?

As with the food you serve at your brunch party, the way you set your table can be as simple or as intricate as you like. If you are opting for more of a formal vibe, you might want to set table places complete with cutlery and glasses ready to pour drinks. If you are hoping for more of a relaxed feel with a buffet-style brunch, then your table might have all the food already displayed with plates and napkins stacked for when your guests arrive.

You can use serveware and table decorations to add colour and visual appeal to your brunch table too. For example, you could set out cutlery on top of quirky patterned napkins or use tiered serving stands to add height, allowing all the foods to be displayed at the same time.

What Drinks Should I Serve At A Brunch Party?

There’s no real right or wrong answer here! Just remember to drink responsibly and always have water and soft drinks available. One or two alcoholic drinks per person is likely enough for brunch time cocktail hour.

The best drinks to serve will depend on what you and your guests like, what pairs well with the food you are serving, whether you have a theme and many other factors.

If your brunch party is taking place in the middle of summer for instance, then you might want to opt for refreshing drinks that will help keep things cool like a whisky julep made with apple juice, garnished with fresh mint and served over loads of ice.

Hosting near Bonfire Night? Then something like a smoky old fashioned could be just the right cocktail to help set the mood.

When it comes to the drinks on offer, you can also choose whether you are going to have your cocktails ready-made for guests to enjoy or if you’ll add to the fun by providing them with everything they need to concoct their own: there’s always the option to set up a drinks cart complete with glasses, mixers, garnishes and a few bottles of The Glenlivet!

Brunch Food And Cocktail Pairings

Knowing what to serve at a brunch party isn’t always easy, especially if your guests all have different favourites and dietary requirements.

If you’re hosting a brunch party but you’re still stuck on what to dish up, we’ve put together some brunch party menu ideas to give you some inspiration for your next get-together.

Classic Cuisine
Some dishes are synonymous with brunches like eggs benedict, pancakes, and croissants. If you want to keep things simple yet sophisticated, why not opt for somewhat of a tasting menu of brunch classics? Dress the table with a crisp white tablecloth, set out your matching tableware and add some fresh bouquets for a pop of colour.

To tie in with this elegant affair, pair with a whisky and champagne cocktail; simple to prepare but guaranteed to impress your guests.

Smoked Salmon Platter

Smoked salmon is another staple brunch dish but by serving it up as the star of a sharing platter, you can let guests put together their own plate. Alongside slices of delicate smoked salmon, present soft-boiled eggs, bagels, cream cheese, cucumber, rye toast, sprigs of dill and fresh lemon wedges.

Offer your guests a classic cocktail such as a whisky sour. It will be a crowd-pleaser but will still let both the flavours of the fish and the whisky shine.

Brunch Charcuterie 

Charcuterie boards have been popular for quite some time now and it’s no surprise seeing as their appeal isn’t just for their flavours but also their aesthetic. A brunch party is the perfect opportunity to get creative with how you display your food and combine sweet and savoury. Think crispy strips of bacon and chipolata sausages served alongside pain au chocolates and fresh berries.

To keep the sweet and savoury running through your drink offering, why not try an umeshu whisky cocktail that has notes of nuts, honey and fruit?

Sweet Treat Table

For those with a sweet tooth, a table packed full of colourful fruits, doughnuts, waffles, brioche bread, spreads and preserves might be their idea of brunch heaven.  

If you want to keep on theme with your drinks without things getting too sugary then a raspberry whisky cocktail is a good option. The raspberry adds sweetness while the balsamic vinegar cuts through this with complex and delicious acidity.

Mexican Almuerzo

You can use your brunch party to transport your guests abroad and Mexico is the perfect destination. You could start with traditional pan dulce served with coffee but give it a kick by opting for a spiced spey coffee. Follow this with classic Mexican dishes such as huevos rancheros and chilaquiles.

Tropical Brunch

By using tropical ingredients, not only will your brunch menu taste great but it will also add colour to the table and lift everyone’s spirits too. You can offer up dishes such as fried plantain served with black bean and egg, banana loaf, juicy grapefruits and yoghurt topped with kiwi, papaya, and mango. There are plenty of options when it comes to your cocktails here too. Try a pineapple whisky smash for instance or a coco noche which uses coconut cream for an extra special touch.

Hopefully, hosting brunch went without a hitch and you’re on to planning your next event. Let The Glenlivet help you. Take a look at our summer whisky cocktails that will be perfect for serving at an outdoor dinner party. Or check out our guide on how to host a whisky pairing dinner, complete with The Glenlivet whisky expressions and cocktail recipe ideas to complement each course.