I love a good brunch party. It doesn’t have to be a kids’ birthday or baby shower to throw one in the daytime. It might be your birthday, a housewarming, or no occasion to speak of except for the weekend. Forget the waffle house—you can have a better, cheaper and longer brunch session in your own home.
Whether ringing headaches are demanding hair-of-the-dog or it’s a perfectly healthy situation, getting a little buzz from beer or classic brunch cocktails is a pretty good way to ease into the weekend. Try adding a generous splash of Stout to your favorite Bloody Mary recipe—the sweetness and slight carbonation will take the drink to a more refined level. No sparkling wine to go around? No matter—a FauxMosa can be mixed up using a floral Wheat beer or golden Belgian ale with orange juice instead. Sometimes, a good old Pale Ale or lager is the perfect complement to a hearty morning meal.
From scrambles and pancakes to biscuits and bacon, brunch food is crowd pleasing and easy to make, especially when you find clever combinations of the week’s surplus food. Spinach and feta will get a lift from a chopped red pepper—and a swig of Hefeweizen to wash it down. Sausages go down and dirty with a Dunkel or Brown Ale, and potato hash on the side.
Here’s what I’d do before calling in the troops to eat a mean, morning feast at your home: Find a day just after a big and boisterous event earlier that week. Chances are, you’ll have much to reminisce about after the event, and it could even spike a tradition of gathering soon after a major get-together. Eat all kinds of things the prior week, scraping together plenty of leftovers and half-bunches of produce. Put together a batter the night before your brunch party (for biscuits or scones, waffles or coffee cake), and bake it fresh the next morning with everyone around. Use a juicer to try out a multitude of fresh, fruity beer cocktails (see suggestions below). Have the kids come along, or act like a kid yourself. It’s just flipping pancakes, so what’s the fuss?
Let’s face it: Restaurants that serve up “brunch” typically repurpose their week’s leftovers into special dishes, so why shouldn’t you en masse, too? You might just have a better time brunching than going out on the town.
Brunch-Worthy Beer Cocktails
This historic British pub drink incorporates ale with a citrusy soda, or fresh citrus juice and ginger beer. Try it with cider or Pale Ale, and with sparkling water mixed with freshly grated ginger, and lemon juice and zest.
A crisp lager becomes forcefully savory and fresh with the addition of lime juice and hot pepper sauces in a salt-rimmed glass. This Mexican hangover potion has serious legs, and can be interpreted with almost any type of beer (such as dark or “negro” lagers), and clamato or tomato juice, too.
A true recession-era drink, this dictates beer with OJ, instead of champagne. Strengthen it with a bubbly Double White, and add a twist of fresh orange peel to the rim of the glass for a dash of class.
(Stout-y) Bloody Mary
If you’re not so keen on the overly salty taste of most bar-made Bloody Mary’s, balance it out with a hefty dose of your favorite Stout, and add a fresh kick with lemon, horseradish and a celery stick.
Sour Ale Sangrita
This traditionally virgin cocktail (meant to be paired with a shot of tequila) can find a happy, slightly alcoholic middle ground with a twist of sour Farmhouse Ale instead of some of the citrus juice. This usually includes some form of hot sauce, or minced, mildly hot peppers, and orange, lime, tomato or pomegranate juice. ■