All About Brunch

(Updated on: Feb 05, 2024)

Become a brunch aficionado with our quick guide to help you make the most out of the most fun meal of the day. Brunch. It's good for just about any occasion; birthdays, baby showers, a Mother's Day outing, or the morning after an evening out where a regular 8am breakfast just isn't on in the cards.

Whatever the reason for it, a good brunch experience with loved ones can be a joyous event, and with April marking National Brunch Month, we want to equip you with the knowledge that will help you craft a brunch to be proud of. By having a few brunch recipe favorites onto hand and knowing which drinks complement each dish, you can upgrade your brunch skills and never look back.

What is brunch?

Brunch is a meal that combines elements of breakfast and lunch and is often enjoyed during late morning or early afternoon. The origins of this popular meal are thought to go back to 19th-century England, where Guy Beringer coined the term ‘brunch’ to describe a social, late-morning breakfast on a Sunday that followed a morning hunt. By the 1920s and 1930s, thanks to its convenience, brunch had been popularized in North America, and by the middle of the century, food and drink now synonymous with brunch, such as eggs benedict, waffles, and mimosas, had been established. Today, brunch is a popular indulgence worldwide, particularly in urban areas of North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and East Asia.

Brunch essentials

Brunch is often associated with dining out, but you can also stir up a mouth-watering late-morning meal from the comfort of your own home. There is no 'wrong' brunch to serve up to your family and friends, but there are a few favorites associated with this meal that you may want to consider to help you tick all the right boxes for your guests:

  • Coffee. What is any meal early in the day without an accompanying coffee? Whether you prefer an espresso, a pour-over, or a specialty coffee like a flat white or a cappuccino, a well-made cup of coffee can enhance any brunching experience.
  • Champagne. If you're looking to add some extra merriment to Sunday brunch, Champagne and other sparkling wines have established themselves as the go-to beverage to indulge in. Enjoy your Champagne on its own from a RIEDEL Champagne Wine Glass, or as part of a fruity sparkling cocktail such as a bellini or a mimosa. Mimosas and bellinis are traditionally made with orange juice and peach purée respectively but feel free to get creative and mix things up with variations like grapefruit or pomegranate juice for your mimosa, and mango or cranberry juice for your bellini.
  • Something sweet. There's something about brunch that brings out the sweet tooth in a lot of us. For those of you to who this applies, pastries cannot be ignored when considering sweet brunch options. Croissants, cinnamon swirls, and pain-au-chocolat are all examples of sweet baked goods that can elevate your brunching experience. Pancakes and waffles also often fall into the 'sweet brunch' category when topped with ice cream, maple syrup, or something chocolatey, but they can also be savory depending on your choice of topping. If you're approaching brunch from more of a 'sweet but nutritious angle, you may wish to consider serving up a fresh and mixed fruit salad or try topping your pancakes/waffles with a mix of berries to add some freshness to your meal.
  • Something savory. If you are after a savory brunch, there are a few ingredients that show up time and time again in classic dishes. Eggs are a notable ingredient, with eggs benedict, royale, and florentine all being hugely popular options on many brunch menus, while quiche, omelets, frittatas, and breakfast burritos are all popular inclusions at many establishments too! Other savory brunch staples include avocado toast and fry-ups, while bacon, sausages, and breakfast potatoes are also featured in numerous brunch dishes.

Food and drink brunch pairings for your consideration

So you have a good idea of some of the most popular food and drink options you can include with your brunch. Now to decide what pairs together to make the whole meal come together seamlessly, enhancing all individual components in the process.


Coffee and pastries

Coffee shops serve a range of pastry options alongside their coffee for a reason. Coffee and pastries have been recognized as a match made in heaven for a long time, with the sweet, buttery nature of pastries balancing the bitter qualities of coffee.

So next time you sit down for brunch and wonder what food to nibble at while you sip your flat white, a cinnamon roll might be just the ticket.


Coffee and rich, savory dishes

Not everyone ordering a coffee with their brunch will want to stick to pastries.

If you prefer something more substantial to enjoy with your coffee, we recommend brunches that work in tandem with your drink's qualities. The creaminess of avocado toast can work wonderfully alongside a cafe latte or a cappuccino, while the richness of egg-based dishes can complement the bold flavors of coffees like an americano.


Mimosas/bellinis and sweet brunches

Adding juice or purée makes mimosas and bellinis light, refreshing cocktails that are excellent matches for sweet brunch options. French toast can bring richness to balance the lightness of your mimosa or bellini, while the freshness of a fruit salad can be a strong option if you wish to keep your brunch light across the board.

This pairing option doesn't have to be limited to people enjoying an alcoholic drink. If you are sticking to soft drinks with your brunch, you can achieve similarly delicious results by pairing your French toast or fruit salad with an alcohol-free mimosa, using ginger ale instead of sparkling wine.


Bloody Mary

As another drink that has built a clear association with brunch over the years, it is only fair we give you some food recommendations to enjoy with this charismatic cocktail.

This savory, spiced beverage balances beautifully with egg-based brunch options such as eggs benedict or a breakfast burrito. For meat lovers, the saltiness of bacon dishes can complement your Bloody Mary's spices, while if you're keeping things plant-based, you can try topping your avocado toast or tofu scramble with chili flakes to match the intensity of the cocktail.

With this background on all things brunch, we hope you feel perfectly equipped to prepare an unbeatable brunch offering that is irresistible to even the fussiest of eaters!