Lent is over. So you know what that means? It’s time to hit the Bloody Mary bar which you’ll need to get a move on for the Easter brunch you’re hosting for your friends and family. After all, Easter is one of those lower-stakes holidays where your family and friends are just relieved they don’t have to fight the crowds at a restaurant pre-noon and instead can snack on quiches, caramelized bacon, and an Aperol Spritz from the comfort of your home. Also, Easter is the best excuse to bust out your spring-inspired table decor–that linen floral tablecloth and those flowering branches in a glass vase are an instant mood setter for moderate day drinking and stuffing your face with Reese’s Easter eggs that are “for the kids.” So what exactly do you make for a fun, easy Easter brunch? How do you set the perfect table? And can you drink before noon? (Obviously).
Start With Your Table Decor
An Easter brunch should read elevated without being overly formal. Most likely nobody is going to try to pull off a big hat today, but let’s not make them feel out of place if they do. Name cards are an easy way to make guests feel welcomed while dressing up the table. (We love these bunny ear place card holders, or these metallic gold rabbits.)
Also, fresh flowers for an Easter brunch are a must. Let’s not forget everyone has just come out of that sad, dark place where you think winter will never end and we might as well give up all hope now and only drink bone broth to keep ourselves warm and satiated for the rest of our lives. But a room that reads: FRESH FLOWERS while the sun is streaming in is a spot everyone wants to eat and hang out in post-winter-mortem. Bring that energy to your Easter brunch table by grabbing some local spring-blooming bulbs like hyacinth or pansies and putting them into a vase like this one for a centerpiece. Or plant some affordable succulents in small mason jars or even teacups for a take-home gift.
If you don’t have a statement linen tablecloth, try a simple burlap table runner and line up some tea candles along it–this is a low-key decorating move with high design impact. If you really want to get into the Easter spirit, work in some cute painted eggs, like these.
Yes, you can actually prep cocktails ahead of time, saving yourself from becoming the permanent barkeep at your own party. Batch cocktails means guests can pour themselves another by themselves. Despite what your aunt might say, a screwdriver is maybe too potent, so we say go with a Rhubarb Shrub Mimosa instead. It’s similar to a mimosa but has an extra kick. Rhubarb crowns early in spring and makes for a tart shrub (drinking vinegar). If you’re not into prosecco, you can put various types of alcohol in your shrub, or even hold some aside for those teetotalers and top it off with seltzer. Also know there are endless combinations for making a shrub cocktail.
As mentioned above, you can never go wrong with a Bloody Mary bar at brunch. Go as crazy as you want with the garnishes, as long as you make the mix ahead. Guests feel like they’re being served at a real bar when you put out a spread of garnishes like cornichons, olives on a skewer, and some celery stalks.
The reason you love brunch is simple: You have total permission to eat your favorite sweet and savory breakfast foods alongside each other. Meaning you’ll need to serve a sweet baked something like this French Toast Casserole and an egg dish, whether that’s a dolled-up quiche or something more fancy like this Dungeness Crab Benedict with Artichokes. It’s also fun to eat and make something that wouldn’t normally be served at breakfast, like this Bacon Onion and Fig Flatbread. One more idea: isn’t it actually illegal to host a brunch without some kind of bacon?
Another combination that will play on seasonal food: these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes alongside some blueberry syrup and fresh whipped cream, and this in-season Asparagus Quiche. Asparagus is most sweet in spring and the presentation of the full asparagus stalks is an upscale twist on many households’ favorite Easter dinner side. If you love pancakes but don’t want to go basic, we have some ideas (shaping into bunnies optional). Or make a nod to chocolate bunnies everywhere with this Chocolate Brioche Cinnamon Rolls recipe.
Does the above sound filling? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on the sides. Whether it be pre-purchased treats from a local bakery like muffins and doughnuts or some savory bagels, offering a little something extra is a good idea. When eating out, most brunch dishes will come with a side of home fries or skillet potatoes, and this Rosemary and Garlic Roast Potatoes recipe echoes that classic combo.
Jokes about millennials aside, avocado toast is sure to please even the non-millennial friends and picky eaters alike. Variations of avo toast are endless, but this simple recipe is great for mass preparation because of the limited ingredients. (Sidenote: it’s healthy-ish). And although brunch usually equates to indulging in some serious sucrose, don’t forget the veggies and greens all together. This Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad adds that roughage hit everyone will want a part of.
See more ways to celebrate Easter, and browse all our Easter recipes.
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