Urban Vibes: 5 Steps to Plan Your Outdoor Boozy Brunch
As the sun shines a bit brighter and the weather feels a little warmer, the hibernating New Yorker (or Kansas Citian!) is more than ready to embrace these spring urban vibes. And one of the best ways to ditch those lingering winter blues is to host a rooftop boozy brunch. Need an excuse to flirt with that recently hired, striking single man outside of the office? Or maybe you just want to enjoy the sunshine with your closest friends. Skip the dinner party or late-night post-bar bash — when the city temps heat up, a brunch is the best way for urbanites to celebrate.
Outdoor space will offer the most carefree and friendly environment, especially if you can take your brunch to the rooftop or even on the patio. You'll also need a table for the food, along with seating for lounging. From kitchen table chairs to beach chairs, it's all about getting cozy. For a touch of chic, decorate the space with floral arrangements in vases or pots. Floral accents along with strung twinkle lights are the easiest way to enhance alfresco aesthetics and really create a scene. If you're in the mood, choose a theme for your brunch, such as nautical, black and white or urban luau (which really equates to wearing a lei over whatever killer outfit you have on).
Once you've captured the setting, the assorted alcohols is next to address (remember, priorities). The Ketel One Vodka Bloody Mary is essential for any discerning urbanite who brunches. Ingredients include Ketel One Vodka and its Bloody Mary Base (which consists of tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, horseradish, black pepper and fresh lemon juice). After you mix and shake this concoction, garnish with celery, olives, lemon wedges or bacon. And, of course, no brunch is boozy enough without mimosas, sangria and a galvanized tin full of ice, craft beers and bottled water for a smidgeon of hydration. Oh, and BYOC: Bring Your Own Coffee.
If your Sunday brunch squad is likely to head straight to the cocktails, you'll want to have a few brunchy appetizers on hand (as guests drinking on an empty stomach may transform a happy host into an unhappy host). Fruit salad (or kabobs!) are great bites that aren't only healthy, but colorfully aesthetic. For a little more substance, go for lemon poppy seed muffins, all the fixings for bagels and lox, deviled eggs and creamy, cool herb yogurt dip served with cut-up veggies.
When you're feeding a gang, you don't have to fear the casserole. The New York Times Cooking offers a variety of elegant casserole recipes for brunching that will impress the palate of all your guests. The Buttery Breakfast Casserole (buttery as in toasted croissants, yum) is a caramelized combination of browned sausage, sage and melted Gruyère cheese. Does "herb-infused savory bread pudding" wake up your taste buds? The Green Strata with Goat Cheese and Herbs recipe by food columnist Melissa Clark is a delicious dish blended with ingredients like braising greens, baby kale, bread cubes and goat cheese topped with eggs.
The Baked Goods
If your guests ask what they can bring, the dessert category is where they can contribute — because even the best hostess (or host) can't play the perfect party planner, bartender, chef and baker, right? Plus, encourage this brunch to be an opportunity and special occasion where your friends can finally try out that to-die-for Pinterest recipe. Don't be afraid to unapologetically extend some sweetened brunch ideas, either. Sticky buns, pancakes, donuts, french toast, biscuits and scones with any type of fancy twist, preferably homemade, are all welcome.