Brunch is the best. And New Year's Day brunch is a chance to really make this celebratory meal perfect without making it hard. Here's a simple menu and game plan for putting together a festive, make-ahead party while easing your way into the new year.
Hosting a brunch party without stress
Whether you like to ring in the new year like the wild it-girl that you are or keep things lower-key by hosting a simply perfect NYE gathering at home, I bet you don't feel like working harder than you have to on January 1.
This simple but fabulous brunch menu feeds a crowd and is all but 100% make-ahead friendly.
You'll assemble four items:
- A perfect brunch cocktail that you can batch in a pitcher and chill ahead of time
- A veggie-packed breakfast casserole that you can assemble on the morning of New Year's Eve, pop into the fridge, and bake an hour before your party
- A huge batch of really good bacon in the oven. Use the best thick center-cut bacon you can find, and make more than you think you'll need. There's never any left.
- An epic fruit platter with dark chocolate fruit dip, which does double-duty as side dish and dessert
New Year's Day brunch game plan
Here's your simple timeline for hosting New Year's Day brunch:
- December 30: Write up your grocery list and head out shopping.
- December 31: At your leisure during the day, assemble the casserole. Pop it in the fridge, tightly covered. Prep the cocktail and chill it. Make the chocolate sauce for the fruit platter and leave it right in the pot. Prep all the fruit. Then go have a great New Year's Eve!
- January 1: 90 minutes before your party, preheat the oven. Cook the bacon, and when it's done, slide the casserole into the oven. Assemble the fruit plate. Gently reheat the chocolate sauce.
- Make a big-ass pot of coffee.
- Set out plates, glasses, silverware, napkins, and the drinks pitcher, casserole, bacon, and fruit platter with dip. You're done! Happy New Year. xx
Brunch Cocktails: The Grand Prix
The Grand Prix is a light, beautifully balanced make-ahead brunch cocktail for a crowd created by Morgan Schick for Villon in San Francisco. Campari and cold brewed coffee (who'da thought?) contribute a broad spectrum of delicious bitter flavors, grapefruit juice provides both tartness and fruitiness, and a generous splash of tonic takes the edge off the bitterness while fizzing things up a bit.
Easy Vegetarian Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole
This wonderfully savory make-ahead breakfast casserole is brimming with vegetables. You can prepare it a day in advance, store it in the fridge, and bake it in the morning. It serves a happy crowd and is one of our favorite savory holiday brunch items.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
I won’t waste your time telling you bacon is good. I mean, hi. You know bacon is good. Bacon in the oven, though? Bacon in the oven is GREAT. It’s easy and hands-off and consistent, and you can easily make it for a crowd. Choose a good quality center-cut bacon, and make more than you think you'll need. It always disappears. We find you can make it ahead and serve at room temperature if you like, and nobody seems to mind. Or cook ahead and quickly rewarm in a 250°F oven.
Fruit Platter 101: How to Make an Epic Fruit Tray
A show-stopping fruit platter is one of the easiest, most appreciated contributions to a brunch (or really any party). Our version takes it to the next level with a few less-common fruits and (hello!) a luscious dark chocolate dip. People who want a few healthy bites of fruit on the side of their entree will be happy, and so will those who want to sidle up to the dessert bar.
Hungry for more?
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