5 Easy Swaps to Elevate Your Brunch Spread

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but brunch is by far the most fun. This midday feast is built for luxuriating in the moment and sharing food with friends. And in our opinion, no brunch spread is complete without pure maple syrup.

Rich and amber with natural sweetness, this liquid gold is just as integral to a brunch as a hot cup of coffee or a mimosa. Québec produces 90 percent of Canada’s maple syrup and nearly 72 percent worldwide, and it’s the real deal. It doesn’t have any additives like corn syrup, or artificial flavorings—it’s just a single ingredient: pure maple syrup. And it can jazz up everything from a stack of waffles to a cocktail. Here are a few ways we like to use it to elevate brunch.

Maple from Canada

Create a toppings bar.

Yes, you read that correctly: toppings, plural. Pancakes are the ultimate blank canvas, and pure maple syrup is the primer—a versatile base that can be topped with almost anything, sweet or savory. So lay out a platter of pancakes and a pitcher of syrup, and then go off with the rest of the toppings. Craving something fresh and fruity? Cut up seasonal produce for guests to turn into parfait-like layered creations. Leaning more savory-sweet? Fry up some bacon or breakfast sausages to make delightful morning wraps. Either way, the finishing touch is a drizzle of maple syrup.

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Set the scene.

Hosting brunch is an occasion, and guests should feel that the moment they step through your door. But you don’t need to go all out (put away those streamers)—just use “the good stuff” to make your space feel as special as it is. Swap nondescript paper napkins for vibrant cloth ones. Break out the nice silverware or glassware you’ve stowed away for a special occasion and forgotten about, pick up some fresh or dried flowers to brighten up the dining room table, and use those heirloom crystal jugs for drinks and maple syrup. Little touches like this will go a long way to show you’ve put in the effort.

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Outsource fancy baked goods.

Just because you’re doing brunch at home doesn’t mean everything needs to be homemade. You’re not tapping trees to make your own maple syrup, and you can similarly go with the pros for anything you don’t want to cook or bake. Rather than labor over technical feats like croissants or sourdough, head to a local bakery that mills its own flour or uses regional and seasonal ingredients. You’ll be supporting your local economy and giving yourself more time and energy to mingle during brunch. That’s called good management.

latte coffee on the table

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Level up your lattes.

Have you ever tried sweetening your favorite brew with pure maple syrup? Adding nature’s elixir to hot coffee or tea is a simple upgrade that adds a touch of sophistication to your ritual caffeine. Whether hot or iced, it adds sweetness to your beverages without the need to dissolve crystals—plus the flavor can’t be beat. Try it with matcha or chai lattes for an exciting gourmet touch.

Send guests off with goodies.

As brunch winds down, share a little something to commemorate the time spent together. Send your guests off with a sweet treat like maple butter that they can enjoy atop breakfasts and desserts, or use as a sweetener in savory sauces and dressings. A bottle of syrup with a ribbon tied on the neck and your favorite pancake mix is an equally great gift that might even inspire one of your friends to host the next brunch soirée.