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The Birth of Brunch

The Incredible Story of America’s Favorite Meal

It’s a little too late for breakfast. But not quite time for lunch. What’s a hungry person to do? Luckily, there’s another option. A better option! An in-between meal perfect for extended mornings and long afternoons.


Brunch Beginnings

Brunch. That funky mash-up meal. The lunch/breakfast hybrid that turns Sundays into Fundays with decadent spreads of food and a perfectly acceptable reason to enjoy late-morning cocktails.

But where did brunch come from? Who’s the culinary conjurer behind this wonderful occasion?

It’s hard to pinpoint precisiously where the tradition of enjoying a big, fanciful midday meal on Sunday comes from. But we do know the word “brunch” first appeared in a 1895 Hunter’s Weekly article titled, “Brunch: A Plea”.

In the essay, British author Guy Beringer, has grown tired of heavy, traditional Sunday suppers and makes a plea for lighter fare, served later in the morning. Beringer wrote:

"Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week."

So, Beringer pitches the idea and coins phrase in England, 1895. But why did this magical meal take more than 30 years to get popular stateside?


Brunch Comes To America

Maybe copies of Hunter’s Weekly weren’t flying off the rack at American newsstands near the turn of the 20th Century. Who knows? But the brunch craze didn’t really catch in this country until the 1930’s. And might never have if it wasn’t for the city of Chicago.

Throughout the Dirty Thirties, Hollywood celebrities and the wealthy elite often traveled coast to coast by train. And for these transcontinental trips, Chicago was the halfway stopping point.

Affluent passengers arriving midday would show up hungry. Only to find most restaurants closed on Sundays. Local hotels, on the other hand, were more than happy to accommodate these famished fat cats.

Feasting on sophisticated, late-morning meals, served alongside signature morning cocktails like the Bloody Mary, became all the rage. Movie-screen starlets and bigshot bankers took the trend home with them. And it spread like wildflowers.

The popularity of brunch would continue to soar following World War II. With so many married women entering the workforce for the first time, Sundays became all about breathing easy and loosening up.

Brunch was the perfect antidote for their hectic new schedules. It occurred later in the morning, which gave hard-working women the opportunity to catch up on sleep. And then a chance to enjoy some much-needed relaxation midday. Brunch has evolved. Regional delicacies, family recipes and craft spirit preferences make it an occasion that’s fun and easy to make your own.


Making A Better Brunch

The type of drinks served at brunch are equally important to the variety of food on offer. The right cocktail or perfect pour can change the meals complexion. Turn a good time into an unforgettable occasion. So think hard about the craft spirits you plan to use at brunch.

BigFish has carefully curated three Summer Brunch-inspired bundles, each featuring distinct craft spirits meant to pair perfectly with any brunch. Browse our Summer Brunch bundles today and find the bundle that best complements your style.