Espresso Recipes to Boost Your Brunch

by Ben Coleman Updated: March 11, 2024 5 min read
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Spring is brunch season, and—if you want your spread to stand out—you’re going to want to move beyond the basic when it comes to the beverages you serve your guests. 

A great recipe is all well and good, but if you don’t start out by brewing excellent espresso, it’s not going to be worth much. So, before we get into how to make some exciting spring beverages for your brunch, we’re going to take a moment to talk about some equipment you should get to make sure you’re brewing the best espresso possible. 

Whether you’re showing off your barista skills on a prosumer or letting your guests serve themselves on a super-automatic, we’ve got some suggestions for espresso machines that will be sure to make your party pop.

Already have an espresso setup? That’s ok too: jump to Recipes

Be a Hosting Hero

When most people think of brunch, food is the first thing to come to mind. While beverages may take a back seat, they’re an integral part of any enjoyable brunch experience (we all have that friend who only shows up for the mimosas…). 

An exciting and sophisticated beverage menu can, in fact, make the difference between a good brunch and a great one. Sure, you can simply brew coffee or put out some cold brew concentrate for your guests, but they can get a cup of coffee anywhere. 

If you truly want your guests to remember your brunch, give them a beverage experience they absolutely can’t forget. 

As far as we’re concerned, there’s two schools of thought on how to do this: 

Espresso Recipes to Boost Your Brunch
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Be a Prosumer Professional

If you’ve got a prosumer espresso machine, that probably means you’ve been practicing your shot-pulling skills. If you’re feeling confident, turning your home into a coffee shop for your brunch party is a great way to impress your guests. 

Pulling double shots of espresso for your guests is sure to please the espresso fanatics you hang out with, but (again) serving a sophisticated espresso beverage will elevate everyone’s experience.

The best part about the recipes we’re sharing ahead is that, while they’re complex in flavor, they’re quite simple to make. So you won’t need to spend the whole morning behind the bar in order to make sure everyone gets one. 

If you want to immerse yourself in the role of home barista, we cannot recommend the BZ 13 from Bezzera highly enough. This is a commercial-rated heat exchanger espresso machine perfectly poised to handle the volume a brunch party might bring. 

Espresso Recipes to Boost Your Brunch
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Provide Super-Auto Self-Service

If you’d rather be a bit more hands-off and allow yourself the time to engage with your guests, allowing them to brew their own beverages on a super-automatic espresso machine is a great way to make it happen without sacrificing on drink quality.

Super-automatic espresso machines allow guests to customize their espresso however they like it and brew cafe-quality shots simply by pushing a button. 

On the Accademia, customizing beverages is exceedingly simple, and your guests can even save their preferences for the next time they come over. It’s the perfect machine to make your party-goers feel like they’re in control of what they’re drinking.

If you create a recipe card and leave ingredients out, they can have fun playing barista while you focus on the food or conversation. 

Whichever host you choose to be, the following espresso recipes are sure to make their mark on your guests’ memories. 

Blood Orange Espresso Tonic

Blood Orange Espresso Tonic

Our Blood Orange Espresso Tonic recipe is all about celebrating and elevating coffee flavor—not masking it. The result is a bright and citrusy beverage with just a hint of bitter flavor that’s sure to wow coffee lovers and skeptics alike. 

We used Fever Tree tonic because it’s lower in sugar and doesn’t contain any high-fructose corn syrup. This helps the coffee and tonic flavors to shine and makes the drink feel a bit more “adult,” since it’s not too sugary. 

If, however, you prefer a sweeter beverage, feel free to add simple syrup to taste, or use a tonic water with a higher inherent sugar content, like Polar. 


  • One 22 gram shot of espresso (we recommend our Guatemalan Huehuetenango single-origin). 
  • 120 grams of Fever Tree tonic water
  • Juice from 1/4 of a blood orange
  • Ice


  1. Squeeze a quarter of a blood orange into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 
  2. Pull your shot of espresso (we used an IMF Big Bang filter basket to get 22 grams in one basket). 
  3. Pour the espresso into the shaker with the ice and the orange juice. 
  4. Shake vigorously. 
  5. Place six ice cubes in a 12 oz tumbler (notNeutral’s VERO latte glass works wonderfully).
  6. Pour the tonic water into the tumbler.
  7. Strain the espresso and OJ mixture on top of the tonic water. 
  8. Stir gently until combined, garnish with an orange slice, and serve!

Spice Things Up

If you’re looking to get the party started, this blood orange espresso tonic becomes a cocktail quite easily. Simply substitute 1 oz of Cointreau for the blood orange juice and you’ve got a light, easily-sippable adult beverage that will get people chatting without ruining anybody’s morning. 

Blood Orange Espresso Martini

Blood Orange Espresso Martini

If you’ve got the kind of friends whose main attraction to the concept of brunch is bottomless mimosas, we’ve crafted the perfect spring cocktail to serve them. 

This isn’t your typical espresso martini—it’s closer to the classic gin-forward cocktail of the 1920s than the super-sugary versions you tend to see on menus these days. 

It features botanical gin and St. Germain liqueur for a complex, sophisticated flavor profile that perfectly highlights the coffee flavors. 


  • 3/4 oz St. Germain liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Black Button Solstice gin
  • 3/4 oz blood orange juice
  • 3/4 oz espresso
  • Meyer lemon peel (for garnish)
  • Ice


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. 
  2. Chill a coupe glass in the freezer (or by filling it with ice). 
  3. Add the St. Germain, Black Button Solstice Gin, blood orange juice, and espresso to the shaker. 
  4. Shake vigorously.
  5. Strain the shaker contents into your chilled coupe glass (make sure to remove the ice first). 
  6. Peel a strip of meyer lemon rind and twist it over the beverage. 
  7. Rub the inside of the peel around the rim of the glass, then balance it over the side as a garnish. 
  8. Serve!