by Dennis Mayer | January 4th, 2013 | Cocktails, Sparkling

champagne etcMimosas are synonymous with brunch, weddings, and daytime drinking in general. Blending orange juice, a breakfast standard, with sparkling wine, a light, bubbly booze, seems to take some of the stigma away from imbibing before the evening hours. The mimosa is often cast as the softer, jauntier cousin of that other erstwhile daytime drink, the Bloody Mary. (I’m not sure either of them does much to help cure a hangover, outside of a placebo effect certain drinkers might have assigned one or the other.) It’s a drink for occasions where you aren’t necessarily trying to drink — something light and refreshing, sure, but not anything strong enough to do damage. (God help you if you try to tie on a good buzz with mimosas. Sparkling wine has to be one of the worst hangovers around.)

There are two schools of thought on mimosas. Some call for a straight half-and-half mixture of orange juice and sparkling wine. That’s all well and good, but I like a slightly stronger cocktail, even if it is the daytime. (Plus, I find too much orange juice makes for a heavy mimosa.) We’re adding the Cointreau, then, not to make the drink stronger, but to help this recipe along with a bit more orange-flavored sweetness to counter what will undoubtedly be a somewhat dry sparkling wine. (I’ll assume the stuff you’re using to make your mimosas will be mid-grade at best. Note that we’re not calling it Champagne. Frankly, if you can afford a good bottle of that, you shouldn’t go and ruin it by adding orange juice to it in the first place.)

I’d suggest you buy a pulp-free orange juice for this recipe as well, just for appearances. (I suppose you could squeeze your own orange juice for this, in which case you should strain it. But who has the time?) And since we’re not adding any ice to this drink, you’ll want to make sure both your orange juice and your sparkling wine are ice-cold. (Yes, we’ve written before that white wine should be consumed a bit warmer than that, but sparkling wine is the exception.) You wouldn’t be wrong to keep both in an ice bucket until you’re ready to serve.


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  1. 4 oz. sparkling wine
  2. 1 oz. orange juice
  3. 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  4. Orange twist for garnish (optional)
  1. Ensure sparkling wine and orange juice are well-chilled.
  2. Combine ingredients in a champagne flute, pouring champagne last.
  3. Do not stir; carbonation from the champagne will mix the drink.
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  1. […] thinks of a Bloody Mary or Mimosa as the typical breakfast drink.  I am hosting a brunch next month; is there a different cocktail […]

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