Food and Wine:
The Mimosa is a cocktail for all seasons, but now that spring has arrived, this seems like a particularly perfect time to revisit it. It’s brunch season, after all—Easter brunch, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and graduation will be here before we know it—and it’s hard to think of a better way to kick off a leisurely weekend morning than with a well-considered Mimosa.
Because there are only two ingredients in a classic Mimosa, it’s imperative that each of them be well chosen. No matter how great your Champagne might be—or Prosecco or other quality sparkling wine—lousy orange juice will drag down your Mimosa faster than you can say, “On second thought, I’ll just have a glass of bubbly.” Fresh-squeezed is always best, but if that’s not an option, then a high-quality store-bought carton will work just fine. Either way, make sure you think through your decisions regarding the presence of pulp: This is a personal choice, and there’s no wrong way to go, but personally, I tend to shy away from pulp; even when squeezing my own orange juice, I strain it before adding it to the Mimosa. Doing so allows the texture of the Champagne to shine that much more brightly. The same advice applies if you’re using grapefruit juice, which is fantastic with rosé Champagne.
When it comes to choosing a specific Champagne, look for bottles that are delicious enough that you’d be happy to drink them on their own as well, and that boast plenty of fresh fruit notes and mouthwatering acidity. Too much acidity, however, should be avoided: A “brut nature” or “brut zero” bottling may come off as overly tart depending on the source of your citrus component. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s no need to pop open a bottle of particularly yeasty, biscuity, nutty Champagne: I absolutely adore that style on its own, but much less in a Mimosa.
Personally, I would never pair an expensive wine with fruit juice for a mimosa. But that’s me. otherwise, if it costs over $20, I would drink it by itself!!!
Here is a great alternative to the mimosa:
The Champagne Piña Colada is one of those cocktails that’s so unimaginably delicious, it makes you want to kick yourself in the shin for not thinking of it first. There were 63 years in between the creation of the Caribe Hilton’s Piña Colada (the modern classic as we know it, created in 1954), and one London bar that decided to augment the tropical mixture of pineapple, coconut cream, lime and rum with some bubbly. But aside from wishing to have engineered this modern masterpiece myself, we should just all be grateful that it exists.
I can’t wait to try it! Maybe on Easter Sunday?
My favorite mimosa story? I was invited to a San Diego Padre baseball game by a dear friend. Little did I know these were premium seats (behind home plate, third row) with wait service at our seats. The waiter asked me if I wanted a mimosa. I said YES, of course, but hold the orange juice!!!