6 Essentials for the Perfect Mimosa

Well worth the extra effort: freshly squeezed blood orange mimosas.
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You may think that crafting a mimosa requires nothing more than simply splashing cheap bubbly wine into orange juice, but if you take a little extra time, source quality ingredients, and embrace a creative spirit, you can very easily take this brunch staple to the next level.

1. Start with Quality Sparkling Wine

When shopping for a dry, sparkling wine to use in my mimosas, I tend to stay in the $10 to $25 range. I like to provide a delicious option for those brunch guests, who might want to simply sip on sparkling wine, sans juice. Look for value outside of Champagne, such as Cava or Proscecco.

2. Use the Highest Quality Juice Available

If you have the time, juicing fruit yourself makes all the difference in the world. The color is brighter, the flavor is more vibrant, and the nutritional content is more potent. Juice at room temperature for easier extraction, pour through a strainer, and chill for at least a few hours before serving.

Experiment with different juices: blood orange, grapefruit, and pineapple are a few of my favorites.

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3. Serve as Cold as Possible

Chill your juice in advance and crack the bubbles just before serving to ensure maximum effervescence. To avoid excessive foaming, pour the juice first and finish slowly with bubbles. When serving a larger group, ice buckets come in handy to keep the two separate components cold.

4. Pick Your Desired Proportion

Traditionally, a mimosa is one part orange juice, finished with three parts Champagne. This is my preferred ratio, since it is a little boozier and not quite so heavy. Another interpretation is the Buck's Fizz, which is two parts juice and one part Champagne.

5. Have the Necessary Tools

A fruit zester, a juicer, and a strainer facilitate the process. As far as glassware is concerned, flutes add an elegant touch to a mimosa, but regular wine glasses, coupes, and martini glasses are great stand-ins. I find a lot of eclectic and inexpensive glassware at thrift shops and yard sales.

6. Keep it Creative

The mimosa is a classic brunch cocktail, but by having a few extra ingredients on hand, you can broaden your sparkling cocktail repertoire and leave your guests with a lasting impression.

  • Add peach purée to sparkling wine for a Bellini.
  • Add créme de cassis for a Kir Royal. Try substituting other liqueurs for variety! I love adding a dash of St. Germain, Grand Marnier, or Leopold Bros. Rocky Mountain Blackberry to my bubbles.
  • Toss in some frozen fruit for an easy, eye-catching, edible garnish.
  • Pour sparkling wine over a dollop of granita or sorbet for a striking presentation. A martini glass works perfectly here, and the sparkling wine remains chilled and is slowly infused with fruit flavor. I am infatuated with this unique twist on the classic mimosa!

What are your go-to bubbles for mimosas? What are your favorite variations on this brunch staple? Do you have any secret tricks or techniques to share?

(Image credits: Jayme Henderson)

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