A Better Mimosa


The perfect mimosa recipe begins with the best ingredients. The oranges might not like it, but you will love it.

I have friends who are eaters. They will put (just about) anything in their mouth. Like most of you, however, I enjoy drinking. But when drinkMakers take short cuts, opting to use ‘acceptable’ rather than fresh ingredients … I have to say … “There is a better way to make a Mimosa.”

Mimosa’s are one of my household favorites. They are inexpensive to make, delicious to drink, and they impress the hell out of your guests when they are made right. My goal here is to add a value to your treasure chest of easy-to-make-drinks that impress your guests and or wow your … whoever … by giving you a few tips to succeed where others have most certainly failed.

Traditional Mimosa recipes mix equal parts sparkling wine and orange juice, but what most recipes don’t clarify is that the ingredients matter. It is a leisure drink that someone usually offers you at a party, or a server brings you from the bar at the hotel where you are staying. (How is/was your vacation?) But, what if you want to make a mimosa at home, for a party you’re throwing, or when you and your honey are relaxing on the weekend?

First off, there is a right way and several wrong ways to make a mimosa. The ingredients matter. Small differences in quality can have profound effects in the way a mimosa tastes. Obviously, the better something tastes, the more pleasure you will experience. You want to have a good mimosa, don’t you? Please say yes …

AWW-approved mimosa glass

Okay then, now that we’ve got that out of the way … A mimosa is usually served in a champagne flute – one of those long-stem-tall glasses that doesn’t look like it holds very much booze at all and should probably be replaced with something bigger … I am with you on this. If you have a flute, feel free to use it, but don’t get confused, we are NOT using Champagne for this recipe. Champagne and other traditional method sparkling wines, like Cava, do not deserve to be blended down with juice.

I mention the glass because I don’t use a champagne flute in my recipe. I prefer using simple serving glasses, basically anything that we have in the house and would use on a regular basis. I do have champagne flutes, but the glass really doesn’t matter. What matters is the quality of the “juice” – a synonym for wine and/or any fruit-liquid.

The key for the sparkling wine is finding something a little sweet, or off-dry, with a lot of fizz and a little elegance. For me, nothing works better in a mimosa than Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine made from the Glera grape. Prosecco and oranges pair so well together that I have a hard time thinking of a good second option that is as readily available around the world. Also, the value-to-quality ratio of Prosecco is hard to beat. You can usually find a high quality Prosecco for under 8€$¥£.*

Now that you have a decent Prosecco in hand, your next task is finding the fresh fruit. No, you aren’t taking a shortcut through the fruit juice aisle. You are gonna squeezeSqueezeSQUEEZE your way to happiness.You are going to use fresh oranges.

Based on my deep and exhaustive research, it takes the juice of three to four (4) oranges and one bottle (75 cL/750 mL) to make six servings of the AmericanWineWriter-approved mimosa.

Basically, the recipe breaks down like this:

– 75 cl/750 mL Prosecco
– 4 oranges

Cut oranges into eight (8) halves and squeeze the juice from all-but-one of the orange halves into a container you can close – yield 8 oz. Find your glass(es). Administer 1/6 of the quantity of orange juice to each glass. Open the Prosecco carefully.** Fill the glass(es) with Prosecco.

Optional accessories:
– remaining orange half sliced and positioned on the edge of the glass;
– straw;
– engagement/wedding ring (depending on the occasion).

The rest is simple. Find a sunny place and don your sunglasses. If you don’t have access to sun, who cares, you have a mimosa. You are fabulous. Nothing else really matters. You have a damn good mimosa to drink.

*NOTE: Try to find a vintage Prosecco from a recent year. Old Prosecco and mimosa’s don’t mix. They are like the Bloods and the Crips.

** NOTE: Contrary to popular celebratory customs, it is best to release the cork of a sparkling wine bottle slowly and without much ado – this actually helps to keep the gas that’s trapped in the wine, in the wine. When you release a champagne cork too quickly, the gas in the wine rushes out and vanishes and then all you have is a very flat, un-impressive wine.Sparkling wine needs bubbles, and I bet so do you!

If you have a recipe that you’d like to share with AmericanWineWriter, please send your recipe, beverage samples, and/or other information to editor[at]americanwinewriter.com. Feel free to leave your comments below.

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