The Art of the Mimosa

June 4th 2015

For many of our Essex residents, hosting a party is an art form. Let’s face it: One of life's finer pleasures is hosting an elegant brunch. There's no better way to ease into a relaxing day of pleasant socializing than by having brunch with friends.

If you'll be hosting a brunch anytime soon, consider adding a particularly elegant and sophisticated beverage to the menu: the mimosa.

An Interesting History

A primary ingredient of a mimosa cocktail is orange juice. That makes the coloring of the mimosa a bright, sunny yellow. So it seems perfectly natural that the mimosa would be named after a tropical tree that explodes with cascades of beautiful, delicate, yellowish-orangey blossoms.

But in other parts of the world, the mimosa is known by a somewhat less elegant name: Buck's fizz. That's what the mimosa is called in England.

And for such an elegant beverage, could there be a more elegant point-of-origin than the Ritz Hotel in Paris? That's right! It’s the birthplace of the mimosa, circa early 1900s, though some claim that the Buck's fizz was invented earlier.

Who knew that the master of horror and suspense movies, Alfred Hitchcock, is often credited with popularizing the mimosa in America. (Wouldn't it have been oh-so-poetic if he had preferred the Bloody Mary?)

No matter the origin of the drink, you won't have any trouble creating your own mimosas for the next brunch you host.

A Simple Recipe

There are two popular variations of the mimosa: the British version, and the French version. Both are simple recipes, and both very easy to make.

British-version ingredients:

  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 4 ounces champagne*

French-version ingredients:

  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces champagne*

Mixing the drink is absolute simplicity. Just pour the orange juice, chilled and fresh-squeezed, into a champagne flute. Then top with the champagne.

An optional variation for the British version is to add 1/2 teaspoon of grenadine. For the French version, sometimes a pinch of orange bitters is added.

The Adventurous-version ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 cup of half-and-half
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 bottle sparkling wine or champagne*
  • Strawberries, for garnish (optional)

Place orange juice, the zest, half-and-half, and sugar into a blender and process until the sugar has dissolved (about 30-40 seconds.) Pour the mixture into a shallow pan or container and freeze the mixture until hard.

After it has hardened, take it out of the freezer and let it sit for about 10 minutes. From there, take an ice cream scoop or tablespoon and put a small portion (1-2 scoops) of it into a glass. Slowly fill the glass with champagne and serve garnished with strawberries.

*Non-alcoholic sparkling wine, sparkling cider or ginger ale can be a substitute for this ingredient.

Sound easy enough? If you're planning on hosting a leisurely brunch soon on a sunny Sunday morning, mimosas are a great option.