Brunch is famous for Benedicts and avocado toast, but where’s the fun in eating an arguably superfluous midday meal if there’s not a good drink to accompany it? The Mimosa solves that issue. The beverage joins another eye-opening morning stalwart, the Bloody Mary, as a supreme brunch cocktail that is universally acceptable to enjoy before the clock strikes noon.
Composed of sparkling wine and orange juice, the Mimosa was created around 1925 and named for a yellow-flowered plant. Its origin is often pegged to Frank Meier, a bartender at the Ritz hotel in Paris during that time. Meier eventually included the recipe in his 1936 book, “The Artistry of Mixing Drinks,” which is believed to be the Mimosa’s first appearance in print.
It’s easy to see why the drink became a sensation. It’s refreshing and delicious, and even the most novice drinks-makers can remember the two-part recipe. The Mimosa is also a lighter serve than the high-octane Screwdriver, which skips sparkling wine in favor of vodka, so it’s a natural choice for morning consumption.
With only two ingredients, you want to choose high-quality wine and juice—so, the opposite of what you will find at the bottomless pitcher places. Start with a good, dry Champagne or other sparkling wine like prosecco or cava. And, like all drinks demanding juice, fresh is always best, so squeeze a couple oranges for the rich citrusy flavor and added benefit of vitamin C.
Once your ingredients are handled, the simple Mimosa doesn’t offer many opportunities to go off the rails. But be careful not to get too heavy-handed with the OJ. Rather than lengthening the cocktail with a hearty juice pour, be judicious with the juice. You want it to complement the sparkling wine instead of burying it.
Build your Mimosa in a Champagne flute for a touch of elegance, and serve it alongside classic brunch fare like omelets, pancakes and toast. Or drink it whenever and with whatever you like. The Mimosa is too easygoing to care about silly things like conventions and rules.
2 ounces orange juice, freshly squeezed
Sparkling wine, chilled, to top
Pour the orange juice into a Champagne flute.
Top with the sparkling wine.