Good friends from Florida recently paid us a long-awaited visit. Since they were arriving around noon, we wanted to greet them with an appropriate drink for that hour of the day. Coffee, tea? Not this crowd. We wanted something celebratory, but not too strong. Mimosas, we thought, would be the perfect cocktail.
We’ve been making Mimosas for years and refer to them as Barbara Mimosas. Anyone who knows this Saucy Sister knows she likes her bubbly! Her Mimosa is made with sparkling wine and a splash of orange juice – just enough to give it some color, as she says.
The Mimosa was allegedly invented at the Paris Ritz Hotel in 1925. The name is a reference to the flower of the mimosa plant which is yellow/orange and appears slightly frothy from a distance. The traditional recipe calls for one third sparkling wine to two-thirds orange juice.
In England the drink is referred to as a Buck’s Fizz, named after a London tavern where it was first served. The typical ratio is one-half sparkling wine and one-half orange juice and a splash of Grenadine or Triple Sec is sometimes added.
Many people ask us if it makes a difference what type of sparkling wine is used to make a Mimosa. The answer is Yes! Sparkling wines have different levels of sweetness, so select one based on how sweet you like your Mimosas. Here are the sparkling wine styles:
Extra Brut – The driest of all
Brut – Very dry
Extra Dry – Medium dry
Sec – Medium dry to medium sweet
Demi-Sec – Sweet
Doux – Very sweet
French Champagne can be used for a Mimosa, but why spend the money and dilute such a luxury with orange juice. Barbara likes to use a Brut Cava for hers. It’s an inexpensive sparkling wine from Spain made in the traditional Champagne method.