Friday, September 4, 2009

mimosa friday

I decided to surprise my boyfriend this morning by going out and getting some Sparkling Wine* to make mimosas with breakfast.

* note: it's only called Champagne when it's from Champagne, France - all other times it's called Sparkling Wine. one of those neat little facts. 

Needless to say, he was a very happy camper.

For those of you who may not have made mimosas at home before, here are a couple things that'll help you out. The first thing are the ingredients: sparkling wine and orange juice. That's it! Now, don't get fooled by the "experimenters" that insist you throw in this or that (my worst memory ... Bacardi 151 ... gross). All you need are the classics in order to get a good mimosa going.
If possible, I definitely recommend fresh squeezed orange juice - you can definitely notice a difference. It's pretty easy and affordable to find a juicer nowadays. You can find an electric one for $40 or a manual for $20 (I personally use electric because it's so much quicker).
If fresh squeezed isn't an option for you, make sure to use juice that's not from concentrate, i.e. Florida Natural Orange Juice or Odwalla. Anything else is going to taste sub-par and ruin the quality of the Sparkling Wine (and why not spend the extra 1-2 bucks to make a mimosa that's really superb?).
As far as sparkling goes, you can't go wrong with Champagne. But, any good bottle of Champagne should most likely be saved, unless you have five bottles of it and have no idea what to do with it (in that case, mail one to me!). But if you're not Money McMoneybags and can't afford mountains of Champagne bottles for your castle, there are a couple great and affordable Sparkling Wines to choose from. My favorite varietal is Blanc de Blanc, because it's light enough to complement the orange juice without overpowering it.

My catch of the day is the Piper Sonoma Select Cuvee Blanc de Blanc from Sonoma County. It's normally $20, but I got it on sale at Safeway for $12.99. It's a Methode Champenoise, which means it's relatively prepared in the style of traditional Champagne (a lot of the time that indicates that it's been prepared as a non-vintage, meaning its grapes weren't harvested in the same year, which works fine for a Sparkling but isn't really trustworthy for many other varietals). By itself it has a nice tart acidity with flavors of lemon citrus, mint and herb - with the orange juice, it's a fabulous light and tasty mimosa that's easy to enjoy by itself.
I included a picture of an orange to reiterate the whole "fresh squeezed" notion, just in case you missed it  ;).
If for some reason you can't stand Blanc de Blanc, another great and affordable Sparkling I like to use is the Freixenet Brut ($10). It's a little heavier than the Blanc de Blanc, but it also makes for an enjoyable mimosa ... especially if you're wanting to enjoy one with a heavy breakfast like French Toast or eggs and potatoes (two of my favorite things). You can also make a unique mimosa out of a Sparkling Rose (gives it a little extra kick and sweetens it up a bit). An enjoyable Sparkling Rose to use is the 2005 Heller Estate Organic Vineyards Sparkling Merlot ($16).
Well, here's to Happy Fridays and a Bon Weekend! Slainte.


  1. mmmm mimosas, now i have to go make some.

  2. Great tips on affordable sparkling wines for killer mimosas! Although the $40 estimate is, I think, overshooting the mark on an electric juicer, unless you're a homemade smoothie addict: back in my bartending days, I picked up a little Black & Decker workhorse for $10 from Target and ruthlessly gutted easily 1000 assorted pieces of citrus with it with no complaints about the quality of the product.