Because they’re most commonly associated with bottomless brunch, Mimosas are often described in terms of quantity and not quality. As in, “Dude, I went to the best place for brunch last weekend. They gave me 11 Mimosas.” And when someone says something like that, we close our eyes, rub our temples and wonder silently if that person actually enjoyed drinking any of them.
The Mimosa may be the simplest cocktail to make in the world—it doesn’t even require stirring. If you can avoid the various pitfalls involved in opening a bottle of Champagne, you’re in the clear. It could be made by a baby, if that baby were of legal drinking age. But because it’s so simple, using good ingredients becomes even more important. To us, good ingredients are usually fresh ingredients, and as a general rule we recommend using freshly squeezed juices in whatever cocktail you are making. But we also know that it is not always practical or affordable to have fresh squeezed orange juice on hand. So we went to every grocery store we could in order to find the best store-bought bottles and cartons of orange juice for a Mimosa.
Going into the taste test, we weren’t even sure the juices would be different enough to tell apart. However, after almost an hour with them, not only can we say that grocery store orange juice varies widely, but we can also confidently say that these are the best ones for your Mimosa. Happy brunching.
4. Trader Joe’s 100% Pure Florida Orange Juice
TJ’s standard carton of orange juice makes for a mild Mimosa. It doesn’t hit you with too much tart or too much sweet, so it’s a fine choice if you’re using a bottle of sparkling wine that you particularly like.
3. Simply Orange
The brand you probably get when you want to feel fancy, but also don’t want to pay $9 for a quart of fresh squeezed orange juice, Simply has a real citrus tartness that doesn’t show up in most store bought juices. Though, when mixed with wine, there is a faint rubbery smell, it is undetectable if you’re drinking your cocktail out of a flute. All you’ll get is that sweet-tart orange cocktail flavor.
2. Florida’s Natural
You can find Florida’s Natural in almost every grocery store, which is good news for people who like their Mimosas fruity and downright tropical. It tastes almost like someone added a little pineapple and mango to the batch, resulting in a Mimosa that’s bright and sweet.
1. Whole Foods 365
Not only was the Whole Foods brand orange juice the best one we tried, but at $2.99 it also turned out to be the least expensive. It has a much fuller mouthfeel than any of the other brands and a substantial, tangy orange flavor that could fool even passionate brunch acolytes into thinking it was fresh.