The Mimosa is the ultimate morning-after pick-me-up—but only if you make it right. With just two ingredients it seems difficult to mess up, but if you use subpar orange juice and a sparkling wine that tastes more like lemon-lime soda than Champagne, you’ll wind up with a saccharine mess. Made with fresh orange juice and the right sparkling wine, on the other hand, the Mimosa is a brunchtime revelation. From everyday, budget-friendly wines to extravagant Champagnes, here are our favorite effervescent toppers for your next Mimosa.
Cheap as this Prosecco is, you might expect it to be cloyingly sweet and poorly made, however the wine is exactly the opposite. Light, crisp and drinkable on its own, this Prosecco is an excellent accompaniment to freshly squeezed orange juice. Whenever you have a brunch party to attend, arrive with a bottle of Mionetto tucked under each arm.
A tried and true cocktail staple, this New Mexico sparkling wine is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. On the palate there’s classic brut toastiness, an abundance of tropical fruit, and the elegant, sour malic acid flavor of pears and apples. On the finish this sparkling wine has a lasting creaminess and complexity. Try serving it with pineapple orange juice rather than the standard orange fare.
Domaine De La Grande Côte Crémant de Bourgogne Brut NV ($22)
Proving that not all great French sparkling wines come from Champagne, this sparkling crémant made in Burgundy is wonderfully biscuity and buttery with a sharp undertone of minerality. If this sparkling lasts long enough to make it into a cocktail, try using it in a Mimosa made with a ratio of 2:1 fresh orange juice to fresh lemon juice. It will cut the juice’s sweetness and bring out the wine’s brightness.
Hailing from the wet, fertile Willamette Valley in Oregon, this sparkling wine embodies the best characteristics of French Champagne at a fraction of the price. Subtle notes of wet gravel, fennel fronds, honeycomb and buttermilk biscuits are heightened by a backbone of bright acidity. Medium bodied and balanced, this wine is as good on its own as it is in cocktails. For a Mimosa, use only the freshest orange juice and go heavy on the sparking.
Composed of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as Poulsard and Trousseau (two grapes indigenous to the Jura region of France), this crémant is a regal exploration of natural wine production techniques. Wild yeast fermentation provides a touch of oxidation to the wine, while notes of green apple, chamomile and buttered toast are predominant on the palate. When using this wine in a Mimosa, swap out the OJ for an ounce of pear brandy, a few hefty dashes of orange bitters and three quarters of an ounce of fresh lemon juice. Garnished with a sprig of fresh thyme, it’s a cocktail worth waking up for.
This is the perfect wine for any special occasion—or just when you want to treat yourself to something fancy. On the palate the wine has flavors of toasted hazelnut, puff pastry, lemon curd creaminess, passion fruit sourness and a hint of briar fruit from the Pinot Noir grapes. Not only does this Champagne work well in a Mimosa, it makes a delightful Bellini as well.
Mouthwateringly delicious, this wine should be bought in the largest size possible because it will go fast (a magnum goes for $110). Perfectly balanced, with a fragrance of jasmine and honeysuckle, the wine opens on your mouth with depth and grandeur, displaying notes of graphite, lemon zest, salinity and a cascading creamy, toasted almond finish. This Champagne deserves to be served with an equally elegant brunch. Think smoked fish, caviar and almond croissants with apricot jam. To serve, add an ounce of fresh orange juice (strained of pulp) to a flute, top with the Champagne and garnish with edible flowers.