Mimosas, champagne or prosecco?

istockoj The always erudite Eric Felten bemoans the Mimosa, “the official semi-alcoholic drink of brunch” as “an ordeal.” True enough because of OJ from a carton and cheap, off-dry bubbly. Then he spells out his recipe for success with the drink: freshly squeezed orange juice and good dry champagne.

In my limited cocktail making, I have come to learn that the fresher and better the ingredients, the better the cocktail. But I’ve also learned that there really aren’t that many great wine cocktails. While I agree in principal with Eric’s suggestion for the Mimosa makeover (though his suggestion of Veuve Clicquot is hardly the driest champagne around in these days of brut zero), I can’t bring myself to put OJ in my Bollinger (his second, and much better, champagne suggestion). If I have a fresh OJ and a glass of fine champange I’d rather enjoy them separately and never the twain shall meet. For me, it’s a nice dry cava or prosecco that is the best way to go with the fresh OJ in a Mimosa.

What do you say? Is the Mimosa where you’d put your Bollinger?

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Poll now closed

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8 Responses to “Mimosas, champagne or prosecco?”


  1. Good Champagne should never be adulterated, unless it is being served to my wife. For Mother’s Day, she can have whatever she wants! She would agree, however, that a good cava or prosecco is the way to go. Enjoy the brunch, and remember to call your Mother!


  2. Mimosas are festive and can take an inexpensive sparkling wine like a Cremant or Blanquette and turn it into an occasion. Add a little Triple Sec to round out the fruit and orange flavor and see if you don’t want another one. Eggs Benedict anyone?


  3. I usually use a good quality Cava when making Mimosas. On special occasions, like Mother’s Day, I use Roderer Estate. Nothing gets between a glass of Bolly and me!


  4. Cava, cava, cava, cava, cava, cava, cava, cava, cava,….or prosecco.


  5. I’ll admit, I usually cheap out when making mimosas. Of course, I don’t use fresh squeezed orange juice either, mostly because I am extremely lazy.

    Lazy and cheap. Amazing that I ever managed to get married.


  6. I agree Cava is the way to go, in addition to an ounce of Grand Marnier!


  7. Fine quality fresh orange juice plus decent quality fresh inexpensive NV champagne (examples: Mumm, Piper Heidsieck) equals the definitive mimosa. Second choice would be one of the basic clean, fruity California bubblies from one of the French or Spanish houses (e.g., Mumm Napa, Gloria Ferrer, Domaine Chandon).

    Putting orange juice into more serious champagne, or more serious bubbly from elsewhere, improves neither.

    Decent cava has enjoyably distinctive aromas and flavors that would be hard to detect in the presence of orange juice, although I can imagine particular orange juices having flavor profiles that might marry well with cava.

    The floral/amylic aromas and flavors of prosecco fight with orange juice, imho.


  8. As long as I’m drinking it on the Cape–who cares what the orange juice or sparkling wine is!!


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