Warmer weather, longer days, baseball’s return, and, of course, refreshing beverages are all signs that spring is in full swing. It’s also the unofficial beginning of al fresco brunch season, arguably the most enjoyable meal of any feel-good weekend.
Those who brunch know one of the best accompaniments is a proper Mimosa. The marriage of zippy citrus and fizzy wine encapsulates everything the festive stretch between breakfast and lunch is all about — playful, unhurried, carefree. Of course, brunch is about way more than just omelets and doctored-up orange juice. Variety is the name of the game and that goes for what’s on your plate as well as what’s poured into your glass.
Elevating the entire experience begins with rethinking the Mimosa as you know it. We get it: It’s a pillar of the late Sunday morning scene, practically sacred in the land of bacon and fried chicken and waffles. Consider the classic drink as less of a blueprint and more of an idea, open to interpretation. That kind of thinking will open your palate to some truly intriguing spins on the drink, the best ones bolstered by signature spirits or alternate versions of carbonated goodness.
Mimosa purists tend toward Prosecco or other sparkling wines, but why not try something different? Instead, opt for a classic spirit base to accompany that juice. You’ll love the results, but if you still crave some effervescence, add tonic water or flavored bubbly water. When it comes to building a Mimosa, experimentation is welcome. It’s a bright new season and instead of hibernating, we’re looking for something appetizing and a little more inspired.
Make way for more seasonal sips that embrace the vigorous energy of the spring and summer. As citrus season segues into prime berry-picking time, you need a cocktail that properly tracks that arc. Even better, give your reimagined Mimosa the tropical treatment just as the forecast follows suit, plugging in sun-kissed options like pineapple.
Here are four stellar riffs on the Mimosa that you should try.
Berry Good Brunch
Harnessing the vibrant floral hues of the season, this drink proudly declares the onset of berry season. The strawberries make it glow and the grapefruit soda adds a nice counter to the sweetness of the fruit and simple syrup. Best of all, the vodka strings it all together seamlessly, while imparting its signature mix of herbaceousness, subtle spice, and silky mouthfeel.
- 1 ½ ounces Ketel One Vodka
- 2 ounces grapefruit soda
- 1/3 ounce simple syrup
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 3 to 4 strawberries
- Garnish: strawberry slice, mint leaf
- Muddle strawberries and simple syrup in a mixing glass.
- Add remaining ingredients and shake vigorously with ice.
- Double-strain into a chilled coupe and squeeze oils from lemon peel across the surface of the drink.
- Garnish with a strawberry slice and mint leaf.
What’s more anti-winter than the peach? The fuzzy stone fruit looks like the sun and tastes like the magic of the growing season. It’s the star of the Bellini, a drink born almost a century ago in Venice. This one opts for a flavored spirit over peach purée, making it both flavorful and refreshing. Don’t have any Champagne lying around? Most sparkling wines will do, like Prosecco or Cava.
- ½ ounce Crown Royal Peach
- ½ ounce peach purée
- 1 mint sprig
- Add Crown Royal Peach and peach purée to a stemless wine glass.
- Top with Champagne.
- Garnish with a mint sprig.
Tequila and pineapple get along swimmingly. Here, that pairing is afforded some texture with a splash of bubbly and a kiss of stone fruit by way of the liqueur. The result is a spring-fresh sipper that plays off the fun and fruity nature of the Mimosa while taking it somewhere beachy and palm tree-filled. It also really spotlights the tropical and agave notes of the tequila.
- 1 ½ ounces Tequila Don Julio Blanco
- ¼ ounce pineapple gum syrup
- ⅛ ounce Maraschino liqueur
- 1 dash aromatic bitters
- Dry sparkling wine
- Garnish: Orange twist
- Add tequila, pineapple syrup, liqueur, bitters, and ice to a shaker.
- Shake for 15 seconds and strain into a cocktail glass.
- Top with sparkling wine.
- Garnish with an orange twist.
Tanqueray No. TEN French 75
The French 75 is timeless, an immortal drink that’s great whenever, whether you’re proposing a toast at a wedding or getting your brunch on. It’s one of those drinks fit for all hours, as enticing midday Sunday as it is Friday night over appetizers. The juniper, zest, and grapefruit of the gin lift the sparkling wine straight up to the heavens. If you prefer things on the dry side, try a more diluted simple syrup, or none at all.
- 1 ¼ ounces Tanqueray No. TEN
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- Sparkling wine
- Garnish: Lemon peel
- Pour gin into a cocktail shaker.
- Add fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and ice.
- Shake until combined.
- Strain into a coupe glass or Champagne flute.
- Top with sparkling wine.
- Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
This article is sponsored by Diageo.