The Mimosa is a cocktail for all seasons, but now that spring has arrived, this seems like a particularly perfect time to revisit the quintessential champagne cocktail. It’s brunch season, after all — Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and graduation will be here before we know it — and it’s hard to think of a better way to kick off a leisurely weekend morning than with a well-considered Mimosa.
Because there are only two ingredients in a classic Mimosa, it’s imperative that each of them be well chosen. No matter how great your Champagne might be — or Prosecco or other quality sparkling wine—lousy orange juice will drag down your Mimosa faster than you can say, “On second thought, I’ll just have a glass of bubbly.”
Fresh-squeezed is always best, but if that’s not an option, then a high-quality store-bought carton will work just fine. Either way, make sure you think through your decisions regarding the presence of pulp: This is a personal choice, and there’s no wrong way to go, but personally, I tend to shy away from pulp; even when squeezing my own orange juice, I strain it before adding it to the Mimosa. Doing so allows the texture of the Champagne to shine that much more brightly. The same advice applies if you’re using grapefruit juice, which is fantastic with rosé Champagne.
When it comes to choosing a specific Champagne, look for bottles that are delicious enough that you’d be happy to drink them on their own as well, and that boast plenty of fresh fruit notes and mouthwatering acidity. Too much acidity, however, should be avoided: A “brut nature” or “brut zero” bottling may come off as overly tart depending on the source of your citrus component. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s no need to pop open a bottle of particularly yeasty, biscuity, nutty Champagne: I absolutely adore that style on its own, but much less in a Mimosa.
The nine Champagnes below, listed alphabetically, are all excellent options. My recommendation: Use them for Mimosas, but save a glass to enjoy without the juice after your guests have left and the dishes are all cleaned up from brunch. Now that’s how to spend a weekend in style.
9 Champagnes for the best mimosa cocktails this weekend:
Champagne B. Stuyvesant Blanc de Blancs Brut NV
This Champagne finds an excellent balance between the mouthwatering liveliness that fans of blanc de blancs look for, alongside anchoring notes of fresh pastries and warm butter. The fruit leans in the direction of apples and pears, though the citrus component provides a delicious counterpoint to the subtle nuttiness beneath it all. An excellent expression of Chardonnay, one of six Champagnes in the Black-woman-owned brand helmed and founded by Marvina Robinson and named after her hometown, Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé
Cranberries, wild strawberries, and stone fruit set the stage for a palate of bright, generous flavours of wild berries, multigrain toast, a hint of cherry pipe tobacco, and an earthy, almost forest-floor tug through the lively, orange-zest finish.
Champagne Henriot Blanc de Blancs Brut NV
Beautiful brioche aromas alongside minerality and lemon curd as well as a hint of oyster shell brininess. Sipping this reveals a wine of richness and balance, weight and elegance, with lemon-lime, candied ginger, white peaches, apricots, papayas, hints of lemon marmalade, and honeycomb and marzipan through the finish.
Champagne GH Mumm Grand Cordon Rosé Brut NV
Rich in colour, with loads of wild strawberries, mixed berries, a hint of blood oranges and orange sherbet, grapefruit, rooibos tea, spice, and crushed blackberries. Effusive and charming.
Champagne Lapin Rouillé Brut NV
Mouthwatering and mineral, with citrus pith and orange notes joined by hard apples and pears, cranberries and spice. 100 percent Pinot Meunier. This is the first Black-woman-owned Champagne brand in the United Kingdom.
Champagne Louis Roederer Collection 242
Rich with flavours of shortbread and biscuits, this wine is vibrant, as expected from a Chardonnay-dominant blend, full of mineral, sweet spice, toasted brioche, honeysuckle, and stone fruit notes that really sing, as well as tropical flavours despite the lower dosage.
Champagne Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut
Elegant and lifted, with citrus, honeysuckle, and a touch of brioche fresh from the oven. Sipping this reveals a wine that is bright and finely detailed, with lemon acidity, lemongrass, and ginger, all leading to honeysuckle and jasmine on the finish, as well as a hint of Red Delicious apples and yellow nectarines.
Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut NV
Layered and evocative aromas of multigrain toast dipped into apple compote. In the glass, this shines with apple fritters, apple compote, fresh-baked bread, lemon, white strawberries, candied ginger, and verbena.
Champagne Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut NV
A classic for good reason: Aromas of biscuits spread with lemon marmalade, a seam of minerality, and the suggestion of white liquorice set the stage for a palate of sweet ripe fruit—yellow plums, baked pears—lemon blossom, and honey tuilles.
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