Make Cranberry Mimosa cocktails or mocktails. Photo courtesy Ocean Spray.
There’s still time to create a signature drink for Christmas: a Cranberry Mimosa cocktail or mocktail. It combines cranberry juice with sparkling wine (or ginger ale), instead of the orange juice of a traditional Mimosa.
Or use cranberry liqueur for a Cranberry Kir Royale, a.k.a. Kir Royale à la Canneberge (if you haven’t guessed, canneberge [can-BERZH] is French for cranberry). Note that using liqueur instead of juice creates a stronger drink.
You can also serve a Mimosa mocktail with cranberry juice and ginger ale, and a diet version with diet cranberry juice and diet ginger ale.
Ingredients Per Drink
1. COMBINE the cranberry juice/liqueur and the sparkling wine in a Champagne flute or wine glass. Add the juice first. If you need to stir, do so gently, once, so as not to collapse the bubbles.
2. GARNISH as desired and serve.
*Well-priced sparkling wines include Asti Spumante and Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain, Crémant from France and our Top Pick Of The Week, Yellow Tail Bubbly.
The Mimosa is named after the yellow-flowered mimosa plant, Acacia dealbata.
While we have a definite date for the creation of the modern Mimosa, the combination of sparkling wine and orange juice has been consumed for centuries in Spain, where oranges and sparkling Cava are plentiful (especially in Alicante, Castellón, Catalonia and Valencia).
The Mimosa is a cocktail composed of equal parts of orange juice and Champagne or other dry, white sparkling wine. It was invented circa 1925 at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris, by bartender Frank Meier—purportedly all the OJ gave imbibers an excuse to begin drinking at breakfast.
The optional addition of a small amount of orange liqueur like Grand Marnier complements the juice and gives the drink more complexity.
Because of the juice component, the Mimosa is often served at brunch.
Other juices, while not Mimosas, provide variations on the drink:
If you’re making Mimosas, fresh-squeezed orange juice makes a huge difference.
One expert recommends trying different types of orange juice: The sweeter Navel juice vs. the more acidic Valencia, for example. Blood oranges, with their rosy color and raspberry notes, will provide a different experience entirely (and a wonderful one!) [Source]
†Buck and mule are old names for mixed drinks made with ginger ale or ginger beer, plus citrus juice. They can be made with any base liquor. Why buck? Why mule? That answer is lost to history, but here’s a detailed discussion.
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