National Mimosa Day
During the month of May Happy Hour City will be celebrating all things wine related. Each week we will educate you on the different types of wine, we will also show you how to make wine centered cocktails/drinks, and we will be giving you the inside scoop on some of the best wine bars & wineries around LA.
Ah, Mimosas, my second favorite cocktail. The bouginess of Champagne, the “vitamin C” benefits of orange juice, this was the original recipe. Perhaps due to the fact not everyone loves OJ, or because Champagne doesn’t exactly run cheap… Other variations have been created and to be completely honest I can’t complain. I love me different flavors Mimos’ and Sparkling Wine allows me to drink more. Anyway, point is… I agree, Mimosas deserve their own holiday, so let’s learn about this genius who beat me to inventing it.
If you think stronger versions of Mimosas don’t exist- YOU’RE WRONG. Mimosas come in all flavors and versions.
The Buck's Fizz was invented in London, it has twice as much champagne as orange juice.
The Poinsettia is cranberry juice with champagne sometimes with vodka and/or Cointreau. And if you think that’s a stiff drink...
The Megmosa is a similar type of cocktail, invented by its founder M. Sheppard on the east coast of the United States, which is composed of equal parts champagne and grapefruit juice.
Literally, just about any fruit goes well in a Mimosa, more specifically speaking, when using Pineapple and champagne it’s called a Soleil.
A brief history:
We all know how Bloody Mary made her way to brunch, but the Mimosa took a little longer...
Our research showed that it was invented by bartender Frank Meier at the Ritz Bar in Paris in 1925. The Buck Fizz we mentioned earlier was also invented in London around the same time. But how did it become the staple of brunch? So much so, that we need it in bottomless amounts?
It was not until the 1960s that the OJ-and-Champagne combo burst on the scene in the U.S. Like a lot of things in America, this custom was inspired by the British Royal family.
“The royal family has begun a new fad in drinks among London’s fashionable Mayfair set,” the Sydney Morning Herald’s London correspondent reported in 1961. “The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Queen Mother all have adopted a Champagne cocktail they call mimosa.”
The drink had been introduced to the Queen by Earl Mountbatten of Burma after a visit to the south of France, and it quickly spread from the royal family to “Mayfair homes and too big country houses, where the Queen and members of the royal family sometimes stay at weekends.” The Royals’ version was simply iced Champagne poured over orange juice, but for them, it was not a morning cocktail, instead, it was “their favorite pre-dinner drink.”
Meanwhile, in the U.S. The ritual of Sunday brunch, had already been around for decades, was becoming increasingly popular, but the mimosa wasn’t part of it. At first, it was simply named “Champagne orange” so many people didn’t distinguish it… The name “Mimosa” at the time, never took off in the states, due to trend-setting London celebrities. They put the name “mimosa” in the limelight.
In May 1966, when a reporter for the London Express called round to Claridge’s Hotel to interview Alfred Hitchcock, he found the director “in fine form, drinking mimosas (Champagne and orange juice) and smoking an eight-inch cigar.” That article was widely reprinted in American newspapers, and when Hitchcock visited New York later that year, a wire story noted that he was wearing “his customary suit of midnight (or mortician) blue” and “paused to serve mimosa cocktails, a mixture of Champagne and fresh orange juice.”
When Vanessa Redgrave visited New York City, she was found “getting a hurry-up hairdo: and talking amid sips of “Champagne mimosa … her pet mixture of bubbly and orange juice.” Around the same time, French actress Denise Darcel told the Detroit Free Press, “In France, we drink mimosa,” insisting it be two parts Champagne to one part orange juice and served over plenty of ice.
Fast forward to the mid-1980s, Ronald Reagan became POTUS, and the mimosa had evolved to compete with the bloody mary on the American brunch menu. It’s been bottomless history ever since.
Random Wine Fact:
Mimosas are the common name in Europe for the yellow flowers of Acacia dealbata.
You don't have to get Champagne to celebrate if you can't afford it. Sparkling Wine and any citrus juice work just fine. Especially if you're a fan of the bottomless tradition. We hope you're celebrating with us, so let us know how you make your Mimosas in the comments below. And stay tuned next week as we explore What Is Champagne?
Are you learning? Did we miss something? We love your feedback. Until then, thanks for reading, and as always...