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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Mimosas formidable.


Plus formidable.

Some years ago, I reminded you about the virtues of french 75's in a new year. This new year, the topic is mimosas.

But before I get to mimosas, I'll tell you: french 75's made our past year---our past year, which was awful---a little happier.

So now the mimosa, a far gentler subject for the usual post new year's surfeit of champagne.

There are two basic recipes, and one is far more basic than the other:

The one you've probably already had:
1 1/4 oz orange juice (3.5 cl, 5/16 gills)
Fill with Champagne, ice
Serve in a cocktail glass (4.5 oz)
The one you're about to try:
1/2 ounce triple sec (1.5 cl, 1/8 gills)
1 1/2 ounces fresh orange juice (4.5 cl, 3/8 gills)
3 1/2 ounces chilled Champagne (10.5 cl, 7/8 gills)
1 orange slice for garnish (1/2 oz, 1.5 cl, 1/8 gills)
Build in the order given in a Champagne flute. Add the garnish.
Serve in a champagne flute (6.0 oz)
Yes. Triple sec. Surprised? That recipe is from Gary Regan's The Joy of Mixology, a book which is more about process and theory than recipe. Gary Regan is certainly accomplished, and also is a bit of an Internet-as-cottage-industry phenomenon. But so is About.com, and take a look at this awful recipe for the same drink; or maybe you too measure orange juice by the carton. So let's put it to the fire: does Gary know something so many others don't? Why would you add triple sec to something like orange juice, which is so sweet to start? (BTW, Rachel wants you to add triple sec too, but at the end, rather than at the beginning---I guess she wants you to light fire to it too, or something.)

Give up? Well, I'll tell you. It's about alcohol.

Adding triple sec is like infusing what would otherwise be a very fluffy Mother's Day drink with something more formidable. You're bumping your mimosa to actual cocktail level.

Triple sec is made from oranges, so it doesn't rustle your orange juice's feathers, and shouldn't overlay your natural oj sweetness too much---especially if it's high-proof triple sec. Triple sec runs up to 60 proof, and you shouldn't waste time with much less than that. If you're going to put it in a mimosa, putting something that's about 30 proof is not really adding much of anything.

It seems intuitive, and likely need not be said, to not use your favorite champagne for a mimosa. If you're drinking your favorite champagne, drink your favorite champagne---don't sugar coat it. Of course. You're insulted I even mentioned anything. Well, it must be said. It must be said because there are sites that say, "a bottle of favorite champagne" and where orange juice from a carton suffices. I will be very goodly god-damned if I am going to slop a bottle of Bollinger Grand Année into any kind of juice, let alone juice from a carton. In fact, I don't think I've had orange juice from a carton in the new millennium. Or maybe since the Ford administration.

You need a tasty champagne, to be sure, but you can do with an easily acquired one. Prosecco is popular right now and prosecco is excellent for mimosas, in my opinion.

As for glassware---you know, it's really shouldn't be fetishized for this particular drink. You're not going to be noting the size of the bubbles. I like even serving them in tumblers, as demonstrated above, for the guests get more at a time.

Rocks with champagne? If you're using a tumbler, why not? You put champagne in punch, don't you? And what is a cocktail, if not a punch for one?

The mimosa is one rare drink that you can enlarge a bit with considerable impunity. But if you must, the champagne flute makes for handsome presentation. The only problem is, with the flute, you'll be refilling them every seven minutes. Me, I'd look for some good Italian tumblers and clink.

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