The Mimosa is a weekend tradition for many of us. Champagne and orange juice is a wonderful way to end one week and prepare for another. Of course, there is always variety in how that Mimosa is going to taste. There is natural variation depending on the champagne — or other sparkling wine like Proseco which can be tastefully substituted.

More importantly, the orange juice can contribute a very, very wide range of tastes and color and body. Thin, acidy, sweet — you never know until you taste that juice. [If your cardboard container says the juice expired in October of 2009, please do not use it.]

This recipe will give you a Mimosa that has a boosted flavor you can count on time after time. The secret? Add one more ingredient: apricot brandy. Now, it’s rare for any of us to sip that liqueur straight, but it’s a base for many cocktails. And the apricot brandy serves a true role here: it provides a definite spike to the Mimosa, a spike you normally can get only if you are lucky enough to have very bright orange juice. Since orange juice is random, and the brandy is not, this is the path to a consistently satisfying beverage.

I was inspired to this drink by Kim Haasarud’s 101 Champagne Cocktails. This little book is a big gem. Her recipe, the Valencia Royale, has different proportions than my Apricot Mimosa below. My proportions are easier to remember and pour for a crowd. And my taste testing did not reveal any taste differences. Kim’s proportions are shown in [brackets] below for you to test if you wish.

Apricot Mimosa

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ [1 ½] ounces orange juice
  • 1 ½ [1] ounces apricot brandy
  • 3 [3] ounces champagne
  • Orange peel for garnish

Preparation:

Combine the orange juice and apricot brandy in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a champagne flute. Top off with champagne. Garnish, if you wish, with an orange peel

Source: Inspired by Kim Hassarud’s 101 Champagne Cocktails