Ahhhh…Mimosa…Merely uttering the name conjures thoughts of exotic and sensual flavors and scents. From time immemorial (well, maybe not than long) the Mimosa has brought a calm smile to those who try the soft and gentile blend of orange juice and Champagne.
But the noble Mimosa is far more than a mere blend of juice and fine wine; the Mimosa is a celebration—a joy and pleasure beyond compare…provided it is made right.
So how can you make the perfect Mimosa?
Although there are only two basic ingredients in the Mimosa, there are variations and exact blends that can either make the drink better or leave you wondering what all the fuss is about. And considering that “perfection” when it comes to matters of taste is a matter of, well, taste, it may be prudent to provide a few tips and pointers. Chances are this is even a topic you will debate if you attend any college for culinary arts or cooking school in California. While there is much debate about just what makes the perfect mimosa, here is what we think works the best!
First, consider what many believe the perfect ratio of Champagne to orange juice: In general, you will want to put three parts Champagne to one part orange juice. This is considered by many to be the perfect portions for blending by some. Others believe it to be the other way around, with three parts orange juice to one part Champagne. Which is right?
It depends on your preference, but consider this before you decide.
The blend with the higher concentration of orange juice most often can be found by people making the cocktail using orange juice out of a jar or can: In other words, store-bought, not fresh-squeezed. In addition, many swear by using s dash of Grenadine in their Mimosa’s, but again, it can be noted that this is most often found when people are using packaged juice.
And this brings us to the most important aspect of making the perfect Mimosa: Use Freshly-squeezed orange juice, preferably using oranges plucked directly from the tree. Of course, it is rarely possible to obtain oranges quite that fresh, but when selecting the oranges you are going to use from your grocer, pay special attention to the quality. The better the fruit, be better the Mimosa. In general, get medium-sized, firm navel oranges and look for the ones that are pretty evenly formed as these tend to have a more consistent flavor throughout. As for color, look for the ones that are a deep orange color…the deeper the better.
Then squeeze the juice yourself and chill no more than a few hours prior to serving. Any longer and the juice begins to take on a bitterness that you want to avoid. Just juice the oranges with just enough time to chill the juice, no more. Do this and regardless of the exact blend you prefer, you will find that your mimosas are a delight to any who taste.
If you do decide, however, that you want to cut corners and buy packaged juice, the best to select is the “not from concentrate.” Any time you see the words, “from concentrate” on a juice container, it is going to have a certain bitterness that is derived from the processing. Orange juice that is “not from concentrate” is always tastier and sweeter. This is because the “concentrate” is nothing more than the peelings, ground and squeezed of their juices (which are bitter) and sugar is added to artificially mask the bitterness. This is why you often see Grenadine used to further sweeten the mimosa. While every college for culinary arts will have a different tip or trick of the trade, if you were to visit any cooking school in California, you would likely see that the mimosa is a staple of any decedent brunch.
Just use fresh-squeezed instead and there is no need for further additions—you will make a perfect mimosa every time.
This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Sacramento. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Sacramento offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in Sacramento, California. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Sacramento for more information.
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