I love mimosas, let’s be clear about that. Champagne and OJ is one of those great combinations that was just meant to be. However, I find myself getting bored from time to time and straying from the classic go-to. At a recent brunch, I decided to give my guests options and served them two ‘mosas that were new to them: Beermosas and cucumber honey mimosas.
‘Mosa #1: The Beermosa
I had my first encounter with the beermosa about a year ago at a wonderful brewpub in Chicago called Revolution Brewing Company. We stopped there for brunch before heading to a music festival and I must admit I got way too excited when I saw the beermosa on the menu. What a great idea! They serve them two ways:
Being the hop-fiend that I am, I went for the IPAmosa and loved it. The color was a pretty pinkish red and the taste was fantastic. I wish I could remember the details of the taste to describe, but all I can remember right now is that it was good and I had more than one. I am heading back to Chicago in July for the music festival again and will have to re-visit Revolution Brewing Company to refresh my memory (for inquiring minds that care, the above mentioned music festival is Pitchfork Music Festival – a favorite annual summer time trip for me).
When you are creating your own beermosa, choosing a Belgium white (witbier) or a hefeweizen are safe choices to pair with OJ. However, feel free to experiment. I would have never thought to mix an IPA and blood orange juice, but it works. For my brunch, here is what I served:
Ingredenients (makes 2 – 3 beermosas) –
- 1 bottle Alligash White
- Fresh squeezed OJ
- Homemade raspberry puree
- 1.5 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
- Juice of 1 orange (or a couple of splashes of OJ)
- 2 Tbls agave syrup
- ¼ – ½ cup water
What to do –
Throw the raspberries, OJ and agave in a blender and pour in water until it reaches the consistency you are looking for. I like it to be thick, but pourable. If you want it sweater, you can add more agave or OJ and less water.
Assemble this fine drink by pouring equal parts Alligash White and OJ into a glass, then top it off with a few spoon fulls of the puree (Proceed with caution! The puree tends to create some fizzing action). Enjoy!
‘Mosa #2: The Cucumber Honey Mimosa
The second ‘mosa style that I served was champagne paired with a cucumber honey juice. I discovered this lovely and refreshing mimosa on a trip to San Diego I took to steward at the 1st round of the American Homebrews Association homebrew competition. To reward myself for a job well done, I went out to brunch the next day at a place called Prep Kitchen in La Jolla. The place was tiny, but was just my style. We sat outside on the front porch and settled in for a great brunch. The menu was small, but everything sounded great and it was. They use fresh, local ingredients and it showed in the taste of the food.
But, before there was food, there were mimosas. They had 3 styles on the menu:
- Fresh OJ (Champagne + Fresh OJ)
- Passionfruit Vanilla (Champagne + Passionfruit + Vanilla Bean)
- Cucumber Honey (Champagne + Cucumber honey juice)
I had checked out the menu online before we went and the cucumber honey mimosa was a big part of the decision making process when choosing a brunch spot, so I ordered one the second the waiter said “Good morning” and it was love at first sip. I <3 honey and it was a great companion for the cucumber juice. The drink was light green, refreshing and just different enough to be intriguing, but not a turnoff. Since I am not into long distance relationships, I realized I would need to figure out how to recreate this drink so I can continue my love affair with it in the much more reasonable location of my back patio. I found a recipe for cucumber juice on foodtv.com and modified it to fit my needs. My version was heavier on honey then Prep Kitchen’s, which was just fine with me. Here is what I made:
Cucumber Honey Mimosa, heavy on the honey
Ingredients (makes about 6 cups of juice) –
- 3 cucumbers
- 3/4 cup honey (adjust to your sweetness level)
- 3 cups water
What to do –
- Peel the cucumbers (saving the peel) and grate them. I used my food processer to make quick work of this.
- Add the water and honey to a large sauce pan and bring it to a boil, making sure to mix in and dissolve the honey.
- Once the honey is dissolved, add the grated cucumber juice to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for at least 20 minutes before attempting the next step unless you want hot cucumber juice all over your clothes and kitchen cabinets. Trust me on this one, I know from experience.
- Once the liquid is cool, add it to a blender with the peel and blend away. I did this in about 3 batches. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
- Strain the liquid into a pitcher. I did this using a fine mesh strainer I have. You can also use cheese cloth, a kitchen towel, etc. At this point you have made the juice.
- Poor a healthy amount of champagne into a glass, fill the rest of the way with cucumber honey juice.
- Repeat until the juice is gone, or until you have started freely telling embarrassing stories about yourself (or others) to your friends that you never intended to let out.
This drink was a big hit with my crew at brunch. At first they were a bit skeptical of the green juice, but slowly, one by one, they tried it and soon it was all gone with people requesting more. Success! I did observe someone do something with the juice I would NOT recommend. They mix the cucumber juice, OJ, and pineapple flavored wine. There are so many, many things wrong with that.