Mimosa and Buck’s Fizz

Cocktail Mimosa

The Mimosa is a well-known and popular cocktail listed in the IBA. It’s delightfully simple: just orange juice and Champagne.

Its predecessor and sibling, the Buck’s Fizz, was crafted in 1921 by Malachi MacGarry, the bartender at Buck’s Club in London, England.

The Buck’s Fizz comprises two parts Champagne and one part orange juice.

The Mimosa gained prominence four years later, likely introduced by Franck Meier, the renowned bartender at Hotel Ritz in Paris. I previously mentioned him in the story about the Bee’s Knee cocktail. The Mimosa made its debut in 1936 in Meier’s book “The Artistry of Mixing Drinks,” under the name “Mimosa or Champagne Orange.” Interestingly, the Mimosa recipe wasn’t marked with the sign Meier typically used for his recipes. However, there’s no evidence to suggest that anyone else invented the recipe, leading many to believe that the absence of the sign was a publisher’s mistake, and Meier deserves credit for creating the Mimosa.

The cocktail derives its name from the Mimosa bush, also known as Acacia dealbata.

The ingredients are simple: orange juice and sparkling wine in equal parts.

In addition to their proportions, Buck’s Fizz and Mimosas differ in their presentation. Buck’s Fizz is traditionally served chilled in Champagne flutes, while Mimosa is served in wine glasses over ice. However, over the years, the serving style of Mimosa has evolved, and it is now often served without ice in Champagne flutes. In fact, the IBA now recognizes this version, blurring the distinction between Buck’s Fizz and Mimosa, and referring to Buck’s Fizz as just another name for Mimosa.

Since the 1960s, the Mimosa has become extremely popular, becoming a staple at brunches, weddings, and in airline business class services. At some moment, Mimosa started to be sold as a premix.

However, its widespread popularity and mass-serving haven’t always worked in its favor. Like any cocktail with minimal ingredients, the Mimosa is highly sensitive to the quality of its components. When made with warm juice from a carton and cheap sparkling wine often used at large events, the Mimosa’s reputation suffers.

However, when crafted with freshly squeezed juice from chilled oranges and a good quality Brut sparkling wine, the Mimosa transforms into a delightful and refreshing drink, perfect for a warm afternoon.

Certainly, over the century of Mimosa’s existence, numerous variants of the cocktail have emerged, beyond just Buck’s Fizz and the Mimosa itself.

Here are some examples:
Grand Mimosa – a Mimosa with a dash of orange liqueur
Puccini – mandarin juice, mandarin liqueur, Prosecco
Valencia – orange juice, apricot liqueur, Champagne
Megmosa – grapefruit juice instead of orange
Vermosa – apple cider instead of juice
Lemosa – lemonade instead of juice
Poinsettia – cranberry juice instead of orange

And now, the recipe for Buck’s Fizz.

3 1/3 oz / 100 ml Brut Sparkling Wine (chilled)
1 2/3 oz / 50 ml Fresh Orange Juice (chilled)

Mix both ingredients into the chilled glass.

Garnish – orange zest twist

Flute glass

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