A mimosa is a welcome start to any day, but it’s needed on Christmas morning, to drown out the rattling sound of wrapping paper. The combination of sparkling wine and fruit juice doesn’t need much in the way of tweaking, nor does it really call for an exact recipe — but it could use a little nuance. And nothing gives off nuance like cocktail bitters.
Sure, the subtlety is lost after a few drinks, but try a few dashes in your first (or even second) morning cocktail, and treat your tastebuds ever so slightly differently. Cocktail bitters are, after all, the spice rack of the bar cart. They’ll give your juicy drink a little pride, a little depth, and undeniable character.
Any flavor of bitters that strikes your fancy will work, but I highly recommend Classic Angostura or Regan’s Orange Bitters. Angostura, with its strong gentian backbone and hints of clove and cinnamon, will give your drink a decidedly Christmas-y vibe, much like an orange with a whole clove.
Adding orange bitters to an orange-based drink may seem redundant, and Orange Bitters will amp up the citrus factor, but this is more orange peel than juice, and is tempered with cardamom, cumin, coriander, anise and cinnamon. goes. If you want to go nuts, branch out with another bitter fruit like grapes or cranberries.
To serve, put out the bitter bottles with the bubbly and one or two of the juices. I love tangerines and grapefruit, and I serve them restaurant-style squeeze bottles To better control the flow of juice. I like my mimosa to be (much) more champagne than juice, and it’s much easier to achieve when I can just pour it in there rather than pour it.