When the watermelons start rolling into the stores, I can’t wait to get my hands on a few. Yes, I love biting into a juicy watermelon, but I also love adding watermelon juice to cocktails!
The classic pairing of orange juice and champagne is what most people expect when they read mimosa on a menu. However, any combination of sparkling wine and fruit juice is perfectly acceptable, and sometimes a welcome change!
What’s in this Mimosa?
This variation on a classic mimosa really highlights the bright sweetness found in fresh watermelon, and I highly recommend using fresh fruit to start with (bottled juice is duller in flavor and many times has added ingredients, even if that’s just water).
But you don’t have to roll home a watermelon to make this drink. Many stores already have cut cubes or spears of watermelon ready to go in the refrigerated section, so you can cut way back on your prep time.
Sparkling rosé gives the effervescence needed for a mimosa and provides some fruity berry notes, but with a dryness that compliments the watermelon without making it too sweet. Because of that big, bright, fruity taste, I enjoy these with midmorning or early afternoon brunches. If you’re hosting a brunch, pair this with the more traditional mimosa for some fun drink options.
ROSÉ ALL THE WAY FOR THIS MIMOSA
Champagne might be the listed ingredient in a cocktail book for a mimosa, but don’t waste the money (or the headaches cheap “Champagne” will bring).
With a bright, tart juice like watermelon, a fruity sparkling rosé is a great complimentary wine. I love the convenience of Underwood’s Sparkling Rosé cans, especially if I’m having brunch at home with just my husband. I’m also a fan of J Vineyards Sparkling Brut Rosé and Chandon’s Sparkling Rosé.
You can get some of those fruity notes in a non-sparkling rosé as well, but you’ll need to add in a carbonated element. Club soda will add bubbles but water down the end result. Try a flavored seltzer like lemon to give bubbles and flavor.
THE BEST GLASSWARE FOR MIMOSAS
I like to serve this drink in a large stemless wine glass so that I can garnish with a watermelon wedge. (There needs to be a little room or I’ll hit my nose on the watermelon!)
If you want to go even more casual with these, small mason jars would also work. Just make sure you’re serving this particular mimosa in a clear glass because the color is gorgeous and you want to see it.
TIPS FOR MAKING A WATERMELON MIMOSA
If you’ve found that your watermelon is not as sweet as you’d like, you can add a 1/2 ounce of simple syrup per drink (1:1 granulated sugar to water) when mixing your mimosa together.
If your watermelon is on the very tart side, adding a splash of Limoncello or Meyer lemon juice will bring in a little more sweetness and balance. Meyer lemons are sweeter than your common variety so use those here. You’re looking to balance tartness with sweetness the same way you might add a little sugar to balance acidity in a tomato sauce.
As I mentioned before, the basic recipe for a mimosa is sparkling wine and fruit juice. We’re hitting those notes here but with a twist, replacing watermelon juice for the citrus.
HOW TO POUR A WATERMELON MIMOSA
Sometimes if you’ve got an energetic bubble with your sparkling wine, pouring it over the juice will result in an overflow as those bubbles interact with the juice.
To play it safe, you should pour in your sparkling rosé first, allowing it to settle while you then pour in your fruit juice. If you find that your juice and wine are not mixing properly (i.e. your juice has sunk to the bottom), go ahead and give your drink a gentle—very gentle—stir.
HOW TO MAKE A ZERO PROOF MIMOSA
Got guests who aren’t drinking any alcohol? This mimosa can easily be made into a fun nonalcoholic drink by replacing the sparkling wine with a nonalcoholic sparkling wine, a tonic water, or even a lemon kombucha that is alcohol-free.
HOW DRESS UP YOUR MIMOSA
The color of watermelon is beautiful on its own, but if you’d like to garnish your drinks you can, and should!
Small watermelon wedges are cute to look at and they let your guests know right away what’s in their drink. Plus, if you get hungry you have a little snack! That’s a perfect combo for me.
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