With a hint of warm spice, this traditional brunch cocktail is a twist on the classic mimosa.
There’s a palpable change of mood in the air already. The lingering spirit of the holidays and anticipation of the New Year has everyone in a celebratory mood.
The promise of what’s to come in 2013 and what has passed in 2012 bears a good toast and glasses of champagne are a natural for the task.
Happy and bright on the tongue with its delicate bubbles, champagne makes any occasion more festive. Truth be told, whether it’s welcoming in the New Year or just the start of the weekend I think a glass of champagne is always in order.
With a hint of warm spicy flavors, this champagne cocktail is a twist on the classic mimosa. Allspice makes the difference and if you’ve got some hidden away in your cupboards dig it out now.
With a taste that resembles a complex blend of everything wintery like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pepper, this underused gem lends a gentle spice to the classic brunch cocktail.
Sweet floral notes of orange blossom honey join the mix, to which a good dose of brandy or Grand Marnier is added, giving the fresh citrusy taste of the oranges a hint of warmth and caramel color. It’s certainly stronger than your average mimosa, but bright and light at the same time.
The inspiration for this cocktail was born in part out of the 2013 Flavor Forecast from McCormick, which paired together Black Rum, Charred Orange and Allspice to illustrate the flavor trend “no apologies necessary”. The concept being the unabashed, sumptuous and aromatic spices and ingredients whose depth and richness of flavor are a culinary indulgence and escape from the ordinary.
A fascinating collision of traditional and modern, homespun and global, the Flavor Forecast for 2013 unveiled the following flavor combinations to watch for in the New Year:
- Decadent Bitter Chocolate, Sweet Basil & Passion Fruit
- Black Rum, Charred Orange & Allspice
- Cider, Sage & Molasses
- Smoked Tomato, Rosemary, Chile Peppers & Sweet Onion
- Farro Grain, Blackberry & Clove
- Market-Fresh Broccoli & Dukkah
- Hearty Meat Cuts, Plantain & Stick Cinnamon
- Artichoke, Paprika & Hazelnut
- Anise & Cajeta (Mexican caramel sauce)
- Japanese Katsu Sauce & Oregano
(I have partnered with McCormick to discuss the flavor trends for 2013 as part of a promotion of their annual Flavor Forecast. However the recipe and all opinions I have expressed are my own.)
Infused with allspice, a simple syrup adds winter cheer to the classic brunch mimosa.
For the Allspice syrup:
- 1 tablespoon/15ml whole allspice berries or 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup orange blossom honey
- 1 cup/240ml water
For the Mimosa (makes one serving)
- 1 ounce/30ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 ounce/15ml Grand Marnier or brandy
- 1/2 ounce/ 15ml allspice simple syrup (recipe above)
- Orange twists for garnish
- 3 ounces/90ml brut champagne
Make the Allspice simple syrup
- If using whole allspice, crush open.
- In saucepan over moderately high heat, combine water and honey, stirring until honey dissolves. Bring to boil, and stir in allspice. Remove from heat and let stand at least 1 hour. Strain through fine-mesh sieve or coffee filter to remove sediment. (Syrup can be made ahead and refrigerated, tightly covered.)
Make the Mimosa
- In the bottom of a chilled champagne flute, pour in the Grand Marnier or brandy, allspice simple syrup and orange juice.
- Slowly top off with champagne.
- Run the orange peel around the rim, twist it over the drinks, and drop it in.
The simple syrup recipe makes enough for multiple cocktails.