Let’s mark the calendar because this is a first. It’s happening right here, right now….Pomegranate Valentine Mimosas are the very first “grown up” drink I’ve posted. They were inspired by a brunch I hosted a week or so ago, and even though it was the last day of January, it had hints of a Valentine theme to it.
In my life as a merchant, I was always working a good year, sometimes 18 months ahead of real time. We needed to travel the world to identify future trends. Then, we needed time to digest all of that information and settle on what trends would inspire our next collection. Some product had to be developed and tested. Some product could be bought in the market and shipped right away. We were always talking about and working on future seasons and so, that’s where our mindset was.
As a blogger, I still work a bit ahead, though not very much, certainly not 18 months, more like a week or two. I like to work closer to the post, with ideas that are fresh. Whenever I’ve “banked” too many recipes, I inevitably come up with new ideas that I’d rather post instead of the banked ones. In any case, on that January weekend, I already had my Valentine Meringues made for the blog and they were hanging around ready to be consumed. My husband and kids decided to get a jump on decorating, so they brought up the box and spent the day hanging, draping and taping until we had hearts and chains and all kinds of festive stuff all over the house. So that’s where my headset was…on Valentine’s Day.
So I just let the valentine spirit flow for the brunch (ha! literally! :) I decided to make mimosas, a classic. Actually, I decided to make heart shaped ice cubes first and then I decided to make fun drinks to put them into. For the kids, I would add them to lemonade and for the adults, I would make mimosas. Festive drinks for a festive brunch! (What did we eat? Well, it wasn’t all Pomegranate Mimosas and Valentine Meringues…we also had a yummy potato basil frittata, fruit salad with fresh mint and honey lime dressing, sausage, bacon, Fresh Strawberry Cream Scones and some delicious chocolate chip muffins!)
I decided to use pomegranate and fruit juice for the ice cube hearts. Fruity ice cubes are a great way to make any kind of drink more fun, plus it keeps the drink cold as well as adds flavor. I love using pomegranate juice because the color is so deep and vibrant, it just worked perfectly with my heart shaped cubes. I also used some organic fruit punch that was a pale pink…another festive Valentine color choice.
A classic mimosa is a mixture of orange juice and dry sparkling wine. I’ve seen different ratios from 1:1 (equal parts juice and wine) and everything in between. I happen to like just a little less than 1:1 with a slightly more wine than juice; I don’t like the drink to get too sweet. The beauty of mimosas is that they are so easy to make, you can change the ratio to suit your taste or any of your guests’ tastes. I could have used a different base juice but decided to stick with orange juice because it provided a beautiful color contrast to my deep red and pink hearts.
Just pop a few hearts into a champagne flute, add your orange juice then finish off the glass with some bubbly. The hearts will float at first and be ever so festive and pretty as you sip your drink. But, when they melt, the pomegranate juice will sink to the bottom leaving the drink with blushy ombre shades. Of course, the addition of the pomegranate juice also adds some nice tartness to the sweet orange juice. It’s like a little flavor bomb!
I love mimosas because they’re so refreshing, perfect with some of the richer foods that are often served at brunch. I love the heart shaped ice cubes because they add a fun bit of whimsy to any drink. For my hearts, I used a silicone tray I bought at Ikea. I don’t think they carry it anymore, but Amazon has similar ones available (and they’re on Prime so you still have time to get one!)
If you don’t have a heart shaped ice cube tray, just use whatever ice cube shape you have. A deep red pomegranate ice cube will still be a fun and festive addition to any drink. They were oh so pretty in our mimosas and the kids loved adding them to their lemonade. One of my daughter’s friends even wanted to add it to her water, because they were too cute to pass up!
If you want to go mocktail with this recipe, just add plain or flavored seltzer instead of the wine. Or, you could just skip the orange juice and go for straight seltzer, because then you really get some serious valentine heart impact! That’s what I did in the photo below. Because drinking a photo shoot’s worth of “grown up” Pomegranate Valentine Mimosas by myself on a Monday morning?
Yeah, that’d be another first :)
Pomegranate Valentine Mimosas
- 1 bottle dry white sparkling wine
- 3 cups 24 ounces orange juice
- pomegranate juice amount will vary depending upon how many ice cubes you use in each drink
Make pomegranate ice cubes the day or days before so that they have time to freeze. If you have a special tray, you may want to start even a few days ahead if you only have one tray and you want to make multiple batches. I stored the finished ice cubes in a zip top freezer bag to free the tray for more batches.
Place a few of the frozen juice cubes in the bottom of a fluted champagne glass.
Pour orange juice to just under the halfway point on the glass.
Top with sparkling wine and serve.
*If you use equal ratios of juice and wine in your drink and a champagne flute holds about 6 ounces, you'll use about 3 ounces of wine per drink. Assuming about 25 ounces (750 ml) in an average bottle of wine you should be able to get 8 mimosas.
*Make a mocktail and substitute plain seltzer for the wine.
*Or skip pouring the orange juice and make orange juice and pomegranate cubes,then just fill your glass with lots of the juice cubes, then fill with sparkling wine! Then the hearts will really shine through! Yes! Next time I'm doing that!
*Use the ice cubes in kid friendly drinks like lemonade.