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Better by Bud: Poinsettia Mimosa Recipe

As part of our holiday drink recipe extravaganza, we’ve scoured the Internet to bring you the best of the best in Christmas Spirits. Unfortunately, most of what we found was needlessly complicated and apparently designed for presentation more than anything else. It showed, because they didn’t taste that great – even after we tested them over and over and over.

The recipe for Poinsettia Mimosas from Better Homes & Gardens is a perfect example. The BHG Web site describes itself as “…for people interested in turning home, cooking, and gardening inspiration into action.” We’re on that site, like, all the time.

We hope you enjoy the first entry in a new feature, “Better By Bud.” In this episode Bud takes a drink recipe from Better Homes & Gardens and makes it worth a damn.

Thank you, that description really speaks to me. Here’s the recipe we’re dealing with.

Poinsettia Mimosas

Servings 12 to 14 (4 ounces each)


3 tangerines (optional)
3 maraschino cherries (optional)

Here’s the first sign that this recipe is a mess. What’s the point of a fruity drink recipe with OPTIONAL fruit? Is that supposed to make the host feel better if they can’t find tangerines? If this came from a mixologist with stones, we’d have an ‘either/or’ situation, at best. We’re already committed to making a fruitier-than-usual mimosa, for Santa’s Sake. Go buy the damn cherries.

3 cups cranberry juice, chilled
1/4 cup Triple Sec, other orange liqueur, or orange juice
2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice or grenadine syrup

Who’s buying maraschino cherry juice without the cherries? How optional are those cherries now?

1 750ml bottle of champagne or sparkling apple juice, or one 32-ounce bottle carbonated water or lemon-lime carbonated beverage, chilled.

Don’t mix the plan for a virgin version of a drink with the real deal. People hate that.


If using tangerines, use a vegetable peeler or a thin, sharp knife to thinly peel the tangerines (refrigerate fruit for another use). Trim peel to form about 6-inch-long spirals. Place a tangerine spiral in each chilled champagne glass, or set spirals aside to add to the rims. If desired, place 1 or 2 maraschino cherries in each glass.

First off, no more fruit peels in drinks at home. Go with the cherry in the glass. It looks just as good and is a hell of a lot easier. Leave the fruit peels to the cheesy bartender who just charged you $12 for the privelege of throwing away the peel he worked so hard on.

Second, no more than one cherry per drink unless you’re making it for a kid. No grown woman ever needs more than one cherry, if you know what I mean.

In a glass pitcher, combine cranberry juice, Triple Sec, and maraschino cherry juice.

For each serving, pour about 1/4 cup cranberry juice mixture into each champagne glass. Add about 1/4 cup champagne, filling glass nearly to the top. Gently stir with an up-and-down motion to mix the drink without destroying the carbonation of the champagne. Makes 12 to 14 (4-ounce) servings.

It will look a lot cooler if you don’t stir it, and that’s good because there’s almost no chance you can stir champagne without ruining it. That’s twice as true if you just mixed it with something else. Besides, the two liquids are about the same consistency so they’ll mix on their own just fine.

In all, this is a good recipe now that it has some perspective. It requires only a few ingredients, it’s quick to make, and its appearance is plenty festive.

Merry Christmas, everybody!


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