Revving up your brunch drink program can boost the bottom line.
The story goes that Alfred Hitchcock helped popularize the mimosa. Originally created as the Buck’s Fizz in London, England, in 1921, it grew to fame stateside in the 1940s, perhaps stimulated by the famous director’s desire for one.
And while many bars and restaurants now make their mark with bottomless mimosas during weekend brunch, other locations are having success with the drink by offering up variations of it.
Image: The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails
The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails in Jacksonville, Fla., offers mimosa flights of three drinks: one with peach juice; one with orange juice; and one with cranberry juice.
“We serve the drinks on their own but the flight is popular because people want to try them all, especially if they’re in a group,” says general manager Courtney O’Quinn.
For $40 the bar serves up a bottle of Bola Prosecco with the three different juices and enough to make at least two drinks with each juice. The flight makes about five drinks total, so is ideal for sharing, O’Quinn explains.
Guests can order the flight any time but it sells almost exclusively during brunch. “Brunch is an excuse to drink during the day, so people usually have several flights—especially if it’s a group,” she explains.
The drinks can also be ordered individually for $9 apiece and single mimosa sales are about equal to flight sales.
Candy Apple Café also offers mimosa popsicles. The bartender takes St-Germain liqueur, orange juice and berries (usually raspberries and blueberries, but sometimes strawberries) and freezes them together. Then he drops this popsicle into a glass of Prosecco and serves it. “That’s our most popular brunch drink, which guests order before and during the meal,” says O’Quinn. This drink costs $11.
Image: Chicken and the Egg
Chicken and the Egg in Marietta, Ga., used to serve bottomless mimosas but wanted to incentivize more people to come for brunch, so switched to offering different mimosa flavors. The restaurant uses seasonal fruits, but popular types have included mango, grapefruit, cranberry, blackberry, strawberry and blueberry, always as either a fresh fruit or a fruit puree, made in house. Orange juice remains the most popular fruit flavor to add to mimosas, says president and owner Marc Taft.
When Chicken and the Egg offered bottomless mimosas, it charged $10, “which was a great deal,” he says. “So, when we went to doing them individually, we wanted people to feel they were getting them for the same good price.” The mimosas now cost $2.50 apiece.
To keep the costs down, Taft changed the sparkling wine from Champagne to a quality domestic dry sparkling wine, usually Chardonnay, which helps counteract the higher costs of the fresh fruit. The bar tried using Cava and Prosecco but they were too sweet when combined with the fruit. “The cost isn’t that high for mimosas,” he says, “probably a little higher percentage than you’d want to run on other drinks but the quantity offsets that. Plus, they bring in a lot of people to Chicken and the Egg.”
Chicken and the Egg’s mimosas are popular and the numbers speak for themselves. “We generally go through 20 to 30 cases of sparkling wine per weekend for two brunches,” says Taft.” That could easily be 500 to 600 mimosas per day.”