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say it with me now, “om nom nom”

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The mimosa. A delicious blend of fruit & alcohol that transforms even the most mediocre of brunches into an experience nothing short of magical. But alas, there are times where maybe perhaps a little bit of drinking might not be in the cards. Perhaps your hangover dictates brunch, but the thought of another drink, well, let’s just say you don’t want to think about another drink.

The solution is simple: Faux Mimosa. In addition to the dilemma above, it can be applied to a number of other problems as well. Perhaps you have that teetotaler friend, or worse, a decidedly non-teetotaler friend who gets whiny and annoying. Maybe you have a sister or niece *just* shy of 19 and you want to be the cool older sister (or cool aunt) without all the baggage of being arrested for serving alcohol to someone underage. How cool would you be to have her pals over, as you bemusedly observe the pitch and slurredness of their gossip rise over the course of the evening, so sure they are that this is the real deal. I would warn that you might end up providing crash space.

So imagine my delight in finding this recipe:

Faux mimosa.

Side note: while the Fish House Punch looks like it might be pretty good, you’d think they could come up with a better title. Really. Or just run with it and garnish with fish heads.

This gem comes to us via that 1977 classic Sharing Our Best, a collection gathered by the Devil Worshipping Green Mountain Deputies Association of Vermont. The Devil Worshipping part isn’t explicitly addressed, except for THAT HUGE UPSIDE-DOWN PENTACLE ON THE COVER, which couldn’t possibly be a gross oversight.

Faux mimosa.

We begin our Champagne Mocktail odyssey.

Buy local . . . soda.

I like to buy local whenever possible. Turns out Polar makes its soda, like, 10 miles that way, so it’s extra fresh and better retains its vitamin content. That’s how that works, right?

I decided to squeeze my own orange and grapefruit juice, since I really don’t drink these things anyway and didn’t want to surrender the fridge space. These are also locally-grown oranges and grapefruit. I just love going orange-picking, they have this great farm right in Westborough.

Citrus. Decidedly not local.

I’m just kidding. Citrus plants don’t grow in New England.

In an awkward proportion, to get a cup each of orange and grapefruit juice, it took 3 oranges and 1.5 grapefruit. I think this probably changes depending on season, specific varietal and origin of your oranges, though the grapefruit proportion seems as though it would be a little more reliable. As a frame of reference, 1 orange = 1/3 c juice and 1 grapefruit = 2/3 c juice.

The remains.

The easiest way to get juice out of citrus is with a citrus reamer. They’re cheap, extremely effective, and feel like way less of a pain in the ass than one of those little cup things. Also, you can strain the juice as you make it, which is convenient. Just poke it in your fruit there, mess up the insides, then let the juice drip into the sieve, and presumably the bowl underneath. Last step is to squeeze the orange/grapefruit around the reamer and rotate.

How to ream out an orange.

Get out your finest $5 Ikea pitcher.

I actually do love this thing.

And pour your non-alcoholic champagne.

Ginger ale.

Faux mimosa.

Faux mimosa.

Looks like a nice witbier, eh?

Faux mimosa.

Pour into your completely inappropriately-shaped glass.

But mimosas are for girls. Girls with names like Kelli and Brittany. Let’s girl this up a bit, shall we?

A 3 on the girly scale.

Well, that’s nice, but Kelli and Brittany would kinda feel like you aren’t trying. Put some fruit in there, bitches love that shit.

On the girl scale, perhaps a 6

Okay, we’re getting close. Let’s just go all out.

Kelli and Brittany would totally drink this.

Drink on, ladies, drink on.

This was a bit sweet for my tastes, so I recommend excluding the extra sugar—it just felt so sticky sweet, it was much more refreshing after I diluted a bit with seltzer water. I also think there’s a little room for experimentation here down the seltzer water path, it makes for a dryer-tasting “champagne.” This inordinate sweetness is why you’ll notice I went from making Mock Champagne to Mocktail Mimosa. It just describes it better.

Faux Mimosa
from Sharing Our Best by the Green Mountain Deputies Association (1977)

Feel free to make this low-sugar or sugar-laden according to your preference. Serves 8.

1 liter ginger ale
1 c grapefruit juice (1.5 grapefruit if fresh-squeezing)
1 c orange juice (3 oranges if fresh-squeezing)
1 c water

Mix. Chill. Text Kelli and Brittany and see if they’re doing anything.

nutrition summary (1 serving with diet ginger ale): 23 calories, no fat, no fiber; about .5 weight watchers points