Bloody Mary v. Mimosa: Trial of the Weekend

Battle of the brunch bevies. There is much debate on which is the superior brunch cocktail. Your favorite can say so much about your personality, or at the very least, what kind of Sunday you’re having. Everyone knows a Sunday brunch is just the week’s pregame and isn’t complete without a cocktail, but the kind of brunch you have will dictate how you spend the final hours of your always-fleeting weekend. They are similar. Both drinks are easily customizable, the mimosa in what kind of juice you choose to add, the Bloody Mary in the garnish(es) you add on top. But their strengths lie in where they differ. One is light and fun, a drink christened for celebration. The other is bold, strong, a drink that’s rooted in recovery. I am not here to declare a winner on the brunch battlefield, but I will make the case for each and let you decide which way you lean. 


Invented in Paris, France in 1925, the mimosa is simplistic. While the drink itself was invented in Paris, the drink is also intrinsically French. All the world’s champagne comes from France, so it makes perfect sense that the mimosa also hails from there. At its core, it’s champagne and a splash of orange juice (for color). It’s perfect to drink while you look over the rest of the menu. It’s the perfect pre-meal drink. It’s not too large of a drink, but potent enough to wake you for the coming meal. The bubbles, almost flirtatious in nature, tickle your lips as you toss back flute after flute. While it’s often orange juice, mimosas can be made with virtually any fruit juice you like. Grapefruit, pineapple, hell, I’ve even seen apple cider mimosas. 

The beauty of the mimosa lies in not, what is served with it, but rather, how it is served. You can get a singular mimosa in a champagne flute, and that will suffice the thirstiest of brunchers, but often times the mimosa is offered as a carafe, bucket, or bottomless. The bucket pulls out all the stops. It is a bottle of champagne in an ice bath sitting on your table, with serve yourself juice vehicles. Nothing screams “I make too much money doing absolutely nothing” like a bottle of champagne sitting on your brunch table on a Sunday morning. The bottomless is a little more self-explanatory. You pay a flat price and get all-you-can-drink mimosa until a certain time. People like to complain that with a bottomless mimosa you are sacrificing the quality of champagne. To quote another great product of France, Napoleon, “Quantity is a quality all its own.” A Sunday wasted downing mimosas all afternoon hardly a Sunday wasted at all.

Bloody Mary

Very similar to its opponent, the Bloody Mary was also invented in Paris, France in the 20’s, albeit an American invented it. The Bloody Mary is more complex in its ingredient list than the mimosa, and there is much more debate to the full ingredient list, but gets to the same end nonetheless. A Bloody Mary is tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a splash of hot sauce. You will encounter a wide variety of Bloody Marys throughout your brunch travels, the recipe will change. Some will garnish simply, with a stalk of celery. Some will chose a strip of bacon. You will see it all. Olives, peppers, cheese, pickles, even sliders on top. As you travel to the Upper Midwest, your Bloody Mary will come with a sidecar of some kind of light beer. (Presumably Miller High Life) Many bars will offer a Bloody Mary Bar, where you garnish the glass all yourself. Add whatever toppings meet your taste. The consistency of the Bloody Mary lies in its inconsistency. It’s a drink you can make your own way and still get right. I encourage you to make your own, and I say that for two reasons. First, by playing around with the recipe you can find how you truly take your Bloody Mary. Secondly, and more importantly, by making your own you can see how much Tito’s you can put into a glass and have the least amount of tomato juice absolutely kill the vodka taste. You are to respect the Bloody Mary because there is much more hooch in that glass than you think there is.

I have a friend that once told me “I work too hard to be drinking tomato juice on my days off.” While she is right, she is omitting the fact that she also works too hard to not be drinking vodka in the morning on her days off. This drink was the original hangover cure; it was synonymous with “hair of the dog”. I think this is probably the only recognized drink with enough nutrients to replenish you and enough alcohol to get your inebriation back on track, a hangover is like Hell, you only get out by going through. Unlike the mimosa, this isn’t a drink you have all afternoon and toss back with a flick of the wrist; you grip your pint glass of Bloody Mary with dear life because it is the only thing keeping you on the planet. You drink a mimosa with your sunglasses on because you are brunching on a patio with the sun out. You drink a Bloody Mary with sunglasses on, in a dark room, because you aren’t prepared to take in the world as it’s intended. Your eyes need a buffer, as does your state of mind, that’s what the Bloody Mary can provide.

There is a reason each of these drinks are picturesque at every brunch imaginable. They are the staples. They are as ubiquitous to brunch as Eggs Benedict. Each offers their own service as you send off yet another weekend.  Drink in celebration of the time you have left; drink in mourning for the week to come. Whether it is a mimosa in the morning or a Bloody with a benny enjoy your brunch and raise your glass. Cheers.

As always, Happy #MillenialFriday Like, comment, share, tweet with #MillenialFriday any questions you want answer and to partake in this week’s conversation. Which do you prefer? The Bloody Mary or the Mimosa? Take care.