Certified Spirits Specialist Rick Turner Explains Why Your Mimosa is Really a Buck’s Fizz
I don’t care if it’s Sunday or not, there’s nothing that compares to brunch on a beautiful spring day, sipping a Buck’s Fizz and enjoying nature’s bloom on a leafy patio.
Huh? What’s a Buck’s Fizz?
Don’t act so surprised. You’ve had plenty of Buck’s Fizzes, you just don’t know it. Every time you tossed out your plastic to pay for a brunch of endless Mimosa’s–those Champagne-and-OJ brunch standards–you’ve really been drinking a Buck’s Fizz.
It’s a little act of deception that’s been played on you for so long that the distinction between the two drinks pretty much fails to exist.
Never heard this before? I’m not surprised. Most bar books today use the two recipes without distinction. Here’s the history of the two.
The Buck’s Fizz was a creation of the Buck’s Club in London, a gentlemen’s club that opened in 1919 (not that kind of gentleman’s club, just a speakeasy). In 1921, a bartender named Pat McGarry combined a very specific ratio of 2/3 champagne and 1/3 fresh orange juice, then named the drink after the Buck’s Club.
Then, in 1925, across the Channel at the Ritz Carlton in Paris, another bartender crafted a drink to mimic the color of the a manicured Mimosa shrub. (Yes, a Mimosa is a bush.) What was his recipe? A Buck’s Fizz with a couple of drops of Gran Marnier for color.
How do I know this to be true? Simple: I phoned both the Buck’s Club in London and the Ritz Carlton in Paris , and they confirmed the facts for EscapeHatchDallas.
Rick Turner is a Certified Specialist in Spirits (Society of Wine Educators) and a Certified Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers). He writes about cocktails for EscapeHatchDallas. In his spare time, Turner is the general manager of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in Dallas.