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Bright, tart and bubbly, a beverage worthy of a toast

Recipe: Blood orange mimosa completes a festive brunch

Pink cocktail with orange slice
How pretty is this? Blood orange juice is a special
addition to this mimosa. Pulp in the juice creates
the decorative ring when the sparkling wine
is added. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

More gray, more rain. Little things help brighten the winter days. If you're hosting a brunch, or just fixing breakfast for two, a mimosa is a lovely addition to the menu.

I took the citrus element one step further by using blood orange juice. Blood oranges are a little smaller and a littler tarter than navel oranges, but they produce gorgeous reddish-purple juice and the prettiest beverage this side of a Shirley Temple. And make the version with sparkling cider if you want a nonalcoholic cocktail; the simple syrup and orange liqueur are both optional with that one.

Make a simple syrup quickly to lightly sweeten the tartness: Mix 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons tap water in a Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave for 1 minute on HIGH. This produces simple syrup for several servings of this drink.

Blood orange mimosa

Makes 1 serving

Blood orange cut in half on green cutting board
The pulp of blood oranges varies from deep red-purple,
as above, to mostly orange with just a hint of red. Look
for fruit with at least some red on the skin.


Juice of 1/2 a blood orange, about 1-1/2 tablespoons juice

1/2 teaspoon simple syrup (see above)

1/2 teaspoon orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier (optional)

Chilled Prosecco or another white or rosé sparkling wine, or nonalcoholic sparkling cider

Blood orange slice, for garnish


Strain the blood orange juice if desired. A regular wire mesh strainer will leave some pulp, as in the photo above; a fine mesh strainer will remove nearly all the pulp. (But don't strain it into the sink, as I did the first time!)

Pour the juice into a fluted glass. Stir in the simple syrup and, if using, the orange liqueur. Fill the rest of the glass with the sparking wine or cider. Add the garnish, and enjoy. Happy New Year!


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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