"Skip the crowd at the restaurant and make this classic Mimi's Cafe drink at home. It's a perfect copycat of their Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade!"
Mimi’s Cafe is one of my favorite places for an indulgent breakfast, and one of my all-time favorites off their menu is the Sparkling Strawberry.
It’s not a complicated drink to make – only homemade strawberry lemonade mixed with sparkling champagne – but I always looked forward to it whenever we were up early and feeling sprightly enough to go to breakfast.
Over time, it got to the point where I almost expected to enjoy a Sparkling Strawberry every weekend.
But then, a few years back, Mimi’s Cafe quietly closed half of their locations, and one of those locations just happened to be the one five minutes from our house.
I was heartbroken to say the least, especially since this particular Mimi’s was in a great location, had friendly servers, and was always packed for breakfast.
They were always packed for breakfast, but when it came to lunch and dinner, it tended to be a ghost town.
Despite how much of a bummer this was (and oh, it was – I still don’t think I’m over it) there did end up being a silver lining:
It finally gave me the motivation I needed to make my favorite drink at home, and probably for a fraction of the cost for what I paid for it at the restaurant.
Originally I thought the difficult part would be to hunt down a good (and reasonably priced) sparkling champagne, but turns out it was pretty easy.
As luck would have it, BevMo had plenty of Freixenet Cordon Negro in stock, which is same brand used by Mimi’s Cafe.
They even had the same individual-sized bottles (187ml) for $4.99 a piece.
The next step was picking out a homemade strawberry lemonade recipe.
I wanted something that would guarantee a lot of flavor and felt this one from the Food Network would be a good starting point.
Plus, the original recipe calls for sparkling water, which was easily replaced by the sparkling champagne.
I do still miss the atmosphere at Mimi’s Cafe, but when it comes to bringing the best part of the restaurant home, this copycat recipe certainly hits the mark!
This recipe was originally published on September 4th, 2014. It received a TLC update with new photos on February 14th, 2017.
Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 2 cups strawberries
- 1 bottle sparkling champagne such as Freixenet Cordon Negro
Add water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a steady boil over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved.
Add lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir and then remove from heat. Let mixture cool completely, about 20 minutes.
Add strawberries to a blender and puree until smooth, about 30 seconds. If desired, strain strawberry puree through a mesh strainer to remove seeds and pulp.
In the pitcher of your choice, add the strawberries juice/puree and the lemon juice mixture, then stir to combine.
Place pitcher in refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. To prepare glasses: fill a glass 1/3 to 1/2 of the way with strawberry lemonade, then top off with sparkling champagne.