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.
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!
What type of sparkling champagne should you use?
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, I was able to track down the exact same brand that Mimi’s Cafe uses: Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut.
Freixenet sells the standard bottle size (750ml), but they also sell “individual” sized bottles (187ml) that are fun to serve at parties.
What can be used in place of champagne?
If you need to make a virgin version of this drink, it’s not hard at all.
You could remove the sparkling champagne completely and just enjoy the strawberry lemonade by itself. If the drink seems to sweet, you can always add a tad more water to dilute it a bit.
How to make sparkling strawberry lemonade
Step 1 – In a medium saucepan, cook water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon zest and lemon juice, then give the mixture a good stir. Remove the saucepan from heat and let it cool completely, about 20 minutes. Once cooled, pour finished lemonade through a strainer to remove lemon zest.
Step 2 – While lemon mixture cools, add strawberries to a food processor and pulse it a few times until strawberries are broken down. You can either use the strawberries as-is OR you can strain the mixture to remove any excess pulp and seeds.
Step 3 – In your favorite pitcher, add cooled lemonade and pureed strawberries, then mix well. For best results, let strawberry lemonade cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.
Step 4 – When ready to drink, fill a class with 1/3 to 1/2 of the strawberry lemonade, then top off with some sparkling champagne.
Step 5 – Serve and enjoy!
More fun drink recipes
Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade
Skip the crowd at the restaurant and make this classic Mimi's Cafe drink at home for a festive breakfast or brunch. It's a perfect copycat recipe for their sparkling strawberry lemonade!
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add water and sugar and bring to a steady boil. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved.
Quickly add lemon zest and lemon juice, stir, and then remove from heat. Let mixture cool completely, about 20 minutes. Once cooled, pour mixture through a strainer to remove lemon zest.
In the pitcher of your choice, pour in 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. Garnish glasses with more strawberries (optional).
Recipe adapted from The Food Network.