Best Brunch Drink San Francisco 2013 - Candied Beet Mimosa at Bar Tartine
Urban legend has it that the mimosa as a brunch drink was invented in San Francisco by Alfred Hitchcock back in the 1950s. Whether or not that story's true, 50 years later the mimosa has advanced far beyond the usual orange juice and champagne to the candied beet mimosa at Bar Tartine. The unusual drink came about by accident about a year ago, when chef/fermenter extraordinaire Cortney Burns was making a candied beet tart and had a bunch of leftover beet-flavored simple syrup that she didn't want to waste. She first thought to make jelly, but then added it to a dry Hungarian sparkling wine for a brunch cocktail — and now she candies beets (with a hint of fennel, black peppercorns, a bay leaf, anise seeds, star anise, and lemon juice) just to get the liquid they produce. The final drink is a deep, translucent ruby red, with a faint earthy flavor that gives the mimosa another dimension besides its usual one-note sweetness.