Pop the Cork - Classic and Creative Drink Options

Discover unique and refreshing mimosas and champagne and prosecco cocktails in Galveston

By Esther Davis McKenna
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Fans of the late and lazy breakfast will be familiar with the mimosa, a classic brunch staple combining champagne and fruit juice, most often orange. Most historians credit Frank Meier, a bartender at The Ritz Hotel in Paris, with creating this bubbly brunch beverage in 1925. Some claim it was an adaptation of the already popular Buck’s Fizz cocktail, invented at the Buck’s Club in London in 1921. 

 No matter where or when it was created, we can all agree that the modern-day mimosa has moved onto mainstream menus as more than just an elegant celebratory libation. Originally called a “champagne orange,” its light and refreshing nature resembles its namesake - a beautiful sunshine-yellow flower known for its vibrant color and delicate petals. 

 When it comes to brunch, the mimosa is undeniably the go-to beverage of choice. But did you know that this classic brunch staple is also a versatile base for other cocktails like the Airmail or the French 75, which include the addition of rum or gin? 

 And while it may be the perfect drink to celebrate at weddings or on New Year’s Eve, this sparkling concoction can be customized to suit many different preferences and everyday occasions.

 Many Galveston restaurants and bars serve some versions of the mimosa, giving patrons a range of champagnes, sparkling wines, and fruit juices to choose from. Galveston Monthly has compiled a list of some of our favorite bubbly beverages from our staff and reader recommendations.

 Each of our featured establishments serves mimosas during all hours of operation but keep in mind that alcohol might only be served with food on Sundays after 10 am. Where reservations are not required in many establishments, they are recommended in most. Beverage managers all agree that the best time for quiet and less crowded seatings would be before 11 am and after 1 pm.

 Placeholder imageBLVD Seafood, 2804 Avenue R ½
A unique fun way to enjoy a variety of different mimosas at one time is to order the Mimosa Flight at BLVD Seafood. Each flight consists of four 4-ounce glasses each filled with three ounces of champagne or prosecco and then one ounce of either orange juice, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice or cranberry juice. 

 Aside from their flights, BLVD Seafood also offers a special champagne and prosecco mimosa menu that includes such island favorites as the Strawberry Lemon Basil Mimosa that is made with house-made strawberry puree, the Creamsicle Mimosa that is made with vanilla vodka, orange juice, and whipped cream, and the Blushing Mimosa that is made with orange, pineapple, and cranberry juices with a splash of grenadine. 

 Also popular is the Menning Mimosa that is made with prosecco, lemon juice, Grand Marnier, and mint, and the Chambord Royale that is made with Chambord and a twist of lemon. Reservations are highly recommended for the restaurant but not usually needed for seating at the bar. 

 If you don’t see your favorite concoction of bubbly, just ask your waitstaff. “We are a YEStaurant,” Assistant General Manager Chris Glenn said. “We will always do our best to accommodate a customer request.” 

 Daiquiri Time Out, 2701 Market Street
This craft cocktail lounge makes several drinks featuring champagne or cava, which is a sparkling wine produced in the northeast region of Spain. Some of the more popular drinks include the Airmail, French 75, and the Death in the Afternoon. 

 The Airmail gained popularity in the 1940s and at DTO it is made with rum, rhum, fresh lime, honey, and topped with cava. The French 75 is a classic New Orleans drink - popular always but especially during Mardi Gras - made with gin or cognac, fresh lemon, simple syrup, and cava. 

 Originally created by famed writer Ernest Hemingway in the 1930s, the Death in the Afternoon cocktail at DTO is made with champagne and absinthe. Prosecco or a sugar cube is sometimes used to sweeten this cocktail. 

 “We have a quiet and cozy Valentine’s vibe with bubbly cocktail specials, perfect for before or after dinner,” owner Brad Stringer said. 

Jean Lafitte 


“On Fat Tuesday, the parade starts right outside. People see it off from our front patio and back patio bar rooftop. We have a Mardi Gras-inspired cocktail menu, featuring the French 75, a second-line brass band, custom beads, and more.” 

 Placeholder imageHotel Lucine, 1002 Seawall Blvd.
Hotel Lucine is a recently renovated and reopened, vintage 61-room boutique hotel situated at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico on the Seawall that offers two venues to enjoy cocktails including mimosas – The Den and The Fancy. Both places offer a relaxed, laid back atmosphere to enjoy your favorite beverage. 

 The Hotel Lucine has incorporated a 100-percent-fresh-juice program into their food and drink menu, food and beverage director Patrick Loughran said. The standard mimosa, classic French 75, and their signature Noir 75 are always on the menu but look for specials on these drinks as part of Galveston’s upcoming Mardi Gras celebration. 

 The classic mimosa at the Hotel Lucine is made with Belstar prosecco and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Their standard, classic French 75 incorporates lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin, and is shaken and poured into a flute and then topped with champagne or prosecco. 

Their signature Noir 75 incorporates house-made blackberry juice, gin, black currant liquor, and your choice of champagne or prosecco. The Den is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night cocktails daily. The Fancy is open Tuesday through Sunday from 5-10 pm.

 Mosquito Café, 628 14th Street
“You won’t get a pitcher of pre-made mimosas at Mosquito Café,” said Director of Operations James Clark. All of their mimosas are poured to order. The house champagne, usually a Blanc de Blanc, can be ordered by the glass, carafe, or the bottle. There are several different fruit juices, and combinations of juices, to choose from. 

Jean Lafitte 


 The mimosas at Mosquito Café are all made to order, and patrons have a choice from several juice options including orange juice, cranberry juice, peach nectar, and mango nectar. For something special, try the Sunset, which is made with orange juice and a splash of cranberry. 

 “We can uncork a bottle for you, and you can order the juice of your choice,” Clark said. “Or you can get juices on the side and mix and match as you go. Do you like it sweet? Would you like to try several different juices? We can mix it for you, or you can add as little or as much juice as you like at the table.” 

 Please note that Mosquito Café is now open for special winter hours, Tuesday through Sunday 8 am to 3 pm. Call ahead to find out when regular hours return. 

 Placeholder imageNumber 13 Prime Steak and Seafood, 7809 Broadway Street
Cava is the sparkling wine of choice for mimosas at Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood. “We can pour an expensive champagne for your mimosa, but I wouldn’t suggest it,” said beverage director Sam Carpenter.

 “Cava is always a great choice for mimosas. It is a sparkling wine, produced in the northeast Penedes region of Spain. Cava, like it’s French counterpart champagne, must be grown in a specific region, and follow many strict standards.”

 The mimosas at Number 13 are also made to order and patrons can choose juice options that include orange, grapefruit, cranberry, and pineapple juices. Also available made with bubbles is their Jean’s French 75, a specialty cocktail that also includes dry gin, St. Germaine and fresh lemon. 

 If you would like to get to know your sparkling wines better, Number 13 holds wine tastings on the last Thursday of every month, and often includes champagne. There are usually two wine representatives, sampling four wines each. The cost of the wine tasting is free for locker holders or $20 for two as walk-ins. 


Riondo’s Ristorante, 2328 The Strand
The Dragon Fruit mimosa from Riondo’s Ristorante is made with freshly squeezed juice from island favorite Smooth Tony’s Juice & Smoothie Bar, but this unique mimosa is only available occasionally so ask your server. In addition to their classic mimosa with orange juice, Riondo’s has several juices to choose from including cranberry and pineapple. Their version of the French 75 is also offered with bubbles. 

 Riondo’s has a great daily happy hour menu from 3-6 pm in the bar area that includes not only food and drink specials but also daily drink specials. The Wednesday drink special, dubbed Wine Down Wednesday, allows you to purchase wine, champagne and prosecco options from their extensive wine list for just $5 a glass. It’s a great opportunity to try new champagne and prosecco options for your mimosas. 

 Reservations are always a good idea at Riondo’s, where the bar area is almost always crowded. Look for the $5 mimosas and bellinis that are offered with their Sunday brunch menu from 10 am until 3 pm. Riondo’s is open Wednesday through Sunday. 

Jean Lafitte 


 Sugar & Rye, 2401 Church Street
At Sugar & Rye you can order your mimosa with your choice of champagne, prosecco, or non-alcoholic sparkling wine with such unique options as freshly squeezed juice of blackberry and a garnish of mint, with grapefruit juice and a fresh sprig of rosemary, or with pineapple juice fresh squeezed in-house 

 Sugar & Rye makes several juices fresh daily for their mimosas. “You can’t beat fresh-squeezed pineapple or blackberry juice in a mimosa,” said owner Brian Root. “It’s an extra touch we know our customers appreciate.” 

 Order your mimosa with any number of freshly squeezed juices or house-made syrups. Reservations are recommended and can be made off season for parties of eight or more. If you’re looking for a quiet time, Root suggests you visit between 10 and 11 am as business picks up greatly after that.