Favorite Brunch Drinks: How to Make The Blur from Nopa in San Francisco

Maggie Hoffman

I've got nothing against a mimosa, but I'm not that likely to order one at brunch. You know exactly what it's going to taste like before you sip it, and while there's a chance that it would be better wine or better citrus than expected, it's more likely to go the other way and disappoint. But even if that old orange juice-and-bubbly combo's a bit stale, I can get behind a more unusual sparkling breakfast drink, like The Blur at Nopa in San Francisco.

If you're in the Bay Area and haven't been to Nopa for brunch yet, you should really get your act together and make a reservation. (Especially if you're a fan of French toast.) But even if you're not in San Francisco, you can drink this signature fizzy morning cocktail and discover there's more to morning sparkling wine than the standard peach or OJ mixer.

The drink is flavored with Green Chartreuse, a French herbal liqueur that has been made by the Carthusian monks since the mid 1700s. It's naturally green from the chlorophyll in the 132 plant extracts that go into its flavor; it's pungent and spicy, and a little goes a long way. At Nopa, the Chartreuse brings out the herbal flavors in a flute of sparkling wine, and the mixture balanced with an eye-opening pour of tart lime juice and delicately sweet maraschino liqueur. The result is less like a cocktail and more like improved sparkling wine, and it would be just as welcome as a pre-dinner sip.