How to Make Mimosas for Brunch and Holiday Entertaining
Get tips and recipes to make classic mimosas along with a few favorite variations to keep things interesting. Happy brunching!
Mimosas are synonymous with brunching. And why not? The classic mimosa recipe takes America's favorite breakfast beverage, orange juice, and pairs it with sparkling wine for a low alcohol cocktail that doesn't knock you down and spin you around. So it's a smart choice for day drinking. But just as OJ isn't just for breakfast anymore. The mimosa is also a terrific cocktail for evening and night drinking -- and for the same reason. Its low alcohol content lets you sip the night away without losing touch with reality. It's also among the happiest ways to get your vitamin C.
Below, we've gathered some of our favorite mimosa recipes, which include a few choice updates on the classic combo. But first, let's answer a few commonly asked questions about how to make the best mimosas.
Q: What is the best Champagne for mimosas?
Best is, of course, subjective. A 1959 bottle of Dom Perignon might make the best mimosa you've ever had, but making mimosas with it would likely rank as one of your worst decisions. The best mimosas will always factor in value. With mimosas, you're going not only for taste but sensation. You want the sparkle to turn the OJ into a tingle on the tongue. There's no point in using expensive Champagne for mimosas. Any inexpensive sparkling wine will do fine, including Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain, or sparkling wines from the United States.
Q: What style of sparkling wine is best for mimosas?
Look for dry (Brut or Extra Sec) or semi-dry (Sec) sparkling wines. The orange juice will be sweet enough. So you don't need a particularly sweet sparkling wine.
Q: What is the best cheap Champagne for mimosas?
If you want cheap sparkling wines, it's probably best to look beyond the Champagne region of France. A Prosecco mimosa is delicious, inexpensive, and reliable. But there are oodles of inexpensive sparkling wines, as mentioned above.
Q:What's the best orange juice for mimosas?
Arguably the best OJ is freshly squeezed orange juice. But opinions may vary. Most people do prefer pulp-free orange juice for mimosas. But no matter whether your OJ is freshly squeezed or from concentrate, keep it cold. The best mimosas are served icy, icy cold (though not actually over ice). Both your OJ and your sparkling wine should be kept in the fridge or in a bucket of ice instead of left out on the counter.
Q: What's the best mimosa ratio?
Most recipes call for a 50/50 ratio. Some brunchers may prefer an orange-juicier mimosa; others, a heavier hand with the sparkle. But for starters, you can't go wrong with an even split. Ultimately, the best mimosa ratio is to taste, so fiddle with it until you land on a winning ratio.
Q: What juices can you use for mimosas?
Of course, a mimosa is traditionally made with orange juice and sparkling wine. But as you'll see below, there are several other brunchworthy hot takes on this theme, which replace OJ with pomegranate juice, pear juice, cranberry juice, and apricot-mango juice. Some of these variations have names of their own: The cranberry juice and sparkling wine combo is called a Poinsettia, for example. If you have a tasty combo that we haven't included, send us the recipe!
Q:What about mimosa recipes with vodka?
If you're asking, can I add a little vodka to orange juice and sparkling wine? Yes, yes you can, although such a bold move may damage its day-drinking cred (See the Bloody Mary for a counterpoint). But if you mean, can vodka replace the sparkling wine? May we refer you to The Screwdriver for more info.
Q:What else can you add to a mimosa?
Some people like to add a floater of orange liqueur -- like Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or triple sec. Others garnish with a twist of orange peel.
Top-Rate Mimosa Recipes
"This mimosa is a traditional brunch beverage," says Jodi Hamrick. "Enjoy this light delight on Mother's Day, Christmas, or any special occasion."
"A wonderful change from the everyday orange juice and champagne mimosa," says CHERYL BLUE.
"A real treat for the holidays. My family enjoys these on Christmas morning," says SILVREZS.
"This is a twist on the classic mimosa; apricot mango juice give this mimosa a taste of the tropics," says thedailygourmet.
Pomegranate juice puts a colorful, rosy tint on the traditional. Garnish with raspberries. "This was my drink of choice on New Years Eve," says SweetBasil. I did use cran/pomegranate juice and a puree of raspberries/pomegranate seeds in the bottom of the glass -- beautiful color & tastes delish!"
"This cider and champagne mimosa is perfect to serve for an autumn brunch or just because," says Sandra Garth.
"Ran out of orange juice one morning and was too hot and tired to squeeze more oranges...and voila!" says Kris Swiggum. "This version tastes lighter than the orange juice version and doesn't diminish that lovely champagne fizz. Perfect for the south, where its 85 degrees at 10 am for brunch out on the porch!"
More: Check out our collection of Breakfast and Brunch Recipes.