Bottomless glasses of classic mimosas are a delicious companion for breakfast, brunch and celebrations. Fresh orange juice, orange liqueur and bubbly champagne make for a winning combination
Call them basic, but classic orange mimosas are always welcome around here.
Bubbly and bright, mimosas are often enjoyed:
- during breakfast and brunch
- at a special occasion like bridal showers, baby showers, weddings or even a tailgate
- for birthday celebrations and holiday festivities
But honestly, who needs a reason to enjoy a mimosa?! Whether it’s Mother’s Day or a regular day, celebrating life’s moments with a mimosa (or two) is always recommended.
What is a mimosa?
A classic cocktail, the mimosa is a combination of orange juice and champagne, though it can be customized with other types of juices. It is similar to the bellini cocktail, which is made with peach puree and champagne.
Mimosas get their name from the mimosa flower, which is a pretty orange color.
Mimosas are sometimes made with an extra ingredient — triple sec or a top-shelf orange liqueur, like Grand Marnier or Cointreau. The triple sec adds a more complex, elegant and professional flavor to your cocktail.
However, you can also substitute brandy, vodka, whiskey or rum. The Seelbach is a favorite champagne cocktail that’s made with bourbon, though it’s not a mimosa.
Classic Mimosa Recipe
The mimosa is a simple cocktail that only requires three ingredients, but it is an easy and relatively inexpensive cocktail you can make for a crowd. They are perfect for brunches and parties.
Something that is so wonderful about the mimosa is that it is easy to customize and make your own.
From apple cider to cranberry juice, there are so many ways to make a mimosa with different kinds of juices.
The traditional mimosa is a simple recipe that only requires three ingredients.
If you have the time and the tools, squeezing your own orange juice will go a long way and provide the freshest flavor. Most oranges produce a few ounces of juice, which is all you need for one mimosa.
You can use any kind of orange, like the Valencia or the navel orange, or you can experiment with other orange citrus such as clementines, tangerines or mandarins. I like to use Cara Cara oranges in my mimosas for their sweeter flavor.
Blood oranges have a ruby red fruit center, and grapefruits are pink, so their juices make really beautiful mimosa cocktails as well.
However, if you are making a lot of drinks or bottomless mimosas, then you will probably want to pick up a bottle.
If you juice your own, you can use an electronic juicer or a citrus squeezer. I also really like these hand juicers with measuring cups to collect the juice from hand squeezing the oranges. Be sure to strain out the pulp!
If you don’t have a juicer, check out these tips for making orange juice without a juicer.
If you purchase your orange juice, then you should grab one that has no pulp or low pulp. If there is pulp, even just a little, the champagne will force it to float to the top. Totally fine, just not as pretty.
Also feel free to switch out the orange juice for different juices, such as grapefruit juice, lemonade or cranberry juice.
To get the most juice, make sure your oranges are room temperature. Cold fruit won’t release as much juice.
For a stronger orange flavor, add 1 ounce of orange liqueur. There are a few types of orange liqueur you can use (and you may already have it on hand for margaritas).
- triple sec
- orange curaçao
- Grand Marnier
Rum or vodka would also complement nicely with the orange flavor!
But if you want to keep things simple, feel free to skip this step. However, I recommend it because it will bring an extra citrus punch to your drink. It’s elegant and gives your mimosas a professional feel.
You can choose any kind of sparkling wine — champagne, cava or Italian prosecco will all work. In fact, a prosecco mimosa is the one I make the most!
However, since orange juice is sweet, a sparkling wine that’s dry (or extra dry) will work better than a sweeter sparkling wine. Look for “brut,” meaning dry, on the label.
Mimosas don’t require a garnish, but you can certainly have fun with them if you like! Fresh fruit like raspberries or slices of orange perched atop the rim will look so pretty!
How to make a mimosa
Once you know how to make a mimosa, you can make just about any variation you can dream of. Let’s start with the basics:
- To make a mimosa, you’ll want to add the orange juice to your champagne flutes first.
- If you’re adding triple sec, pour that in next. Your champagne glasses should now be filled halfway.
- Then, slowly, top with champagne.
- Let any bubbles fizzle out, then top with more champagne until the liquid has doubled in size. Pour until there’s at least 1/2-inch of liquid from the rim of the glass.
When you add the champagne last, you are better able to control how quickly it will bubble up as well as how much is added.
The best ratio for a mimosa
Most champagne flutes hold 6 fluid ounces of liquid.
The perfect mimosa ratio is 1:1. Equal parts champagne to orange juice and liqueur is a great ratio to start with, but you can do less OJ in lieu of more champagne if you like.
However, if you do that, it will technically be called a Buck’s Fizz, which has a ratio of two parts sparkling wine to one part orange juice.
If you are adding triple sec to your mimosa, which I HIGHLY recommend you do for a more complex, elegant flavor, you should replace 1 ounce of the orange juice with the triple sec.
This is the ideal recipe for a mimosa:
- 2 ounces orange juice
- 1 ounce orange liqueur
- 3 ounces champagne
If you are not using triple sec, you can use another ounce of OJ to keep the ratio 1:1.
The best champagne for mimosas
You don’t need an expensive bottle of champagne for mimosas. In fact, champagne — which can only come from the Champagne region of France — can get quite expensive. You can use prosecco, cava or any other type of sparkling wine to make a mimosa without breaking the bank.
My go-to brand is called Freixenet, which comes in a sleek black bottle and costs around $12. It’s affordable but very good quality.
How many mimosas can you get out of a bottle?
In general, you can get 6 to 8 mimosas from one 750 mL bottle of champagne.
Most people will probably enjoy more than one mimosa, so keep that in mind when buying champagne for a party.
For a party of 10 people, three to five bottles should do the trick. For 20 people, you’ll need six to eight bottles. A good rule of thumb is to buy one bottle for every three people.
(And if you have any leftover, there are plenty of champagne cocktails you can make!)
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Tips for making the best mimosa ever
Here are my top tips for making the classic brunch cocktail the best ever:
- Use fresh orange juice. If possible, fresh juice will go a long way. Juice it yourself or see if your grocery store carries pitchers of freshly-pressed juice.
- Use pulp-free orange juice. If you use OJ with pulp, the champagne bubbles will float it to the top. A little is okay, but a lot of pulp floating on top isn’t very nice to sip.
- Use the best champagne you can afford. A great option is Freixenet, which comes in a sleek black bottle and costs around $12.
- Chill your ingredients. There’s nothing worse than a warm mimosa! Make sure your champagne and juice spend a couple hours, at least, in the fridge before making mimosas.
- Pour the champagne slowly. If you go too fast, you’ll wind up with a sticky mess when the sparkling wine bubbles over! When you pour the first mimosa, you will have a better idea of how fizzy and bubbly your champagne is, and then you can set the pouring pace from there.
Variations and substitutions
There are a ton of ways to make a mimosa your own!
Use another kind of juice. You can set up a mimosa bar with many types of juice, like cranberry juice or pineapple juice. You can even purée fruits like strawberries and peaches.
Use more champagne. If you use 2 parts champagne to 1 part orange juice, technically you’d be making a “Buck’s Fizz,” not a mimosa. It will still be delicious!
Make a non-alcoholic version. You can use a clear, fizzy beverage like ginger ale, sparkling grape juice, sparkling lemonade or sparkling apple cider to make a mimosa mocktail.
More mimosa recipes
Now that you know how to make a mimosa, you can enjoy them all year long in so many ways.
In the spring, you can enjoy green mimosas for St. Patrick’s Day or guava mimosas for easter.
For the summer months, try them with lemonade, pineapple juice or mango juice.
When fall comes, apple cider mimosas and pomegranate mimosas will rule the day.
And for the winter holidays, cranberry mimosas and green Grinch mimosas will suit perfectly for parties and Christmas morning.
Once you know how to make a mimosa, the door is opened for you to make tons more cocktails. This classic brunch drink is definitely one to know.
- 2 ounces orange juice
- 1 ounce triple sec or other orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
- 3 ounces champagne, prosecco, cava or other sparkling wine
- Add the orange juice and triple sec to a champagne flute.
- Slowly, pour in champagne. Allow the bubbles to dissipate and add more champagne if needed.
Orange juice: If you are making your own orange juice (highly recommended), strain out any pulp. If you are purchasing orange juice, buy "no pulp" or "low pulp." If juicing your own oranges, use room temperature fruit to get the most juice. Cold fruit does not juice as easily.
Orange liqueur: Orange liqueur, such as triple sec, is optional but recommended. If you skip it, replace it with 1 ounce orange juice.
Pouring tip: Make sure to pour the orange juice and triple sec first, then top with champagne.
Variations: Feel free to experiment with other juices instead of orange juice, or set up a mimosa bar with a number of options. Try pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, blood orange juice, lemonade or cranberry juice. You can even use puréed fruit such as strawberries or peaches.
Party planning: For a party, you will need approximately 1 bottle of champagne for 3 people. See post for tips on purchasing champagne for mimosas at a party.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 6 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 0g
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