Whether you are hosting Easter for your family, doing something special for your Mom on Mother’s Day or making someone’s birthday memorable, serving brunch is a great way to celebrate. And brunch just isn’t the same without Mimosas. Made with fresh-squeezed orange juice and champagne (or a sparkling wine like Prosecco), this classic Mimosa recipe is an easy and delicious brunch cocktail.
There’s one thing I think every brunch must have…Mimosas!
Made with just 2 ingredients (orange juice and champagne), they are super simple to make.
And they are light enough that you aren’t useless for the rest of the day after drinking one or two of them.
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As I mentioned above there are only two things that go into a classic Mimosa recipe – one part sparkling wine or champagne and one part orange juice.
While some other recipes include other ingredients (like an orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier) or fancy oranges (like blood oranges), that isn’t the way traditional Mimosas are made so we’re sticking to the basics.
With so few ingredients, each one makes an important contribution to the drink, so let’s talk about them.
Having said that, I almost never use champagne when I’m making Mimosas. And here’s why:
- First, good champagne is expensive.
- Second, you can’t really taste the delicate notes of that good champagne because it is overpowered by orange juice.
So I use Prosecco instead (Cava also works). In fact, you can use any type of sparkling wine that you like.
I prefer dry sparkling wines (which are less sweet) in Mimosas…for me, the orange juice is already sweet enough.
That means means I buy a Brut Prosecco. (Prosecco comes in a wide range of sweetness, with Brut being the driest).
However, if you are a sweet wine lover, feel free to go with a sparkling Moscato if you want to.
While the champagne or sparkling wine is what makes a Mimosa special…it’s the orange juice that can break it.
Since the juice is what gives the drink most of its taste, this is not the time to break out the frozen orange juice concentrate (or any kind of “from concentrate” juice for that matter).
Store-bought orange juice
Buying “fresh never concentrated” orange juice such as Tropicana or Florida’s Natural is the easiest way to go.
Get the “No Pulp” kind.
Otherwise, the bubbles from the champagne can push the pulp up, forming a layer across the top of the glass that isn’t very appealing.
Fresh-squeezed orange juice
But the best option is to make your own fresh-squeezed orange juice:
- Juice some oranges.
- Strain the juice by running it through a sieve to remove the pulp.
- Refrigerate until it is cold.
Make it at least a couple of hours in advance so you have time to chill it before you use it.
The juice can be stored in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (I normally make it the day before.)
I usually buy some “backup” orange juice as well.
That way, if I start to run low on the homemade O.J., I can switch over to the store-bought stuff. (After people have had a couple of Mimosas, they don’t usually notice the change).
How to make Mimosas
The first step to making mimosas is to make sure that both the sparkling wine and the orange juice are cold.
You don’t want to add ice if you can help it (…have you ever had watered-down orange juice at a cheap breakfast place? Yeah, it’s kind of like that…)
So keep them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
What comes first – champagne or orange juice?
Pour the chilled sparkling wine (or champagne) in first.
That way, you can tip the glass slightly and pour the champagne down the side to prevent the wine from bubbling over the top.
Then fill the rest of the glass up with orange juice.
As you can see from the picture above, pouring the champagne over the orange juice can cause foam to form at the top that doesn’t go away quickly.
Do NOT mix the drink as this will release the bubbles, and make your Mimosa flat.
The traditional Mimosa ratio is 1:1 champagne and orange juice.
So you fill the glass half full with the champagne, then fill the other half with orange juice.
Since most champagne glasses are small, this requires 3 to 4 ounces of champagne per mimosa.
However, there is nothing magical about this equal parts mixture. You can vary it depending on your taste.
For more fizz, add 2/3 of a glass of champagne with 1/3 orange juice (which is actually a British drink called Buck’s Fizz).
Or if you like more of an orange juice taste, do the opposite with 1/3 of a glass of champagne and 2/3 glass orange juice.
Mimosa pitcher recipe
To make a pitcher of Mimosas ahead of time:
- Pour 1 750 mL bottle of sparkling wine or champagne into the pitcher.
- Add 3 cups of orange juice.
As tempting as it is, do NOT stir.
Put this mixture together as close to serving time as possible.
The longer the sparkling wine sits in the pitcher, the less fizz there will be in the Mimosas.
For your friends who don’t drink (or if you want a kid friendly version), you can make non-alcoholic Mimosas.
Simply replace the champagne with sparkling grape juice.
However, I usually find that if I have made my own fresh squeezed orange juice, they are just as happy drinking that.
What glasses are best?
While some people use wine glasses, serving mimosas in a champagne flute is better. The thin shape helps to prevent the bubbles from escaping too fast.
These crystal glasses with gold rims* are perfect for an elegant brunch.
If you’re afraid that tall flutes are too fragile, or are likely to get knocked over, try out these stemless glasses*.
One thing to be aware of, though…stemless glasses usually hold more than flutes. So you will likely need more champagne and orange juice to fill them.
Or, if you like a more retro look and the Mimosas won’t be sitting around too long, these coupe glasses* are another option.
How to set up a self-serve Mimosa bar
One of my favorite ways to do brunch is to set it up buffet style. That way people help themselves and it’s a lot less work for me!
To put together a serve-yourself Mimosa bar, you can either have the Mimosas pre-mixed in a pitcher.
Or put out the orange juice and sparkling wine separately, and let everyone pour their own. This is the way I prefer to do it because people can choose how much (or little) sparkling wine they want in their drink.
Remember to keep the beverages cold:
- Put the sparkling wine in a wine cooler or ice bucket.
- And the orange juice in a pitcher with re-usable ice cubes* or use a stay-cold beverage dispenser like this one*.
Other Mimosas & Cocktails you might like
- Strawberry mimosas
- Blueberry lemonade mimosas
- Pomegranate basil mojito
- Berries and lime sangria
Classic Mimosa Recipe
- Juicer (optional)
- Sieve (optional)
- measuring cup
- 4 ounces (or 1/2 cup) Champagne, Prosecco, Cava or other sparkling wine chilled
- ½ cup orange juice (or 1 orange, juiced) chilled
- 1 750 mL bottle Champagne, Prosecco, Cava or other sparkling wine chilled
- 3 cups orange juice (or 6 to 8 oranges, juiced) chilled
- ½ cup Sparkling grape juice chilled
- ½ cup orange juice (or 1 orange, juiced) chilled
- For the best flavor, juice 1 to 2 oranges. Strain the juice through a sieve to remove the pulp. Then refrigerate until it is cold. Store-bought orange juice will also work.
- Pour 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of cold Champagne or sparkling wine into a champagne flute.
- Add 1/2 cup of cold orange juice. Do not stir.
- Serve immediately
- For the best flavor, juice 6 to 8 oranges. Strain the juice trough a sieve to remove the pulp. Then refrigerate until it is cold. Store-bought orange juice will also work.
- Add 1 bottle of cold Champagne or sparkling wine into a pitcher.
- Add 3 cups of cold orange juice. Do not stir.
- Serve immediately
- To make Virgin Mimosas, replace the champagne with sparkling grape juice — 1/2 cup for a single glass, or 3 cups for a pitcher.
- Fresh-squeezed orange juice gives the best flavor, but store-bought “not from concentrate” orange juice will also work
- Expensive Champagne is not necessary for Mimosas, since the orange juice will over power the taste of it. Prosecco, Cava or other types of sparkling wine work just as well.
- For the best flavor, make sure that both the champagne (or sparkling wine) and orange juice are cold. Don’t add ice as it dilutes the flavor.
- When pouring the champagne, tip the glass on an angle and pour down the side of it to prevent the champagne from overflowing.
- Avoid stirring Mimosas. Doing so will release the bubbles from the sparkling wine and make the drinks taste flat
- While classic Mimosas have equal parts champagne and orange juice, you can vary the amount of each to suit your own taste
- Mimosas should be made as close to serving time as possible. The longer the champagne/sparkling wine is out of the bottle, the less fizz it will have.