The Mimosa Cocktail: Recipes, History, and Alternatives

The classic mimosa cocktail recipe is a staple drink for brunch enthusiasts everywhere. It’s festive and refreshing, and since it has juice in it, you can drink it before noon without feeling like a lush.

mimosa cocktail recipe

The Classic Mimosa Recipe

It’s one of the easiest  champagne cocktails to make. And that’s a major bonus when you’re bleary-eyed and you have guests coming over.

Here’s everything you need to know about mimosas, from recipes to history:

  • Prep Time 1 Minutes
  • Cook Time 1 Minutes
  • Total Time 2 Minutes
  • Serves 1 People
  • Calories 117 kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. dry sparkling wine, champagne, or prosecco
  • 3 oz. orange juice (no pulp)
  • Fresh fruit for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Tilt your champagne flute to a 45-degree angle, and slowly add your sparkling wine.
  2. Top with orange juice.
  3. Add fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries, or a small wedge of orange for a garnish.

Notes

When choosing your sparkling wine, look for a bottle labeled brut or dry. These versions are less sweet, which will balance well with your juice. You don’t need to splurge on a pricey bottle for this drink. Look for something in the $12–$15 range.Since the prevalent flavor in your mimosa will be the juice, this is where you should look for quality. A fresh-squeezed, pulp-free orange juice will make you the tastiest breakfast cocktail.

Strain Pairings

Alternative Mimosas Recipes

The basic mimosa is delicious as is, but you can also experiment to come up with some fresh takes on this traditional drink.

1. Switch Up the Juice

Cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, pineapple juice, and grapefruit juice are all delicious additions to mimosas. You can use one of these in place of your orange juice or do a blend of OJ and a secondary juice to keep things interesting.

There are actually different names for the drinks made with some of the different juices. For example, a cranberry juice mimosa is called a poinsettia, and a grapefruit juice version is a megmosa. But you can just order a “grapefruit mimosa,” and you’ll get what you’re looking for.

Having friends over for brunch? Break out three or four different juices to create a mimosa bar so everyone can make their own.

2. Add a Liqueur or Schnapps

A splash of a fruity or floral liqueur can add a tasty zing to the ordinary mimosa. Consider adding half an ounce of Chambord for a hint of raspberry or a splash of St. Germain for a touch of elderflower.

Sweet and spicy Domain de Canton Ginger Liqueur is another tasty option to try. Plus, ginger can be soothing if you overindulged a bit the night before. A bit of peach schnapps can also add depth to your bubbly mimosa.

3. Play With Proportions

While the classic mimosa calls for equal parts sparkling wine and orange juice, there’s no reason you have to follow the rules. Some people prefer their drinks to be lighter on the juice. Experiment with your champagne-to-juice proportions until you get it just right.

4. Mimosa Mocktails

If you’re not indulging in the bubbly, it’s easy to make a great non-alcoholic mimosa. Just sub out the sparkling wine for a lightly flavored sparkling water. Look for fruit flavors like orange, peach, or grapefruit. Or, you can use sparkling grape juice instead.

The History of the Mimosa Cocktail

Where did the basic mimosa recipe come from?

A precursor to the “perfect ratio” mimosa (half sparkling wine and half orange juice) is the Buck’s Fizz. This drink was added to the menu of Buck’s Club in London in 1921, and it was two parts champagne to one part juice. (So yes, if you prefer your classic brunch cocktail with less juice, you may technically be drinking a Buck’s Fizz. But no one is going to be pedantic enough to point that out.)

A bartender at the Ritz Hotel in Paris changed these proportions to today’s 50/50 split in 1925. Although Buck’s Club and the Ritz may have been the first places to put the drink on a menu, the OJ/champagne combo had been popular for years among the working-class French.

In the 1940s, famed film director Alfred Hitchcock had a hand in popularizing the drink. He and his friends liked to sip on mimosas the morning after a hard night of carousing through the San Francisco nightlife. It also gained popularity in England in the 1960s due to the influence of the British royals. Queen Elizabeth was introduced to the drink in southern France, and it spread through the royal family and their high-born set.

So next time you’re sipping a delish mimosa alongside a plate of bacon and eggs, you can raise your glass to French farmers, European bartenders, Queen Elizabeth, and Alfred Hitchcock.

The Anytime Cocktail

One of the best things about the mimosa is its versatility. This classic cocktail goes with brunch, baby showers, manicures, lazy afternoons, or just about any time you want to feel pampered. It’s less boozy than the Bloody Mary and easier to pair with food.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for May 16th — it’s National Mimosa Day.

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Brooklyn native, accent-having, travel lover, wordsmith and bud enthusiast. Versed from the streets of NYC, mixed with some world influence, writer/editor and medical user extraordinaire, JJ is here to tell you like it is and guide you to the finest. Brooklyn's favorite feminine stoner, your neighborhood contributor, wrapping leaves like a bandage and bringing you along for the ride.

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