How to Make Mimosas

Mix up a Better, Fresher Mimosa and Explore Variations

Mimosa Cocktail

The Spruce / Loren Runion

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
133 Calories
0g Fat
12g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 133
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 41mg 205%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 236mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

An iconic brunch cocktail, the mimosa is a simple drink to make. Both casual and festive, it's perfect for any occasion, from holidays to Mother's Day and showers to a weekend brunch. Named after the yellow mimosa flower, with one sip of this bubbly, fruity cocktail, you'll realize why it's been a favorite day-drinking choice since the 1920s.

To make a classic mimosa, you'll need well-chilled orange juice and sparkling wine. The recipe creates a semi-dry mimosa, and you can easily make it sweeter by pouring the two ingredients equally. Choose Champagne if you like, or save money with a nice prosecco or cava. The triple sec is optional (Cointreau is an excellent choice) but recommended. The orange liqueur adds dimension and its sweetness marries the sweet-tart juice and dry wine beautifully.

The best part of the mimosa is that the wine's bubbles mix the drink for you. It's an excellent pour-and-serve cocktail that makes entertaining a breeze, whether made by the glass or pitcher. Serve it alongside your favorite brunch dishes—from frittatas to French toast—or enjoy it with a light snack of cheese, crackers, and fresh seasonal fruits.

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 ounce premium triple sec, optional

  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice, chilled

  • 4 ounces sparkling wine, chilled

  • Orange slice, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Mimosa Champagne Cocktail Ingredients

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  2. In a Champagne flute, pour the orange liqueur, if using, and orange juice.

    Orange juice in a champagne flute

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  3. Pouring slowly into a tilted glass (as you would beer), top the mimosa with sparkling wine. Garnish with an orange slice. Serve and enjoy.

    Mimosa Cocktail

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

How Do You Make a Pitcher of Mimosas?

Make a pitcher of mimosas by increasing the ingredients proportionately. Wait to add the sparkling wine until you're ready to serve to ensure it stays bubbly.

  • For the recipe's 1-to-2 ratio, use 1 1/2 cups of orange juice and one 750-milliliter bottle of sparkling wine. If you include 1/2 cup of triple sec, this will make six 6 1/2-ounce mimosas.
  • When making sweet 1-to-1 mimosas, combine 3 cups of orange juice with a bottle of wine. Adding 1/2 cup of triple sec produces 10 6-ounce mimosas.

Tips

  • The tall, skinny shape of a Champagne flute retains and enhances the wine's bubbles, making a livelier mimosa. White wine glasses are a good alternative. Stirring will reduce bubbles, so resist the temptation to mix it.
  • Avoid floating bits of fruit in your glass by using pulp-free orange juice. Strain the pulp from fresh-squeezed orange juice; one large orange should make two drinks. A high-quality (not from concentrate), pulp-free bottled orange juice works as well.
  • Ice is not required for mimosas because dilution can soften the flavor too much. Instead, start with cold ingredients and, for an extra chill, pop the glasses in the freezer for 10 minutes or so.

Recipe Variations

  • For a sweeter mimosa, pour equal parts of orange juice and sparkling wine, choose a sweet sparkling wine, or do both.
  • Hold the orange liqueur and float it on top of the drink after adding the Champagne.
  • Pour half a shot of cognac along with the triple sec. You can also switch from triple sec to the cognac-based Grand Marnier for a Grand mimosa or apricot brandy for a Valencia cocktail no. 2.
  • Make a virgin mimosa with sparkling grape juice or cider instead of wine.
  • Pour a splash of grenadine for sweetness and a "sunrise" effect.
  • Add the fresh taste of fruits or herbs. Garnish the drink with a sprig of lavender, rosemary, or sage, or muddle seasonal fruits and the orange juice in a mixing glass, then double strain into the flute.
  • Many mimosa-inspired recipes start by switching up the juice. For instance, grapefruit juice creates a megmosa. Apple, cranberry, pineapple, pomegranate, and watermelon juices are fun alternatives as well.

Who Invented the Mimosa?

The mimosa's history is unclear. One story points to Frank Meier at Paris' Ritz Hotel in 1925, but, unlike other recipes, he didn't claim it in his 1934 book, "The Artistry of Mixing Drinks." Many think that the mimosa was inspired by the Buck's fizz (invented at London's Buck's Club around 1925). Both drinks were likely influenced by a longtime French wine country favorite called Champagne-orange. Despite rumors, it's doubtful that Alfred Hitchcock devised the mimosa in the 1940s. However, it's true that a 1961 report of the British royal family enjoying mimosas popularized it as a brunch cocktail.

What Is the Original Mimosa Recipe?

The first mimosas were likely equal parts of orange juice and Champagne. In David Embury's 1948 book, "The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks," he describes it as "Just another freak Champagne mixture..." Over the years, the ratio was adapted to more closely reflect the 1-to-2 ratio in this recipe and the Buck's fizz. The triple sec arrived later in the 20th century as bartenders wanted to give the drink depth.

What Is the Best Champagne for a Mimosa?

Since it's mixed with a heavily flavored fruit juice, the mimosa doesn't require pricey French Champagne. Feel free to be frugal when selecting a mimosa-worthy bottle of wine; Spanish cava, Italian prosecco, and other sparkling wines offer the same taste, often at a lower price ideal for cocktails. Style-wise, many mimosa drinkers enjoy a drier wine because it counteracts the sweet acidity of the orange juice. Look for "brut" (meaning "dry") or "extra dry" on the label. When you want a sweeter sparkling wine, seek out labels with "demi-sec" (meaning "half-dry") or try a Moscato Asti, and remember that spumante is bubblier than frizzante.

How Strong Is the Mimosa?

The mimosa is always going to be just a little lighter than the wine you pour. When made with triple sec at the recipe's ratio, its alcohol content falls around 10 percent ABV (20 proof). At its lightest—no liqueur and equal juice and wine—it's a mild 7 percent ABV (14 proof).