Last Updated on September 25, 2023 by jofitzsimons
The mimosa is one of the most versatile cocktails out there. Whether it’s boozy brunch or a wedding reception,Christmas morning or a sunny day in the garden, there’s never a bad time to enjoy a refreshing mimosa. The two-ingredient cocktail is also super simple to make. However, there’s a little more to it than meets the eye. Below we’ll run you through exactly how to make a mimosa that everyone is guaranteed to love. And at the end we’ve include some suggestions for putting together a mimosa bar, if you’re hosting an event. But first, what is a mimosa and how is it different from other drinks like the Bellini and bucks fizz?
What is a Mimosa?
A mimosa is a simple drink made with Champagne and orange juice. It’s a sweet and refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for drinking alone on a sunny day or serving to guests for a special occasion. A mimosa is also relatively low in alcohol, making it a popular morning or breakfast cocktail when you’re treating yourself.
Bellini vs Mimosa – What’s the difference?
A bellini and a mimosa are similar cocktails, in that they both consist of sparkling wine and a fruity mixer. But these two drinks certainly aren’t the same.
Firstly, a mimosa is traditionally made with French Champagne, while a Bellini is made with Italian Prosecco. And secondly, a mimosa uses fresh citrus juice – most commonly orange juice – to cut through the Champagne, while a Bellini is made with peach puree.
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Mimosa vs Bucks Fizz
A mimosa and a bucks fizz are much more similar than a mimosa and a bellini. Both drinks are made with Champagne and orange juice. A common misconception is that the two drinks are the same, with bucks fizz being the British name and mimosa the American name. But this isn’t entirely true.
The main difference is actually that a mimosa is made with one-part Champagne to two-parts orange juice, while a bucks fizz is one-part orange juice to two-parts champagne. So a bucks fizz is the more alcoholic of the two.
The two drinks also have different origins. Bucks fizz dates back to 1921 when it was created at Buck’s Club in London. Hence why the drink is much more popular in England. The mimosa came around a few years later in 1925 at the Ritz Hotel in Paris.
With the history in your pocket and a good knowledge of the difference between a mimosa and other similar cocktails, it’s time to get to the juicy bit – how to make a mimosa.
What’s in a mimosa?
The two key ingredients in a mimosa are:
- Orange juice
Being such a simple cocktail, you’ll want to choose high-quality ingredients to allow the flavours to shine. Chilled, freshly squeezed orange juice gives a mimosa the most refreshing taste.
The dry acidity of Champagne best compliments the citrus in a mimosa. But you can also replace Champagne with other varieties of sparkling wine. We’re partial to a brut Prosecco (for obvious reasons). Cava also works well. Stick to drier sparkling wines rather than sweet ones to avoid an overly sweet cocktail.
Some people also choose to add a small amount of a liqueur to a mimosa, such as Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, or Chambord, for a slightly more alcoholic version of the cocktail. (Just make sure you can still say your vows if you’re a bride-to-be.)
So how do you make a mimosa? This part is simple.
How to make a mimosa:
- Grab a glass
- Add one-part Champagne and two-parts orange juice
- Garnish with an orange slice (optional)
You can easily eyeball the measurements in a mimosa to save yourself some time and effort, though take into account the taper of the glass which is thinner at the bottom so you can add a splash more Champagne than a third of the glass.
If you want your mimosa to pack a bit more of a punch, up the ratio to one-part Champagne and one part orange juice. But any more than this and you’ve got bucks fizz rather than a mimosa.
Tips for making the best mimosa
Want to improve your mimosa-making skills? Here are some of our top tips for making a great mimosa.
- Chill the glass in advance to keep the cocktail chilled for longer.
- Pour the Champagne first then top with orange juice to allow the liquids to mix naturally.
- Don’t stir or the bubbles will go flat.
- Avoid using ice as it will dilute the cocktail.
- When making mimosas in bulk/pitchers, don’t make it too far in advance to avoid decarbonisation i.e. no sparkle.
The mimosa is an easy drink to play around with. There are plenty of mimosa variations already out there, or you could try making your own. Below are some of the most popular alternative mimosa recipes.
Because nothing goes together better than strawberries and Champagne. Simply puree strawberries in a blender with the orange juice, then add to the Champagne. Add some fresh or frozen strawberries to garnish.
Swap the orange juice for pineapple juice and add to the Champagne. The pineapple juice gives the mimosa an extra summery and tropical flavour.
Mix one-part orange juice, one-part cranberry juice, and one-part Champagne. Swap the orange juice with an orange liqueur for a stronger cocktail. This mimosa variation is also known as the Poinsettia due to its popularity around Christmas time. Like Cranberry cocktails? Check out this Cranberry Orange Margarita.
Apple Cider Mimosa
Add together one part apple cider with two-parts Champagne. You can also add brandy or dark rum for a more intense flavour. Finally, coat the rim of the glass with sugar and cinnamon. This is one of the best mimosa recipes for the colder autumn/fall and winter months.
For a non-alcoholic mimosa, swap the sparkling wine for soda, sparkling water, or even ginger ale. Flavoured sparkling water, such as lemon or lime, will give the virgin cocktail a fresher, fruitier taste. Alternatively, there are plenty of alcohol-free sparkling wines on the market. Use that instead of Champagne. Just check the label and get one without added sugar to keep close to the original mimosa flavour.
Which Glasses To Use For Mimosas
According to the original recipe, mimosa glasses are large wine glasses. These days, the cocktail is more commonly served in a tall Champagne flute, much like a Bellini or bucks fizz.
Whichever glass you choose to serve your mimosa in, just make sure that it’s chilled to keep your drink cooler for longer.
Food Pairings With a Mimosa
The fine bubbles and citrus notes of a mimosa help the drink cut through many rich and salty breakfast and brunch foods, including:
- Smoked salmon
- Soft, creamy cheeses such as brie, goats cheese, and cream cheese
- Eggs and egg dishes
Sweet brunch dishes such as pancakes or fresh toast also pair nicely with a mimosa.
It’s no wonder why the mimosa is such a popular morning cocktail. It’s certainly be on our menu at our next weekend brunch.
Mimosa Bar Ideas
Hosting an event? Thinking of putting together a mimosa bar? Here are some suggestions:
- Lay out more than one glass per guest so your guests can try different mimosa recipes without having to rinse glasses in between.
- Prepare any juices in advance and decant them into cute juice jugs. We suggest fresh orange juice, pineapple juice, and cranberry juice as the biggest crowd pleasers.
- Put together small dishes with fruity decorations including orange and citrus slices, strawberries and chunks of pineapple. What doesn’t get used as decoration can simply be eaten (or served as great hangover food the next day, if it comes to it). Don’t forget to supply cocktail picks.
- Cocktail glitter can be great for pre-dusting rims of glasses or let your guests get crafty. Just rub some citrus fruit around the rim first to help the glitter stick. Consider different coloured glitter to match your juice colours.
- Put together some simple mimosa recipe cards or write it up on a chalk board. Help your guests to pour the right measures.
- For a budget option, replace Champagne with Brut Prosecco. Your guests are unlikely to notice the difference, but you bank account will.
- Include a bottle or two of non-alcoholic sparkling wine so your guests can continue to enjoy all the flavours of the mimosa bar without having to cure a hangover the next day.
- If you have space, place a large Champagne bucket filled with ice and cold water on your bar so guests have perfectly chilled Champagne to hand. Include a waiter’s towel for drying off the bottom of the bottle as you pour.
- Don’t forget snacks. We recommend a platter of salty brunch foods like bacon and quiche or cured meats and cheese. Perhaps a chocolate fondue to finish (and something to dip any leftover fruit into). Italian pastries are also a winner.
- Consider adding a bottle of two of some other Italian wines or other Italian drinks in case your brunch goes on through lunch.
- Go simple with the decoration so that the cocktails can take centre stage. A white table cloth and Mimosa – little yellow flower stems – can make a beautiful yet simple theme for your mimosa bar.
That’s our guide to how to make a mimosa. Did you find this recipe useful? Any suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.
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