Food & Drink

Your Next Brunch Needs a Mimosa Bar

Brunch wouldn’t be brunch without brunch cocktails. And while we’re big fans of the spicy-savory Bloody Mary and the tangy-spritzy Michelada, there’s no noontime libation quite as refreshing as the bubbly Mimosa. The classic combination of Champagne and orange juice is not only delicious—it’s also endlessly customizable, making it the perfect centerpiece cocktail for a brunch party.

So grab some juices, stock up on bubbly and call up your most sparkling friends, it’s Mimosa time. Here’s how to set up the best Mimosa brunch bar ever:

Step 1: Stock Up on Booze and Bubbly

You can’t have a Mimosa without the bubbly. Whether you choose Champagne, Prosecco or Cava, make sure you opt for something dry to offset the sweetness of the juices, and stick to one brand to keep the cocktails consistent. One bottle should be enough for four people to have two cocktails each, so buy accordingly.

Next, select your liqueurs. Feel free to have fun and choose your favorite bottles, but make sure to have a mix of fruity, floral, bitter and spiced. Some of our favorites include:

  • St-Germain
  • Raspberry liqueur (like Chambord)
  • Campari
  • Pear liqueur (like Rothman & Winter)
  • Domaine de Canton

Step 2: Go Beyond OJ

Orange juice is, of course, the obvious choice, but it wouldn’t be much of a Mimosa bar with just one type of juice. We recommend stocking your bar with a variety of fresh squeezed juices and purées that range from tart and refreshing to sweet and tropical. Options include:

  • Orange juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Mango purée

Step 3: Step It up With Liqueurs and Garnishes

Homemade syrups and fresh fruit transform an ordinary Mimosa into a brunch star. The day before the party, prep some homemade passion fruit syrup and hibiscus grenadine. Then serve them in bottles with spouts for easy pouring.

Set out bowls of blackberries, raspberries, lemon twists and candied grapefruit peels, along with bunches of herbs like lavender, thyme, basil and rosemary. The herbs and fruits can simply be dropped into the drinks, or guests can muddle the herb and fruit flavors into their cocktails. If you do choose to take the muddled path, tell your guests to muddle their fruits or herbs with their juice of choice in pint glasses, before pouring or straining the infused juice into a Champagne flute and topping with sparkling wine.  

Step 4: Commence Mimosa-ing!

Now that you’ve gathered and prepped your components, it’s time to pop some bottles. Fill a large party bucket with ice to chill two or three bottles of sparkling wine. Keep the other bottles in the fridge as backup for later.

Set out your liqueurs, juices, syrups and garnishes, and label each one with an index card, mini chalkboard or masking tape, or simply line your table with butcher paper and write directions directly on the table. Line up Champagne flutes, muddlers, pint glasses and Hawthorne strainers.

The Mimosa possibilities are nearly endless, but here are some of our favorite combinations to get you and your guests started:

  • Champagne + raspberry liqueur + lemon twist
  • Champagne + grapefruit juice
  • Champagne + Campari + candied grapefruit peel
  • Champagne + St. Germain + hibiscus grenadine
  • Champagne + blackberries + rosemary
  • Champagne + mango purée + orange juice
  • Champagne + raspberry liqueur + pineapple juice