It’s easy for anyone to make a Mimosa at home—simply put OJ in a glass and top with Champagne or sparkling wine. But come autumn, there are a bevy of ingredients that can spice up your Mimosa game and make brunch as cozy as a cashmere hoodie. From fresh cider to cardamom bitters, these five exciting and easy to procure ingredients will give your Mimosa new life and a fall-flavored twist. Use each of the ingredients individually, or mix and match to create the ultimate autumn brunch cocktail.
Brightly acidic with a rich undercurrent of sweetness, the flavors of apple cider are synonymous with autumn—so it’s a great way to dress up your Mimosa for the season. Simply swap out the measure of fresh orange juice for cider, and top with Champagne or sparkling wine. If you want to get really fancy, grate fresh cinnamon over the drink as a garnish.
Add a Splash of Apple Brandy
An extra measure of booze is always a welcome edition to a Mimosa. Adding an apple brandy like applejack (or Calvados if you really want to treat yourself) is a win win. Not only does it give an autumnal edge to the effervescent brunch staple, it also makes the drink even more potent and boozy. If you’re using an applejack like Laird’s, use one ounce of spirit, compared to a half ounce of apple brandy or Calvados. You could also try Pommeau, a French spirit that blends equal parts apple cider (or pear nectar) and Calvados. To use it as the base of your Mimosa, simply add two ounces of the spirit and top with Champagne.
Muddle Fresh Cranberries
Fresh, tart cranberries make the perfect addition to your Mimosa. Not only are they the perfect companion to sweet orange juice, the bright red berries build up the acidity of the drink and add a beautiful red hue. To use them in your cocktail, simply muddle a small handful of cranberries with a touch of orange juice and half a teaspoon of white sugar (or orange blossom honey). Once the berries have popped and are smashed into bits, add the remaining measure of orange juice and top with Champagne or sparking wine.
Bitters will give your Mimosa depth, an extra kick of flavor and subdue some of the juice’s sweetness. If you use cocktail bitters like Angostura Orange, your Mimosa will become a fall-spiced, Everlasting Gobstopper of orange flavors, revealed to your palate in waves of citrus and baking spice. Heavily spiced and aromatic bitters like Fee Brother’s Cardamom will transform a Mimosa from an average brekkie wine-tail to an autumnal spice bomb of effervescence and citrus. To use, simply dash the bitters into the juice, top with Champagne or sparkling wine, and stir.
Garnish With Rosemary, Sage or Thyme
Savory herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme not only lend a beautiful aromatic balance to a Mimosa—the bubbles literally bounce the smell of the herbs into your nose—they also play well with the flavors of citrus or fresh apple cider (we love sage with a pear and apple Pommeau). To garnish your Mimosa with fresh herbs, place the garnish on the palm of your hand and slap the herb to awaken its essence, then place it into the drink.