Pop the bubbly and sip on this spiced cranberry mimosa for Christmas morning! The holidays are here, and we need a jolly mimosa to celebrate in style. With its vibrant hue and bundle of holiday flavors, this cranberry-spice Christmas mimosa is the perfect signature cocktail for a festive brunch.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Your holiday brunch calls for an extra special sipper that’s unlike your classic mimosa. Also known as a poinsettia cocktail, a cranberry mimosa is the perfect drink for any holiday gathering, but my version is even better.
- Enjoy that infused cranberry juice with warm spices and fresh orange zest for an explosion of holiday flavor.
- Get plenty of uses from one recipe and serve this mimosa for other holidays, like your Thanksgiving dinner and Valentine’s Day.
- Calls for make-ahead preparation to keep your Christmas morning stress-free.
And now to gather our simple ingredients for the perfect holiday mimosa, so we can start celebrating ASAP. Here are a few ingredient notes to set you up for success.
Cranberry juice: I always use the cranberry juice cocktail variety rather than 100 percent pure cranberry juice. Think Ocean Spray or something like that. This gives us a bit of sweetness, so we don't have to bother with simple syrup.
Sparkling wine: Please don’t feel like you need to get overly fancy here with pricey Champagne. In fact, I advise against it.
The good stuff is meant for sipping unadorned. A $10 bottle of Champagne works perfectly.
Brown sugar: Dark brown sugar is my favorite because of the extra molasses flavor, but light brown sugar also works.
Spices: In addition to the cinnamon sticks, we need nutmeg, cloves and ginger to make one festive drink.
Orange zest: We want to use fresh orange zest rather than dried for the best flavor.
Step 1: To get those festive flavors, we create an infused cranberry juice. This is as simple as adding that tart cranberry juice, orange zest, dark brown sugar and the spices to a small saucepan and bringing the mixture to a boil like so (photo 1).
Step 2: Once the cranberry juice boils, we turn off the heat and allow the mixture to steep (photo 2). This really gives those wonderful flavors and spices a chance to meld.
Step 3: Now we strain the cranberry mixture over a fine-mesh sieve and store it in the refrigerator to chill (photo 3).
Step 4: After chilling, we simply pour our spiced and sweetened cranberry juice into a Champagne glass and top with plenty of bubbles (photo 4).
Now we clink and sip away on our perfect holiday cocktail. You'll never need another cranberry mimosa recipe once you taste those wonderful spices.
As far as wine varieties, go with something dry. I typically use a brut Champagne, though you can’t go wrong with a prosecco and cava either. Just avoid the sweet sparkling wines and you’re good to go.
If you'd like a little inspiration, check out this list on the best sparkling wines for mimosas.
Totally! Honestly, I served this festive cranberry mimosa for some friends at our annual “Elf” watch party, and everyone gushed over them.
I’ve also served them for New Year’s Eve. For someone who loves to constantly try new recipes, you know it’s a seriously delicious cocktail when I plan on serving it back to back like that.
If you feel weird about serving mimosas for an evening holiday party, you can always rebrand them and call them cranberry-spice holiday sparklers or something like that.
Absolutely, simply substitute your favorite fizzy drink for the Champagne.
Ginger ale is a delicious option, and you can even pick up a cranberry version this time of year. A lemon-lime soda also works. Sprite has a spiced cranberry variety that would be perfect. Of course, your favorite sparkling seltzer water or club soda both work well, especially if it's cranberry flavored.
Champagne flutes are the obvious choice for any bubbly drink. That slender shape maintains those fizzy bubbles we all love. Besides, sipping out of Champagne flutes always makes me feel extra fancy.
However, if you don’t have Champagne flutes, you can always use white wine glasses. Coupe glasses also work.
Variations and Substitutions
- Give your Christmas brunch an extra kick and add ½ ounce orange liqueur to the glass. You can use Cointreau or Grand Marnier for a top-shelf drink or triple sec for a more economical option.
- Add fun garnishes to amp up the holiday spirit. Drop in some fresh cranberries, add a rosemary sprig to the glass or place an orange twist on the rim.
- Infuse other fruit juices for a different spin — pomegranate juice, for instance, would work beautifully here.
- Make a vanilla cranberry mimosa and add a split vanilla bean with the seeds to the infusion.
- Split the full spiced cranberry juice amount for equal parts fresh orange juice and cranberry juice as a nod to your standard mimosa.
Plan ahead: Because this cranberry mixture needs to chill, I recommend making it the night before serving. That way, you don’t have to worry about lukewarm mimosas, and your hosting duties will be a breeze. How’s that for a win-win?
Chill the Champagne: The ideal serving temperature is between 42-46 degrees F, so make sure you plan ahead and get that sparkling white wine in the refrigerator.
Use a microplane grater to get fresh orange zest: A microplane grater does an amazing job at extracting those oils and getting a fine texture.
Grate your own nutmeg: It takes just a few seconds, and the flavor is much better than store-bought ground nutmeg. You can find whole nutmegs in the spice aisle and use that same microplane grater.
You need my gingerbread waffles with this festive mimosa. The spices all play perfectly together while the acidity from the cranberry and bubbles keep your palate refreshed from those rich waffles and syrup.
To help celebrate the holiday season, I hope you try this spiced cranberry mimosa. I have no doubt it will become your new favorite cocktail for Christmas morning.
Sip on More Festive Holiday Cocktails
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Spiced Cranberry Mimosa for Christmas Morning
- Small saucepan
- 1 ¾ cups cranberry cocktail juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg preferably freshly grated
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1 Champagne bottle
- In a small saucepan, stir together the cranberry juice, cinnamon sticks, dark brown sugar, orange zest, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar.
- Turn off heat. Allow to the infused cranberry juice to steep for 20 minutes.
- Strain the cranberry juice over a fine-mesh sieve and chill in the refrigerator.
- In each Champagne flute, pour in 2 ounces of spiced cranberry juice. Top with 4 ounces of Champagne. Alternatively, you can pour the spiced cranberry juice in a pitcher, top with a bottle of Champagne and gently stir. Enjoy!
- It's best to make the cranberry juice ahead of time to give it time to chill, but if you don't get a chance to make it ahead of time, you can always add it to a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice and shake until chilled. You can make the spiced cranberry juice several days in advance.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.