These Cranberry Mimosas, aka Poinsettia Champagne Cocktails, are slightly tart with just a hint of orange. They're an easy-to-make light drink with just 3 ingredients - champagne, cranberry juice, and orange juice with an optional garnish of thyme. A delicious cocktail that’s perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or really any time!
Mimosas are a popular drink in our house especially for special occasions and around the holidays. I love the traditional mimosa, which we have every Mother's Day, but his one has a special place in our hearts for the holidays. They've actually become a family tradition to serve on Christmas morning ever since our children became adults.
This one adds cranberry juice and a sprig of thyme to the usual mix, making it into a festive red and green Christmas mimosa or, as some call it, Poinsettia Champagne cocktail. Of course, the combination of champagne and cranberry would be perfect for Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, or any special occasion too!
What is a Mimosa?
Mimosa is a cocktail comprised of champagne and orange juice or other chilled fruit juices. It is usually served in champagne flutes for special occasions such as weddings, parties and is a popular drink for brunch.
I had to make several test batches to get it just right, ‘cause you know that you can't let champagne go to waste (picture happy face here), and found that adding something sweet, like orange juice, balanced out the tartness of the cranberries and the dryness of the champagne.
I also added sugared fresh cranberries for a colorful finishing touch to this holiday mimosa. You could also add a sprig of thyme in the glass which, I must say, looks very elegant, as well as adding a wonderful aroma and a touch of Christmas greenery.
This cranberry orange mimosa was really, and I mean really, delicious! The color put everyone in the holiday spirit and the tart cranberry flavor with the whiff of thyme with each sip put the perfect finishing touch on our holiday get-together.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can opt for any champagne from very dry to sweet, sparkling wine, Spanish Cava or Prosecco which are slightly sweeter and less costly options. Check out this champagne graph that shows all your champagne options.
Cranberry juice is 100% juice with no added sugar while cranberry juice cocktail is loaded with a ton of sugar and occasionally high fructose corn syrup. If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, it is better to add a little honey or agave to the drink, or just sugar the rim of the glass.
It's easy! Just substitute sparkling soda or water for the champagne or opt for carbonated water, which comes in many flavors, for a little variety.
Absolutely! Just combine 1-½ cups cranberry juice with ¾ cup orange juice or orange liqueur and, just before guests arrive, add 1 bottle of champagne.
Champagne – choose dry or sweet or opt for Prosecco, a tasty but less costly alternative.
Cranberry juice – adds a nice tartness as well as holiday color to the cocktail.
Orange Juice – use fresh orange juice if possible for the lightest and most flavorful taste or substitute either Grand Marnier or Cointreau or Triple Sec for a more alcoholic option. These add sweetness to offset the tartness of the cranberry juice.
Fresh cranberries and thyme – love the seasonality of the cranberries and the aroma of the thyme. You can also use rosemary instead of thyme
Tips & Tricks
- Always add the champagne to the glass first then top with the cranberry and orange juices. This will eliminate the need to stir the cocktail.
- Serve this cranberry mimosa in champagne flutes which are designed to help retain the champagne's bubbles.
- Always use chilled ingredients for the most refreshing cocktail.
- Freeze the sugared cranberries and add into the flute. They will act as ice cubes and help keep the drink cold.
Add pomegranate juice instead of cranberry juice so you can still maintain the red hue.
Replace some of the orange juice with blood orange juice.
As an alternative to Grand Marnier, try Chambord for a more French-inspired mimosa.
More Festive Cocktails for the Holidays
Christmas Margarita with white cranberry juice with a sweet sugar cocktail rim.
Eggnog Martini with vanilla, nutmeg, and a touch of cinnamon.
Peppermint Patty Cocktail topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
Pecan Pie Shots are decadently rimmed with caramel and pecans.
Homemade Irish Cream is great for cocktails and DIY Christmas gifts.
Find even more holiday drink recipes right here on 2CM!
- ½ cup champagne (use club soda, sparkling soda or carbonated water for a virgin mimosa)
- ¼ cup cranberry juice or cranberry juice cocktail
- 2 Tablespoons orange juice or orange liqueur like Cointreau, Grand Mariner or Triple Sec
- Garnish: frozen cranberries coated with sugar (see note below for how-tos), thyme sprigs, orange slices
- Fill champagne flute ½ way with champagne (about ½ cup). Add cranberry juice and orange juice.
- Garnish with a few frozen sugared cranberries on a toothpick or an orange slice on the rim and a sprig of thyme (optional).
- You can also make a pitcher just prior to serving to make it easier to serve a crowd.
This post has been updated with new and more useful content. It was first published on November 12, 2015.