A Cranberry Mimosa is the perfect winter cocktail, featuring sweet/tart cranberry syrup topped with sparkling wine and sugared cranberries for peak festive.
Whenever I throw a party, I have grand plans to make a signature cocktail and offer it to guests upon their arrival. But somehow 5 minutes before guests arrive, I am always running around baking last-minute appetizers, slicing cheese and sausage for the cheese plate, and madly rummaging through my purse for the lipstick I forgot to put on. I’ve come up with two solutions to this problem—pitcher drinks pre-made in advance (see my White Wine Sangria with Strawberries), and cocktails so easy that guests can serve themselves, like this Cranberry Mimosa.
This recipe does take some time to prepare, but the majority of it is waiting for your cranberry juice to reduce into a syrup—easily done while you tend to other tasks. You can also prepare your syrup in advance, so that at party time, it’s a quick matter of assembly, and cocktails are served. And, with a sweet/tart, bright red cranberry syrup paired with sparkling wine, this cocktail practically screams festive. Welcome guests to your holiday party with a glass, and let the celebration begin.
How do I make a Cranberry Mimosa?
To make this cranberry mimosa recipe, start by rinsing and draining 1 cup of fresh cranberries. To make cranberry syrup, combine cranberry juice, ½ cup sugar, and the rinsed cranberries in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 45 minutes, until syrup has thickened.
Strain, and discard cranberries. You should have a little more than 1 cup of cranberry syrup. For the garnish, rinse and drain 1 cup cranberries and toss in ½ cup sugar until coated. Leave on parchment paper to dry.
To assemble, pour a small amount of cranberry syrup into each Champagne flute. You can add as little or as much as you like. Top with Champagne or Prosecco. Garnish each flute with 5 sugared cranberries.
Can I make Cranberry Mimosas in advance?
This holiday champagne cocktail doesn’t lend itself to being made well ahead of time. Champagne becomes flat if it sits after being poured out of the bottle. However, you can prepare the cranberry syrup in advance and refrigerate. Sugared cranberries can be left out at room temperature. Pop your Champagne when guests arrive, and you’re ready to go.
What kind of Champagne should I use?
While in the United States, people often use the term “Champagne” to describe any sparkling wine, Champagne is an AOC-protected term. Technically, only Champagne produced by wine makers in the Champagne region of France can be called Champagne. But I’m going to use U.S. convention here and use the term “Champagne” to encompass other sparkling wines as well. Because you are going to mix your Champagne with something else, you don’t need to buy a top-quality bottle. That said, you always want to buy something you would drink on its own. The quality will nearly always come through in the finished cocktail. Look for a Champagne that is dry or extra-dry (brut or extra-brut) with this cocktail. You can often find better deals on Prosecco or other sparkling wines that are still delicious but don’t have the Champagne designation.
What can I do with extra cranberry juice or extra cranberries?
Fresh cranberries have lots of other uses than your holiday cranberry sauce. They are great in baked goods like clafoutis, crisps, pies, and muffins. You can also add fresh cranberries to your morning smoothie or cook some down into jam or chutney. Cranberries also freeze well, so you can toss half a bag in the freezer for your next cranberry mimosa. Extra cranberry juice or cranberry juice syrup are also delicious when added to sparkling water.
What should I do with leftover Champagne? Can I store leftover Champagne?
As mentioned above, Champagne does go flat quickly once the bottle is opened. If you do find you drink Champagne often without finishing the bottle, invest in a resealable Champagne cork. This version from Amazon is top-rated by America's Test Kitchen for keeping your sparkling wine sparkling for at least a few days.
What are the nutritional benefits of cranberries and cranberry juice?
Cranberries are often termed a “superfood” because they are packed with vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. One serving of fresh cranberries is very low in calories and fat, but high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Cranberries also contain several types of B vitamins, along with vitamin A, E, K, and C. They are similar in nutritional value to other berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Cranberry juice often includes added sweeteners, or is combined with other fruit juices to make the tart juice sweeter and more palatable. To get the most nutritional benefits out of your cranberry juice, look for cranberries as the first ingredient on the label.
When are cranberries in season?
Cranberries are native to North American and are now grown in Chile, Canada, and in the northern United States. Harvest time is typically in the fall, so buying cranberries in late fall assures the freshest berries. You can refrigerate cranberries for up to 2 months or freeze them for up to 6 months. When you store berries, remove any that are wrinkled or soft, as they can cause the berries next to them to spoil as well.
What should I serve with a Cranberry Mimosa?
Cranberry Mimosas are perfect for an aperitif at the start of a dinner party. I particularly like to serve these in winter, when cranberries are plentiful. They’re sparkly and not too high in alcohol content, especially if you go heavy on the cranberry syrup. To keep things simple, you can’t go wrong serving this cranberry champagne cocktail along with roasted nuts and a cheese plate. But if you’d like to make some easy appetizers to go with your cocktail, I’d recommend:
- Cilantro-Lime Crab Salad on Paprika Toasts
- Smoked Salmon Potato Chips with Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Baked Brie with Fig Jam
- Charred Tomatillo and Red Onion Guacamole
- Blue Cheese and Pecan Endive Appetizer
- Buffalo Cauliflower Dip with Fresh Herbs
Cranberry mimosas are a perfect start to a holiday dinner as well—maybe as a precursor to this Pan-Seared Filet Mignon with Red Wine Sauce? For other ideas, see my post on Non Traditional Holiday Dinner Recipes You'll Love.
If it's summertime where you are, and cranberries aren't available, try my version of a Strawberry Mimosa instead!
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, divided
- 2 cups cranberry juice or cranberry juice cocktail
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 bottle Champagne, Prosecco, or other sparkling wine
- Rinse and drain 1 cup of fresh cranberries.
- To make cranberry syrup, combine cranberry juice, ½ cup sugar, and the rinsed cranberries in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Simmer for 45 minutes, until syrup has thickened. Strain, and discard cranberries. You should have a little more than 1 cup of cranberry syrup.
- For the garnish, rinse and drain 1 cup cranberries and toss in ½ cup sugar until coated. Leave on parchment paper to dry.
- To assemble, pour ½ to 1 ounce of cranberry syrup into each Champagne flute. Top with Champagne.
- Garnish each flute with 5 sugared cranberries.
Leftover cranberry syrup can be used to flavor sparkling water.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 347Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 15mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 1gSugar: 49gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.