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Whether it be a luncheon, afternoon tea, or Sunday brunch with the ladies, mimosas are a tangy and sweet drink to enjoy. Picture it: you have an event coming up, perhaps a bridal shower for your sister, and you are expecting quite a few guests. Before this fine gathering can go off without a hitch, you’ll need to plan how much mimosa supplies to buy.
To make 100 mimosas, each 1 cup in volume, around 3 gallons (13.7 L) of orange juice is needed. As most mimosa recipes call for a 50/50 mix of freshly squeezed orange juice and dry sparkling wine, it would require a similar amount of bubbly booze to mix enough mimosa for 100 glasses.
But what else is important to know when making such a large quantity of drinks? Let’s discuss how much people drink, mimosa alternatives, and what pairs well with mimosas.
What is a good mimosa recipe?
Their fresh taste and versatility make mimosas common fare for special events. Though they are relatively simple to make yourself, the feel and presentation of a mimosa can make even a casual event feel that much more special. But what exactly goes into them?
While any recipe will vary in contents depending on the personal tastes of who you ask, the criteria that everyone uses to define a mimosa are that it has (mostly) equal parts orange juice and sparkling wine, topped with whatever kind of fruity garnish that fits your fancy. However, if the base recipe doesn’t quite suit your tastes, you can always find variations on this classic, like those that include fruitier additions as well as some stronger alcohol.
As mimosas are rumored to have originated in Paris, some of the fancier versions of this popular brunch fare will be made with freshly squeezed orange juice and real Champagne. Other recipes, while not as fancy-sounding though just as delightful to the taste, are made with Prosecco or the even cheaper Cava, a sparkling wine made in Spain or the United States.
Some recipes, such as this one from Inspired Taste, recommend holding back on the amount of alcohol added to each mimosa for larger crowds. Pouring just a little less sparkling wine when serving such a large amount of people can end up saving you a lot of money, as even the cost of more reasonably priced bottles can add up quickly for large parties.
Do mimosas have to use orange juice?
Not at all! While mimosas are most commonly orange-flavored, any sour fruit will do. Although, if you are looking to swap orange juice for something else for health purposes, it should be clarified that anything that all kinds of juice are essentially straight sugar. Though you still get plenty of vitamins and a powerful kick of flavor, if you are trying to watch your blood sugar, a mimosa may not be the drink for you.
Some recipes, such as these include ideas for a mimosa bar where guests can use sparkling wine or juice and different fruit purees to mix their own drinks. A drink bar is a great idea for events with a moderate amount of guests expected. You want to be sure to have enough people to eat all the ingredients prepared, but not so many that you run out. For events where many guests are expected, having a single pre-mixed option may be an easier choice. Making one recipe in bulk is far simpler (and cheaper) than making several different recipes with no assurance of how much of each will be drunk.
Another good idea is to stick to citrus and use grapefruit juice for a fresh take on the mimosa! Though the juice-to-booze ratio remains the same, it can also include even more twists like adding different fruit to garnish or including herbs in the cocktail for an airier flavor. Get even fancier and include crushed fruit on top of whatever o.j.-alternative you’ve picked!
Pineapple juice is another good alternative, as it keeps the tartness of orange juice, but adds that additional, tropical sweetness. It is also relatively close in color to a traditional mimosa, and is easy to mix and pair with other flavors, like strawberry, kiwi, or even hibiscus if you’re feeling particularly adventurous!
You can also make mimosas without the alcohol. Instead of using sparkling wine, sparkling water, juice, or soda are good alternatives. This can be useful for parties where some guests may be underage, pregnant, or simply don’t like to drink. There are just as many variations for virgin recipes as there are for spiked ones.
Using fresh or frozen berries can also be a neat way to make your event stand out. Not only do berries make for a tasty mixed drink, but they also add a certain artistic flair to an already gorgeous drink. You can really let your creativity loose once you open your mind to all the possibilities!
How much do people drink?
Mimosas are traditionally served in thin champagne flutes, which can hold up to 6oz of tasty goodness, though most restaurants will stick to the more reserved 4oz pour. While you are of course free to drink and serve however much you like while at your own party, it may be a good idea to follow as the professionals do if you are planning a larger event. The difference that those 2 ozs can make can be quite shocking.
In the table below, we’ve added up how much orange juice you would need to buy in order to serve x amount of people. It is important to remember while looking at it that this does not include the sparkling wine, though they would be the same (if not, at least similar) amounts. The difference can range from 1/2L to a full 6L for parties expecting around 200 guests!
|Orange Juice (6oz)||Orange Juice (4oz)|
|10 guests||1 Liter | 1 US quart||1/2 Liter | 1 US pint|
|25 guests||2 Liters | 1/2 US gal||1.5 Liters | 1.5 US quarts|
|50 guests||4.5 Liters | 1 US gal||3 Liters | 3 US quarts|
|100 guests||9 Liters | 2.3 US gal||6 Liters | 1.5 US gal|
|200 guests||18 Liters | 4.7 US gal||12 Liters | 3 US gal|
Of course, depending on the event and supplies that you have, some people may drink more than 1 glass. The table above is made with 1 drink per person in mind, which should be taken into account during planning as well. A few mimosas with the pals can be great (live your best life!) but may be harder to maintain with a higher number of guests present. Would you be willing and able to provide the ingredients for 2 or more drinks for 100 people? For 200 people?
Some people may also choose to limit themselves to one drink, or prefer straight orange juice over something with alcohol in it. There may also be people present under the legal drinking age, who have allergies, health conditions, or other considerations. Any inconsistencies like that should be accounted for when purchasing materials as well. As the host, be sure to have at least some idea of what your guests prefer, everyone is different.
You may also choose to prepare the number of ingredients listed in the 6oz column, but only actually pour 4oz for each guest. That would certainly leave room in your supplies for seconds! If you want to be even more pragmatic, you could also swap out your sparkling wine with something simpler after the first couple of drinks, like Sprite, sparkling grape juice, or cider. It is all essentially juice after all!
Will mimosas make me drunk faster?
It is often said that champagne or other bubbly drinks get you drunk faster. While it would be nice to say that it’s merely the bubbles getting you excited, that is actually true. Sparkling wine— and drinks with sparkling wine in them— don’t only make you feel drunk faster, you get drunk faster. Even in drinks where the wine is diluted, say with some bright and zingy orange juice, the carbonation in the beverage (the presence of carbon dioxide gas which makes it all bubbly) actually makes it easier for your body to absorb the alcohol.
This can cause a few issues if you are not careful. For one, if the event in question is somewhere you have to travel to, take the precaution of having a designated driver, or use a modern taxi system like Lyft or Uber. If you are the designated driver of the group, you can still enjoy this sparkly beverage, simply swap the sparkling wine for sparkling juice or just plain orange juice.
Another thing to remember is how else alcohol can affect your body. It is important you continue to hydrate when drinking, as alcohol makes you dehydrate faster. Keep a glass of water to drink along with your cocktail, or limit yourself to 1 drink and make the switch to straight juice after you’ve enjoyed your treat. Though it may not seem like a lot, don’t let the mix of juice fool you— you are still getting drunk. Your body will thank you for staying hydrated!
Even if your blood alcohol content (a measurement of how affected by alcohol you are) is below the legal limit, any amount of liquor can significantly impair your reaction time. This is especially important to remember if your mimosa recipe includes stronger alcohol like rum or vodka. Even if you only have a little, you should still wait until the effects of the alcohol have worn off before attempting to drive. The link to the blood alcohol concentration calculator above can help you determine the right amount of time to wait before driving. Remember: safe driving is sober driving.
What goes well with mimosas?
It is no secret that mimosas are most traditionally thought of as “brunch fare.” What exactly is brunch, you ask? 1890s author Guy Beringer said “Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting… It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”
Or to put it simpler, brunch is the friendly combination of “breakfast” and “lunch,” which is typically held between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm and serves a tasty combination of sweet and savory dishes. Brunches are common celebrations for bridesmaid’s parties, weddings, birthdays over the age of 21, Easter, parties, and the ever-classic Sunday brunch, a time to gather with friends and unwind.
Typically, brunch is populated by 6 things: eggs, bread, fruit, pastries, coffee, and alcohol. While the earliest brunches can take place before noon, brunch is a socially acceptable time to drink earlier than normal, especially with the heaviness of most brunch foods. Be it a breakfast sandwich, a fruity parfait, or a deep-fried pastry topped with berries and cream, all that tasty goodness benefits from the lightness of mimosa to balance things out.
Sunday’s Best (Brunch Me Hard restaurant) in Sandy, UT is a great example of how to use mimosas in a brunch meal. Their establishment solely focuses on brunch fare, from avocado or salmon toast with eggs benedict to beignets and monkey bread. Along with all the breakfast goodness, they move a large number of mimosas every month, many to larger parties of guests.
“We go through, on average, about 6-8 gallons of orange juice a day here on Sunday’s Best. Less on weekdays, more on weekends!” Says Sunday’s Best employee Emily. In the month of January 2022, Emily says their establishment went through. 32.7 gallons of orange juice solely for mimosas— for a grand total of 2098 mimosas sold in total. That is a lot of orange juice!
Mimosas, being a combination of the breakfast favorite orange juice and the lunch or evening-oriented sparkling wine, is the perfect embodiment of brunch, bringing together the best of both worlds. Their sweet and tangy flavor not only refreshes you but pairs very nicely with breakfast food! It can balance out more salty or savory flavors, like bacon or eggs, or cut through the heaviness of french toast or pancakes.