Apple cider and champagne combine to make a tart and bubbly cocktail that’s the perfect fall twist on the classic mimosa – two ingredient apple cider mimosas! Pair it with your favorite autumn recipes.
Fall is my season. Maybe it’s because I’m a September baby, or maybe it’s because fall in New England is just a beautiful time of the year.
Pumpkin isn’t my jam, but apple is – so I take full advantage of apple season and inject apples into everything I can before all the apple trees in the region are barren.
The latest addition to my apple recipe arsenal: Apple cider mimosas!
But is it really a mimosa?
Truth be told, no… no it’s not. A mimosa is defined as a cocktail made of champagne (or other sparkling wine) and chilled citrus juice like orange juice or grapefruit juice.
Since apple cider isn’t a citrus, it doesn’t meet the requirements. But for the sake of naming the recipe to something people are searching for and a term they associate with drinks comprised of champagne + [insert fruit here], we’re going to roll with it.
What’s the difference between apple cider and apple juice?
Apple juice is made from apples that have been washed and ground into a mash, wrapped in cloth and pressed into juice. It then goes through a filtration process that removes any pulp and is pasteurized.
Apple cider is raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process. You’ll notice that cider is darker than apple juice, and can have sediment that settles at the bottom of its container.
Apple juice has a much longer shelf life than apple cider and can be left at room temperature before it’s opened, and apple cider must be refrigerated. After a while, cider can turn into hard cider!
Long story short – don’t swap apple cider for apple juice.
What kind of champagne is best for apple cider mimosas?
Choose the right champagne for your tastes. I prefer to use an Extra Dry or Brut, but you can use whatever type you prefer. This picture shows you the different variations in sweetness if you need help deciding.
You can also use a Prosecco instead! While they’re both sparkling wines, Champagne is produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of northeast France, while prosecco hails from the Veneto region of Italy.
If we’re not getting into the nitty gritty details, the only difference between champagne and prosecco for the sake of this recipe is the price point between the two.
Can I make an apple cider mimosa non-alcoholic?
Sure can! You could also use a non-alcoholic sparkling cider in lieu of the champagne.
How to make the best apple cider mimosas
Use cold ingredients. Make sure both your apple cider and champagne are sufficiently chilled, and keep any you don’t use in the fridge until people inevitably ask for seconds!
Serve in champagne flutes. They’re designed to retain the bubbles. And if you’re looking to make these for a crowd this holiday and don’t want to worry about people breaking your nice champagne flutes, I highly recommend these disposable recyclable ones that come in a set of 12. They’re super cheap, no dishes to worry about, and they hold the alcohol which is really the most important piece. And you can get them with or without stems!
Garnish the rims. A simple cinnamon sugar mixture (1 to 4 ratio) is the perfect complement for the tart flavor of the cocktail itself. Just add a little water around the rim of the glass, then dip in the cinnamon sugar.
Why not add caramel? If you wanted to sweeten it up even more, you could make these apple cider mimosas with caramel rims (and then add a little cinnamon sugar for good measure) or by drizzling some caramel down the insides of the glasses. Caramel apple mimosas? Yes, please.
Add more garnish! Since we’re talking garnish, I also love adding a couple fresh apple slices to each glass. It’s not only a cute garnish, it’s a snack!
How to make apple cider mimosas for a crowd
You don’t want to combine the apple cider and champagne in a pitcher and stir it because it messes with the natural carbonation from the champagne. Just the act of pouring the champagne into the glass will mix your drink just fine.
So, depending on the size of your champagne flutes, you’ll want to fill ⅓ full with apple cider and then top with ⅔ champagne. I lean toward a higher ratio of champagne than I do in my cranberry mimosas because of the density of apple cider.
For example, my champagne flutes you see pictured here hold about 5 ounces in total. I use about 3 ounces of champagne in each glass, and a 1.5L champagne bottle holds about 48 ounces – so I could get about 16 servings out of a single bottle.
Below is the face of a cat that doesn’t understand why:
- I’m making something that’s not for him, and
- … I guess that’s actually it, just number one.
What to serve with apple cider mimosas
It’s the perfect addition to any fall meal, but especially your Thanksgiving dinner. Here are some ideas:
After you’ve made this recipe, please consider coming back to share your experience with others by leaving a comment below with a star rating!
Apple Cider Mimosas (Apple Cider Champagne Cocktail)
- 3 to 4 ounces apple cider*
- 5 to 6 ounces champagne or Prosecco
- ½ Tablespoon cinnamon sugar, for the rim**
- Thin apple slices, for garnish
- Pour cinnamon sugar onto a small plate. Rim two champagne glasses with a little water and then dip in the cinnamon sugar, rolling the edges gently to coat.
- Divide apple cider evenly between the two glasses.
- Top each glass with champagne. Add thin apple slices for garnish and serve immediately. Enjoy!