Champagne and grapefruit juice make a delightful brunch drink for weekends and special occasions. This grapefruit mimosa is an easy recipe with one special ingredient. A honey-thyme simple syrup that gives the grapefruit juice and champagne a slightly sweet finish.
This post has been updated for photos and content since its original publication in 2015.
Everyone’s familiar with classic mimosas made with orange juice and champagne. We love the fresh citrus flavors combined with a splash of bubbles. They’re fine, but grapefruit is where it’s at if you want to elevate your brunch cocktail game.
Grapefruit juice cocktails are perfect for weekend brunches. They’re light, citrusy, refreshing, and a bit bubbly. We love that.
These grapefruit mimosas are simple to make, too. The only prep is to make the honey syrup in advance and ensure the champagne and grapefruit juice are well chilled.
Ingredients for Grapefruit mimosa recipe
- Fresh Thyme
- Grapefruit Juice
I like to steep warm honey syrup with fresh thyme leaves to give the grapefruit mimosa an enhanced flavor. The thyme is noticeable but not overpowering. If you don’t have thyme, just use this honey simple syrup recipe, instead.
I recommend making the simple syrup a day ahead and letting it chill overnight, so you’re ready to use it the following day.
The recipe makes about 1 cup of honey syrup, which is enough for 16 grapefruit juice cocktails. If you think you’ll need more, double the recipe.
How to make grapefruit juice cocktails for brunch
- To a coupe glass or champagne flute, combine the honey-thyme simple syrup and grapefruit juice and stir to combine.
- Top the grapefruit juice with champagne.
- Garnish with a stem of fresh thyme, a thin slice of grapefruit, or a twist of lemon.
What is the best grapefruit juice to use in champagne cocktails?
For the best flavor, squeeze fresh grapefruit juice and strain it to remove the pulp and seeds. (Each grapefruit should yield about 2/3 to 3/4 cup fresh juice).
If you’re not squeezing your fruit, store-bought is fine. I recommend pink or ruby red grapefruit juice from the grocery store’s refrigerated section.
Don’t use canned grapefruit juice. It has a weird tinny taste that would ruin the flavors in this beverage.
What’s the best champagne to use in grapefruit mimosas?
Use a reasonably priced bottle of drinkable, not-too-sweet champagne, prosecco, cava, or sparkling wine of your choice.
I usually stick to $8-15 bottles of bubbly. Each one will be enough for 12 grapefruit juice cocktails.
You don’t need to get a perfect bottle because, after all, it’s getting mixed with other things. Save your Moët Chandon or Tattingers for toasting in the New Year.
Can I make brunch cocktails by the pitcher?
Yes, with an asterisk*.
Champagne and other sparkling wines will lose their bubbly effervescence once the bottle is opened.
If you want to make a big batch ahead of time, I recommend mixing a pitcher of grapefruit juice and honey thyme simple syrup. Chill the pre-mixed grapefruit juice mixture and a few bottles of sealed bubbly until your guests arrive.
To assemble the grapefruit juice cocktails, add 2 1/2 ounces of grapefruit juice mixture to a glass and top with 2 ounces of chilled bubbly.
What is the ratio for a pitcher of grapefruit mimosas?
Add 3 cups of grapefruit juice and 3/4 cup honey-thyme simple syrup to a large pitcher and chill. This is enough for 12 servings.
When you’re ready to serve, assemble grapefruit juice cocktails with champagne.
- Make non-alcoholic grapefruit mimosas by swapping the champagne with sparkling water or grapefruit-flavored La Croix or Bubly water.
- Use a sparkling rosé for an even more blushing brunch cocktail.
- Swap rosemary for the thyme leaves in the honey-thyme simple syrup. This will give the grapefruit cocktail a more piney quality.
More brunch cocktail recipes:
- Sparkling Cucumber Melon
- Milk Punch
- Clamato Bloody Mary
- Sparkling Elderflower Prosecco
- Guava Tangerine Fizz
- Champagne Passion Fruit Cocktail
- V8 Bloody Mary
Grapefruit Mimosas (grapefruit juice cocktails for brunch)
FOR HONEY THYME SIMPLE SYRUP:
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
FOR THE GRAPEFRUIT JUICE COCKTAILS:
- 1/2 ounce honey thyme simple syrup recipe on this site
- 2 ounces pink grapefruit juice without pulp, well chilled
- 2 ounces chilled champagne or sparkling wine, prosecco or cava
- fresh thyme leaves for garnish
- thin wedge of grapefruit for garnish
FOR THE HONEY-THYME SIMPLE SYRUP:
- In a small saucepan combine the honey and water.
- Bring to a low simmer over medium low heat, stirring constantly until the honey dissolves into the liquid. Add the thyme leaves and set aside to steep for 30 minutes.
- Strain the simple syrup, through a mesh strainer to catch any thyme leaves or detritus. Cover and refrigerate the honey syrup until cold.
FOR EACH GRAPEFRUIT MIMOSA:
- Add the honey-thyme simple syrup to a coupe glass (or champagne flute.
- Add the pink grapefruit juice and stir to combine. Top with chilled champagne.
- Garnish with fresh thyme stem and a thin wedge of grapefruit. Serve.