Spice up your bar menu with these tips from Marcia Simmons and Jonas Halpern, authors of DIY Cocktails!
From open bars to cash bars to signature cocktails, the options for serving alcohol at your wedding reception are endless! Signature cocktails can be a great way to add a personal touch to your reception (and they're less expensive than having an open bar!). So with all the great drink options out there, how do you even begin to choose a signature cocktail?! We sat down with Marcia Simmons and Jonas Halpern, authors of DIY Cocktails, to get the 411 on choosing cocktails for your wedding reception.
Why is it a good idea to create a signature cocktail? This is a creative way to make a lasting memory and wow your guests at the same time! It really doesn’t need to be complicated or even original. Your signature drink could be a classic that you both love or include a favorite ingredient. Did you and your fiancé meet in New York? Manhattans may be in order! Try doing a bit of research by going a bar known for creative cocktails or eating at restaurants known for creative flavor pairings (sounds like some pretty awesome “research!”) and making note of what you enjoy. Of course DIY Cocktails and DrinkoftheWeek.com are two resources we recommend for tips, recipes and ideas along with Imbibe Magazine, CHOW.com and magazines like Bon Appetit.
How many cocktail choices should you offer? The simpler the better! Create one, maybe two signature cocktails that reflect the bride and groom’s tastes. Make one of the cocktails a punch; there is nothing easier or classier than a punch. With the addition of wine, beer and champagne for toasts, you’ll be ready for a great party! No matter the budget, keep it simple and fresh.
What types of alcohol should be used? Vodka and rum are safe bets for creating a unique wedding cocktail because most people like them and they mix well with a variety of flavors. However, the choices should reflect the couple’s tastes. If you love bourbon but are afraid it’s too strong for your guests, that doesn’t mean it can’t be the star of your special cocktail. You could use it in a punch, fruit smash or something topped off with a little soda water to give it more mass appeal. If you want to go with something strong and classic like a Manhattan, you could also offer a lighter option like a Basil Mojito or champagne cocktail.
Should time of year be taken into consideration? Cocktails are best when made with the freshest ingredients, so time of year should definitely be taken into consideration. Spring and summer offer ingredients such s strawberries, herbs and stone fruits while fall and winter can be a time to get cozy and evoke warm memories with seasonal favorites such as spiced ciders, cranberries, pears and apples.
Should the color of your drink match the color scheme of the reception? Cocktails should be well balanced in flavor and appealing in color. Achieve flavor balance first and foremost and if you can make it match, great, but don’t force it. Your guests will remember taste, not the color. That said, well-made cocktails do naturally come in a variety of gorgeous colors that could match or compliment your reception colors. For example, a blood orange cocktail served at a winter wedding with a crimson theme would be striking. Or, try something with lemon, lavender or champagne to match the light and floral air for a springtime wedding.
courtesy of Get Married.com