I wanted to write a journal entry on one of my personal faaaaavorite topics - your wedding day cocktails! I love unique, pretty cocktails with a one-of-a-kind name. If I'm ever out with friends, catch me with most likely a botanical gin cocktail in a coupe glass with a pretty garnish (or I just ask them what their prettiest drink on the menu is LOL). My favorite cocktail ingredients are fresh lemon/lime juice, lavender, elderflower liquor, fresh thyme simple syrup, maraschino liquor, violet liquor, & bitters. I typically stick to gin or tequila, but may stray from that once in a blue moon if the vibe is right.
I'm the kind of person that values a high-quality, fresh cocktail. Easy enough, for one or two people, but what about for 200? See below for your wedding day cocktail tips & trips from yours truly.
First things first, check with your caterer and/or bartending service on the types of alcohol they provide, if a specialty cocktail is included in your package with them, and if you'd need to self-provide any of your ingredients for those cocktails.
If you're having a tough time deciding on your cocktails, print off the recipes for your possible specialty cocktails, and practice making them as a fun wedding planning night at home! From there, you can tweak the recipes, and customize to your liking. You can even brainstorm some fun names and garnishes that fit the overall theme of your wedding! As an added pro-tip, think about these in advance of your tasting and see if they can mock some up for you at that time.
Before you provide your recipes for your cocktails to the caterers/bartending service, ensure the recipe isn't too complicated for the bartenders to re-create if you are planning to serve them to your guests at one portion of the evening/ all at once. If your cocktails will be displayed, or butler passed during cocktail hour, the odds are that they will be mass made vs. individually hand-shaken. There just isn't enough time in the day or manpower to hand-shake your 150 craft cocktails and have them all displayed with equal freshness and quality at once. Now if you have an intimate wedding of less than 30 people, we may be in business. Therefore, keeping the recipes to 3-4 ingredients is recommended.
If you have a drink in mind that is ingredient-heavy, and takes time to create, think about having it available as an option at the bar in your reception vs. passed during cocktail hour.
I always advise to provide your own ingredients (outside of maybe the liquor pending if your caterer/bartender can provide your desired brand), if the cocktail requires specific brands. If the venue/caterer doesn't allow this, ask if they can add your desired brands onto your event order with them.
Ensure your planner is aware of where any self-provided ingredients have been placed going into wedding day, so they can clearly instruct the catering staff upon arrival and to ensure no ingredients are left out of your cocktails.
Happy cocktail making, and I hope this helped all of the couples out there that have specialty cocktails as a priority on wedding day!
Featured photography: Cortiella Photography