Your wedding is your special day, so along with the special dress, special music, and special food, there should be special cocktails. It’s becoming more and more common for wedding venues to offer up signature cocktails instead of — or in addition to — an open bar at wedding receptions. The key is to come up with a drink that means something to you both and works with the season.
Jonathan Pogash, The Cocktail Guru, agrees. “Wedding cocktails are a great alternative to an open bar at a wedding. They save the couple money — for one thing — and having one or more signature cocktails available to guests at the wedding will allow for another special detail that many would not have normally experienced,” he explained. “The best signature wedding cocktails are personal: for example, they tell the story of the couple’s meeting, a favorite vacation place, a blend of two different cultures, et cetera.”
Thinking seasonally is helpful in crafting the perfect drink. “Utilizing flavors like pear, apple and cranberry for the fall and winter, and fresh berries and herbs for the spring and summer” will make your drink pop, explains Pogash. Easy ways to do this would be utilizing the vast array of fresh fruit flavors infused into spirits like Van Gogh vodkas.
“A fall punch with Van Gogh Wild Appel and Tap 357 Maple Rye Whisky is a perfect example,” Pogash said. “Additionally, a refreshing summer-time pitcher drink with Van Gogh Cool Peach vodka, sparkling wine, cranberry juice and lemonade, are easy to mix and will leave a lasting impression on guests.”
Some additional tips:
- Make the drink personal
- Utilize good quality spirits
- Keep it seasonal
- Keep it simple so that your caterers can easily replicate the drink
- Come up with a creative name that tells your story
- Pre-batch the drinks for easy service in pitchers or punch bowls
Having trouble coming up with a cocktail? We’ve got a few ideas for you.
2 oz. Van Gogh Melon Vodka
3 oz. grapefruit juice
6 mint leaves
Slap mint leaves between palms and add to mixing glass. Add ice, vodka and juice. Shake vigorously and pour contents into a rocks glass. Garnish with fresh mint sprig.
1½ oz Ron Abuelo 7 Anos Rum
1½ oz guava juice
1½ oz orange juice
1½ oz pineapple juice
¼ oz grenadine
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir all ingredients together over ice in a tall glass.
1½ oz. whiskey or vodka (like Van Gogh Açaí-Blueberry)
2 oz. chilled club soda
1½ tsp. sugar
¼ cup blueberries and raspberries
1 small lime wedge
In a cocktail shaker, muddle blueberries and raspberries with the lime wedge and sugar. Add the vodka and ice and shake well. Strain into a highball glass with ice, top with the club soda and stir after serving. Garnish with blueberries and a mint sprig.
2 parts Tequila Herradura Anejo
½ part sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica)
½ part ancho chili liqueur
3 dashes chocolate bitters
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, stir, then strain into coupe glass. Garnish with 2 brandy cherries.
1 oz. Van Gogh Vanilla Vodka
1 oz. hazelnut liqueur
½ oz. butterscotch schnapps
2 oz. ginger beer
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into a tall glass. Garnish with candied ginger.
2 oz. Van Gogh Cool Peach Vodka
2 oz. iced tea (sweetened or unsweetened)
2 oz. lemonade
Add all ingredients to a rocks glass with ice and stir briefly. Garnish with lavender or a peach slice.
2 oz. Caorunn Gin
¾ oz. lemon juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
3 whole blackberries
Shake all ingredients, except berries. Muddle berries in a rocks glass. Pour whipped ingredients over berries and top with pellet or crushed ice. Garnish with blackberries.
2 oz. Van Gogh Açaí-Blueberry Vodka
½ oz. cranberry juice
½ oz. fresh lime juice
½ oz. honey syrup (equal parts honey and warm water, dissolved)
Muddle the blueberries in the lime juice and honey syrup. Add remaining ingredients with ice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with two raspberries and a lime wheel on a pic.
1.5 parts Herradura Silver
1 part ruby red grapefruit juice
1 part grapefruit liqueur
¾ parts lime juice
Brut Rosé Korbel wine
Topped off with hint of Himalayan salt
In a mixing glass combine all the ingredients, slowly pouring champagne over the top. Garnish with an orange wedge.