Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Trends in Wedding Cocktails: from Toast to Dessert

wedding cake cocktail
Signature cocktails have never been more popular, and many brides and grooms are using them to add some personal flair to their special event.  

Originally Posted by Liza Kendall on Mon, Apr 02, 2012 @ 01:28 PM
Signature cocktails have never been more popular, and many brides and grooms are using them to add some personal flair to their special event.  
The possibilities are endless. You can incorporate your color scheme by creating a cocktail in virtually any color, or you can go classic with the drink while putting your own personality into the glass in which it’s served or even what you want to call it.  And they’re not just for cocktail hour: signature drinks can be served in place of the traditional champagne toast, with dinner, or even with (or instead of) dessert.   
Here are some of our favorite ideas:  

1. Champagne toast…or not.  
Maybe you want something different…maybe you just don’t care for Champagne. One cool alternative is Sparkling Shiraz, which is actually a dry red wine that just happens to have bubbles.  Or you could try a classic Champagne cocktail like the French 75 – made with gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar – which for some palates is more appealing than straight bubbly. Or, if you prefer beer, why not serve a round of a special microbrew to toast the happy couple? Beer has bubbles, too, after all!    
2. Create a cocktail menu from wedding traditions.  
This idea is sure to spark some conversation: have a custom sign made up to place at the bar with these four options… you can get creative with your own picks!
-       Something Old (e.g. Old Fashioned)
-       Something New (e.g. Acai Berry Mojito)
-       Something Borrowed (e.g. Your Maid of Honor’s favorite cocktail)
-       Something Blue (e.g. Blue Curacao Margarita)  
3. Rename a classic.  
If your new last name is Smith, you could serve good ol’ Martinis, but call them “Smith-tinis”. Or, you could always go the celebrity route and combine your first names like “Brangelina”… perhaps Jack and Molly’s signature drink is called the “Jolly”???    
4. Bring color beyond the flowers and dresses.  
Use your wedding colors to play out the theme with a special drink…a subtle touch that would make even Martha Stewart proud. If your colors are peach with green accents, for instance, you could serve peach Bellinis with a sprig of fresh mint or thyme poking out of the glass.  
5. Work your drinks into the rest of your theme.  
Beyond colors, lots of couples have an overall theme to their wedding – from a Tiki party on the beach to a vintage-style event. If this is your case, why not extend the theme to everything possible… Tiki parties are better with cocktails served out of coconut shells, and if you’re dressed in classic style, you’ll ass flair by sipping Champagne out of the retro style glasses instead of the more modern tall flutes.  
6. Let your garnish be your guide.  
Who wants a lemon twist when you can have an edible flower? Cocktails get kicked up a notch when you use interesting garnishes. Flowers such as Hibiscus are edible, and you can also use just about any kind of herb to adorn a beverage. Maybe a touch of lemon verbena for a Lemon Drop Martini… or for a big “wow” factor – how about a perfectly poached shrimp on the rim of a spicy Bloody Mary?  
7. It doesn’t have to stop at dessert.  
At that later hour when people are ready to get up from their seats anyway, you could actually open the party up for a dessert cocktail hour.  Open up the bar for sweeter sparkling wines, ports, cognacs or liqueurs… or maybe espresso martinis! There’s even a cocktail called “The Wedding Cake” – made with Amaretto, white Crème de Cacao and pineapple juice…it supposedly tastes just like a slice of cake.     

Does all of this sound great but high maintenance?
Time for a few tips so you can pull this off with style and ease:  
  1. One way to make serving up the signature drinks less of a headache (and less of a bottleneck at the bar) is to have them made up in bulk, and either served from a pitcher or passed on a tray.
  2. You should also always consult your caterer about the pairings of your cocktails with the food, to make sure you don’t create any yucky combinations. J
  3. And speaking of food, make sure you have the right proportion of food to drink, and plenty of non-alcoholic versions or options for your guests.  All in moderation, right?
As a final note, if the idea of signature wedding cocktails appeals to you, there is actually a website dedicated to the “design of the wedding cocktail.” Get some more inspiration here:

Cheers! Liza

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