Beer and wine are the mainstays of a wedding reception bar. You can’t go wrong with a bottle of red, a bottle of white, and a couple of inoffensive American pilsners. But a signature wedding cocktail provides a little class to the proceedings, encourages your guests to try something new, and can augment your overall wedding theme. Here are a few ideas for that one great drink to serve at your reception as wedding cocktails:
For a summer or spring wedding, you can’t go wrong with this delicate pink drink garnished with an exotic flower. Here’s the recipe.
One bonus for this refreshing herbal concoction is that you can make a big batch and let guests serve themselves. Here’s the recipe
Godiva Chocolate Martini
For a winter wedding, this the adult version of cocoa. It’s served cold, but the heat comes from the surprising amount of booze in this sweet delight. Here’s the recipe.
Sangria is a kind of sweet punch made with red wine, fresh fruit, and fruit juice; and it makes for one of the best wedding cocktails imagineable. This recipe adds champagne for extra sparkle.
Bourbon and amaretto form the sweet but stiff backbone of this brunch-perfect drink. Here’s how to make it.
This sparkling wedding cocktail is like a gin-and-tonic with champagne for added sweetness. A dash of grenadine gives it a lovely springtime blush, and you can serve it in sugar-rimmed glasses for an extra pop. Here’s the recipe.
Viennese Coffee Float
For a brunch reception or a late-night pick-me-up after dinner, this espresso-based drink is just the thing. It features hazelnut whipped cream for sweetness, but it’s fortified with a shot of spiced rum. Here’s how to make it.
For a hot summer wedding, you can’t go wrong with a huge iced punch bowl filled with this heady concoction. It packs a serious wallop, but the alcohol’s all but hidden in a mix of sweet and refreshing fruit juice. Just make sure you have a non-spiked version for the kids. Here’s the recipe.
Double Apple Sidecar
For a fall wedding, bring back memories of strolling through an apple orchard with this cider-based drink that makes one of the best wedding cocktails you’ll ever taste. Add a stick of cinnamon for stirring and it couldn’t be more seasonal if it were pumpkin-spice flavored. Here’s the recipe.
Bloody Mary Bar
Everyone knows that morning-after classic, the Bloody Mary. But there are as many different ways to make it as there are people in the world, and everyone’s got their own perfect recipe. So why not set up a bar with several different mixes and types of tomato juice, horseradish, Worcestershire, soy sauce, hot sauces, and a salad bar’s worth of garnish? Give your guests something to drink and something to munch on while they wait for the meal.
Whether it’s fruity and sweet or boozy and dry, your wedding cocktail can be as much a part of your theme as the flower decorations. With a little bit of searching and a little planning, your guests can celebrate your nuptials with a touch of class. Just make sure it’s a drink you and your spouse will enjoy, too–why should your guests get to have all the fun?