When it comes to planning your nuptials, it’s only natural to want all aspects to stand out. The flowers, the invitations, the cake… and of course, the cocktails.
The wedding cocktail hour is traditionally held between the ceremony and reception and acts as a buffer for the newlyweds to decompress, spend time with the photographer getting those all-important freshly-wed shots, and, especially if the ceremony and reception are being held in separate venues, it allows time for everyone to convene in one place before the couple makes their grand debut.
The cocktail hour is also the perfect time for your guests to mix and get acquainted over drinks, so it should go without saying that those drinks be truly spectacular. It’s become increasingly popular for weddings to feature a signature cocktail, that is, a unique drink (or two) customized to the couple in question’s taste; there can be two or even three, and if alcohol isn’t your thing, a virgin variety can also be offered. The signature cocktail adds a memorable aspect to the cocktail hour and elevates what would be a standard beer and wine affair to something more elegant. But what if you’re not a born bartender? Fine spirits can be intimidating, especially if you’re facing what to make for one of the most important days of your life! To help decode the perfect drink, I enlisted the folks from Art in the Age, a line of craft spirits that are historically inspired and certified organic, for a few tips and tricks. As is often the case with the incredible folks we partner with, they went above and beyond, offering not just their tips, but passing along a few recipes as well. Read on, then be sure to scroll to the bottom for a special gift from our Graphic Design team, free downloadable table numbers, drink flags, and place cards! Simply click, print, fold, and decorate.
Top 5 Wedding Day Bartending Tips:
1. Use fresh ingredients.
- When a recipe calls for lemon juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice is much more pleasing to the palette than bottled lemon juice. The fresher the better!
- Muddled berries give an added layer of flavor and are visually appealing.
- Consider pre-batching your own simple syrup, sour mix, or grenadine.
2. Measure Everything
- Great cocktails start with responsible measuring!
- If you’re pre-batching cocktails, pay attention to how many .oz are in the liquor vessel. Do the math and measure out the rest of your mixers according to the 1 part to 3 part rule.
- If you’re mixing cocktails a la carte, have a jigger on hand for responsible measuring.
3. Use appropriate garnishes
- Not every cocktail needs a garnish, but those that do should be garnished with the freshest wedge of citrus or an herb sprig. Not only does this up the cocktail presentation but garnishes can also enhance the olfactory senses when sipping on an aperitif.
4. Glass temperature
- When you are serving a cold cocktail chilling the glass beforehand can make a world of difference. Whether you are placing the glass in a freezer, or simply adding ice to the glass before pouring over the liquid, this will keep your cocktails cold and crisp.
- Pre-batching your spirits will lead to effortless hosting and hassle free imbibing!
A good rule to keep in mind when crafting cocktails is the ratio of 1 part liquor to 3 parts mixers. For example, mix 1 part SNAP to 3 parts cream soda for a cocktail that’s both sweet and spicy.
1 part RHUBARB Tea
1.5 parts Hendrick’s Gin
1/2 part simple syrup
2 fresh mint leaves
Fresh lime wedges
Muddle mint and cucumber. Squeeze in lime. Add ingredients into a mixing glass. Shake, pour into a rocks glass.
SAGE Lavender Cup
2 parts SAGE
2 tbsp lavender honey syrup
Fill a tall glass with ice. Add SAGE and lavender honey syrup. Top with club soda, stir and garnish with lemon.
2 parts RHUBARB Tea
2 parts strawberries
dash of rose water
Muddle strawberries, RHUBARB Tea and rose water in a tall glass. Add ice and club soda.
1 part SNAP
1 part lemonade
1 part ginger beer or ginger ale
Stir ingredients with ice in a tall glass or pitcher. Garnish with slices of lemon.