You’ve got your wine selections and beer on tap, but you’re still looking for just the right spirits to finish off your wedding reception beverage list. It can be expensive to serve a full bar, and lines can get long when people are ordering “custom” drinks from a wide selection of alcohol. Luckily, there’s a creative and strategic answer to these problems: signature drinks.
Signature drinks are always a hit at wedding celebrations—they’re creative, budget-friendly, and easy to serve. If you want to create your own signature drink but don’t know where to begin, we have a helpful guide for you, including how to create one, what to name it, and how to serve it.
Start with Your Go-To Order
If you’re not a master mixologist, start with your drink of choice. What do you usually order on a Saturday night out? Use the spirits and flavors you are drawn to as a base for your signature cocktail. From there, consult with a bartender—they know it all! Tell them what you like, what you don’t like, and your budget. They will help you narrow down to the spirits that fit within your price range and show you how you can mix them into a fun cocktail that is perfect for your wedding.
Note: In general, cocktails fall into four categories: strong like a dry martini, sour like a Tom Collins, sweet like a Cosmopolitan, or low alcohol like something with sparkling wine as the base.
Keep Your Guests’ Taste in Mind
Of course, you want your cocktail to be interesting and unique, but remember that your guests may have different tastes. Aim for something that is universally appealing—think spirits like rum and vodka versus more intensely flavored ones like gin and whiskey. Not everyone will opt for your signature cocktail, so it’s ideal to plan for about one-and-a-half per guest. For those who want something else to sip on, provide some beer and wine options.
Tie in Your Wedding Theme and Season
As you build your signature cocktail, incorporate colors, flavors, and garnishes that fit the season and work well with your menu, color scheme, and venue. For a summer garden wedding, go for floral-inspired cocktails and top them off with things like lavender, cucumber, and mint for taste and garnish. Choose spring and summer colors, and pick fun names like “Pretty in Pink,” “Something Blue,” or name a green Moscow Mule “Marry Me Mule”. If you’re getting married in the winter, serve something like a cranberry martini, and try a hard cider drink for a fall wedding.
Use Wedding Words for Clever Names
Some couples who serve signature cocktails stick to the classic names—gin and tonic, Dark n’ Stormy, Old Fashioned, White Russian, etc. But if you want to make things fun, you can give your cocktail an extra “just-married” touch with a clever name. Already fit for a wedding cocktail, The Blushing Bride is made with champagne, fruit nectar, and grenadine. Here are a few other clever ones we’ve heard of:
- Apple-y Ever After Martini
- Bloody Marry Me
- Something Old Fashioned
- Berry Happy Together Sangria
- Just Rosemarried Tequila cocktail
- “Honey, I Do” Honeydew Martini
Of course, you want a fun and playful name for your cocktail, but don’t make it too complicated—you want your guests to know what they are drinking! Aim for a name that’s descriptive of the drink, and consider including the main ingredient or alcohol in the name itself. To make it clear for your guests, put a sign at the bar with the name of the cocktail and its ingredients.
Make It Personal
For most couples, a signature cocktail is a nice touch that reflects the theme of their wedding and maybe even the location of the wedding itself—like a “Carolina Cosmopolitan” or a “Texas Spiked Sweet Tea”. But sometimes a personal touch makes the cocktail even more meaningful. Use your own names and nicknames, or incorporate the last name you’ll soon share. You can also get creative with words associated with your favorite hobbies and sports, pet names, or anything you like to make the drink names really reflect who the two of you are. Some couples opt for one signature cocktail, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick a cocktail that speaks to each of you. Create “his” and “hers” cocktails so you both can pick a drink!
Use these tips to get your own creative juices flowing, then work with your bartender to create a signature drink for your wedding bash. If you need more wedding planning resources, read more of our blogs. Or contact us today to start putting together your dream wedding! You can reach our event coordinators by email or phone at 877-545-1002.