Choosing Your Wedding Cocktails

Sparkling wine, wine, and beer are the standard beverages to be found at most weddings. They all have a purpose of course; celebration, matching with food, pleasing the crowd, it pretty much goes without saying that your guests will be happy with wisely selected choices. I am sure though, that most people, when planning their wedding, are looking for ways to stand out and make their celebrations exceptional, not just for themselves, but for all of their guests. More and more, brides and grooms are looking for a signature cocktail, to make a memorable statement of style.

How to choose though, from the literally thousands of cocktails and variations out there? I thought it might work if I was to break it down into categories.
Colour: perhaps you have chosen a colour-related theme for your wedding, it might be reflected in bridesmaid dresses, flowers, reception table decoration. The signature cocktail could come along for the ride, colours are virtually endless, created from fruit, liqueurs, garnishes, and glassware.

Base spirit: In cold weather, perhaps a warming spirit, like scotch, dark rum (spiced?), or cognac. To cool down and refresh, start with white rum, vodka, gin or tequila. The base spirit could also work to a theme, for instance, Caribbean nights with rum, Gatsby sophistication with gin, Mexican fiesta with tequila.
Method: Consider the cocktail preparation method and how that will work with your plans and budget. To provide handmade individual cocktails for a crowd can be labour intensive and expensive, but also cool and classy. Pre-mixing a large batch, and pouring on demand is potentially quicker and more efficient (think fruit-based punch, sangria or classic Pimms Cup).
A final thought for you: if you are happy with your signature drink, and why wouldn’t you be? Make up a large batch, and provide it for your guests in small bottles, or mason jars, complete with a nice label as a memento of your special day.

Phil Caldicott
Sommelier, Oak Street Food & Wine, Wedding and Event Specialists, Bellingen.