The Perfect Reception Cocktail

Story by Kayla Fugate

After the “I dos” are said and the ceremony is done, it’s time to unwind and have fun.  The best way to do that is with your signature wedding cocktail, of course.  

Because wedding budgets quickly spiral out of control, a popular choice for those wanting an open wedding bar is to serve beer and wine only.  For couples wanting to treat their guests a tad more but also hoping to keep their wedding costs down, a fun signature cocktail is a good option.  

Among all the decisions you make during your wedding planning adventure, allow this one to be the least stressful and most fun.  Grab a couple of your favorite liquors and mixers, and have a taste test night with your spouse to be.  (Responsibly of course.)

The only requirement is to keep whatever concoction you choose simple and easy to make.  “Your wedding bartenders are probably the hardest working people the night of your wedding.  They’ll really appreciate you if your signature cocktail can be made easily and quickly,” says Megan Morgan, managing bartender at the National Corvette Museum.  After all, the less time your guests spend at the bar waiting for their drinks to be made, the more time they will have to hit the dance floor with you and your brand-new husband or wife.  

You should also try to shoot for a cocktail that’s lower in alcohol.  Not only will this save you money but your fun uncle will thank you for this when the wedding video comes out and he is not seen in it doing the chicken dance next to the cake table.  

With so many options when it comes to cocktails, it can be very difficult to decide, on just one or two.  “If you can’t decide a good idea to start with seasonal drinks,” says Morgan.  For example, if you’re getting married in October or November, go for fall flavors like apple or pumpkin.  A hard cider sangria made with apple juice and spiked with hard cider and apple brandy is delicious and something your bartender can make in large batches ahead of time.   
Another idea is to simply think about the non-alcoholic drinks you and your spouse-to-be drink daily.  Maybe your future wife is known for loving Dr. Pepper.  Mixing a half can of beer, a half can of coke, and an ounce of Amaretto will give you a cocktail that tastes like Dr. Pepper. 

Maybe your husband loves sweet tea.  There are lots of ways to spike sweet tea.  You can also always put your own spin on a classic cocktail that you enjoy.  Add a couple of interesting ingredients to a simple vodka soda, and you have your signature cocktail.

Of course, you are not limited to one signature cocktail.  You can always do a his and hers; it’s completely up to what your budget and imagination allows.  And for those who are feeling lazy or who just cannot make another wedding decision, you can always come up with a fun name for an old classic.  A French 75 could become a French Kiss 75 for your wedding, or a margarita could be a Just Married-rita.  

Like your wedding reception, your wedding cocktail should be fun and stress free.  After the “I dos” let yourself enjoy the result of months of planning while sipping on a cocktail that’s as special as your wedding day.