Signature drink recommendations for wedding cocktail hour and reception
We did something that fit our theme and was meaningful to us. We served Sidecars at the cocktail hour, as the wedding had a formal, 20s flavor, and it was a drink I'd introduced my honey to early in our dating days that she had come to love. The wines we served at the cocktail hour and at dinner all had some special significance to us from our travels together or as beloved wines that suited the food (and met our budget).
One reason that cocktail worked is that it also suited our guests, many of whom are classic-cocktail aficionados. I'm not sure I'd serve a strong drink like that at every party: it might be useful to consider something a) more accessible, and b) not so strong, like a highhball or long drink or punch.
If I were to do it over, I'd be braver than I was then about creating an original concoction with a story behind it (as I now regularly do for friends celebrating big events), including recipe cards with the cocktail's backstory at the bar and/or tables. The design and testing process is fun, and if you come up with something really delicious, you've created an anniversary tradition. (You might even see it served elsewhere later, which is gratifying, too.)
Similar to what JB said, it really makes sense to pick something with some significance to you personally. We had Basil Lime Gimlets and Kir Royale as our signature drinks, but that could mean (possibly) nothing to you. But feel free to use 'em if you like 'em!
I've seen (as the bartender) signature cocktails go over like lead balloons at wedding receptions and other events. If you are going to do this, tray passing is necessary to ensure that guests at least try the drink you've chosen.
Aside from MC Slim JB, do any of you others know how well your cocktails moved during your receptions?
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