Summery Crowd-Pleasing Pitcher Cocktail
We're getting hitched in August (semi-outdoors by the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland) and are trying to narrow down options for a "signature cocktail" that would be pre-mixed in pitchers and featured at the bar. The venue/caterer has expressed that we can have two, and as we're both whiskey drinkers we've decided the first will be something akin to a Lynchberg Lemonade.
We've hit a block for the second though. We'd like something crowd-pleasing that would be sufficiently distinct from the other drink. Also, since I chose the lemonade, my fiance feels that it should be the "bride's" drink and the second drink should be the "groom's," so we're looking for something not-too-girly.
Of note, we are having an open bar either way, so it's not as though our guests will be limited to only these cocktails- it's just something fun and personal.
Thanks for your ideas!
I would suggest a brandy champagne cocktail which could be either a bride's or groom's drink. Both the brandy champagne and the Lynchburg Lemonade have ingredients that will go flat in pitchers - I think that proposal by your caterer sucks - is your caterer trying to screw you on service and maybe also cutting the liquor content to stiff you further? Neither of these cocktails requires much preparation beyond just pouring the ingredients into a glass.
How about an interesting Manhattan? You could make it yours with the addition of an amaro (such as, say, Averna), through an interesting choice of sweet vermouth (perhaps a mix of Punt e Mes and a milder sweet vermouth), and/or by adjusting the sweetness with dry vermouth (a 50/50 mix is called "perfect"). Garnish with either a premium cherry (Luxardo or make your own) or a lemon twist.
Use a rye of your choice (Wild Turkey 101 rye would be economical and quite good) or bourbon.
The Manhattan appeals to a wide variety of people from cocktail geeks to casual drinkers to little old ladies.
You might garnish with bitters at service for flourish. The drink will stand up well to being kept in a cold pitcher.
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I suggested the brandy champagne cocktail because of the weddingy summer theme and the need to be a "crowd pleaser" - it's hard not to like it and it is so easy to make - should also have a few drops of bitters included. BTW I LOVE Punt e Mes - hhaving trouble getting it locally - I seem to be the only person in Oklahoma who wants to buy it.
How about a gin buck made with a good regional ginger ale/ginger beer from your region? It goes over well when I have company in the hot, humid summer months ...