Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Create a Signature Cocktail for Your Wedding

Create a Signature Cocktail for Your Wedding


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It has become more and more common for brides and grooms to serve signature cocktails during a cocktail hour after their wedding ceremony. A cocktail hour can be a great way to keep guests occupied and socializing as you transition from ceremony to dinner and dancing, and is a nice time to introduce delicious flavors to the palate before dinner. But why not let the drinks be a testament to each other, a way to reflect the delight of your pairing with surprising flavors that show off a bit of you and your sweetie?

Create a Signature Cocktail for Your Wedding (Slideshow)

Why Make Your Own?

Traditional cocktails — the gin and tonic, summer shandy, cosmopolitan, even a less-common sazerac or sidecar — have their place, but on your wedding day, showcasing your creativity and individuality helps your guests experience you and lets them participate more fully in your special day.

Here, we’re presenting some unconventional cocktails for you to consider as you think about your big day. Think about who your guests will be for your event — you may want to swap some spirits and blend for versatility. We want to give you some creative ideas to get you thinking and tasting as you begin to develop your own signature cocktail. These recipes can always be tweaked, or adapted. Find the one that best suits you!

Your guests will cherish the memory of your nuptials, but not as much as you will: most importantly, your drinks are about you: let the flavors complement your personalities, as you complement each other. If you’re country and your sweetie’s rock and roll, try a variation of the Wedded Bliss. Maybe she’s got a tart wit, and you’re mellower — The Lemon Orchard could be a way to capture your love.

When you’re developing your signature cocktails, you may want to further personalize your liquors by prepping your bar with homemade liquor infusions: strawberries infuse tequila beautifully, and whiskey is even better than usual when it’s been flavored with fresh cherries. The contrast and complement of the flavors in these cocktails embrace the differences of their ingredients — not a shabby metaphor for a well-matched couple. In addition to your personalities, consider your event venue and the season to select flavors that will be most appropriate for you. Some, like the Amor y Fuego, take a spicy turn (which is perfect for summer), while others — like the Sweethearts Cocktail — play off of warm and woody undertones (good for autumn).

The Toast of Honor

We love how the almond liqueur gives a full, baked flavor to this drink, and think St. Germain impressively combines sweet and sophisticated: another great pairing, just like you and your sweetheart.

Click here for The Toast of Honor Recipe

Big Heartbeats

Looking for a great take on a classic whiskey drink? Scotch is certainly an acquired taste, but the bold flavors of cherry and black pepper make for a great sipping cocktail. This one is ideal for cooler months, when the heat of the Scotch is front and center.

Avni Vyas lives and teaches in Tallahassee, FL where she is a doctoral candidate at Florida State University. She is the co-author of Candy In Our Brains, published by CutBank. Follow her adventures on Belles Lettres and Bourbon.


Summer Cocktails

Ah, summertime. What is it about this season that instantly brings up laugh-filled childhood memories? Ride the warm weather nostalgia train with a throwback root beer signature wedding cocktail. Try Hard Raspberry Vanilla Root Beer, a concoction of bourbon, vodka, root beer and fresh raspberries created by Louis Kingsley Catering in Georgia.

Summer weddings are all about enjoying the abundant sunshine and ice-cold beverages. Try a riff on the ultimate summer drink, iced tea, with a Bourbon Ice Tea signature cocktail.

August

The dog days of summer mean one thing for drink lovers: It&rsquos time to use or lose the basil leaves. The embodiment of small and mighty, this fragrant herb is the pièce de résistance of tons of summer cocktails. Take advantage of the last bunch of peak basil with a Cucumber Basil Gimlet cocktail.


How To Create Your Own Signature Cocktail

You can make classic cocktails competently enough, and your abilities to crack open a beer are unrivaled. But those are everybody’s drinks. What about your signature drink? What about a drink you can call your own, maybe literally, because you’ve named it after yourself?

There are thousands of liquors and bitters and juices and whatever that can be mixed to create an almost infinite number of new cocktails. Finding a starting point could intimidating. That’s why step one on your cocktail creation journey is to always be repulsed by the term “mixologist.” Now that you are appropriately grossed out by that douche term, the real first step is to .

Remix The Classics

Classic cocktails like martinis and margaritas were built upon simple, easily repeatable principles that have withstood the taste test of time. Their one advantage to you, as an aspiring cocktail inventor, is that they come with a built-in structure. You know that gin, dry vermouth, and maybe a dash of orange bitters, are the building blocks for a classic martini. But they aren’t set in stone. Keeping the same measurements in mind, swap out any one of those building blocks for something similar and all of a sudden your journey to inventing something brand-new has begun. By slightly modifying a pre-existing cocktail, you’re like a scientist, swapping out chunks of DNA to see what happens to the monkey.

"My God. You've . made him pretentious."

If you’re making a Martini, you can swap out vermouth for a little bit of sherry. A Gin and Tonic can have a spritz of lemon instead of lime. Adding those small twists can spin you into a new creative direction and flavor profile. This is like riding a bike with training wheels until you get the idea. Just keep small modifications to the old standards until you build enough confidence to really start experimenting.

When it comes to stocking your bar, pretty much every mixologist [fights back a dry-heave] whose advice found its way online recommends buying high-end liquors. But you don’t have investors opening up their wallets so you can buy a $150 bottle of whiskey. So until you hit the Powerball, buy what you can afford.

The Tools

Cocktail culture has own set of tools and doodads like any other enthusiasts venture – Shakers! Jiggers! Strainers! Stirrers! Muddlers! Squeezers! There are 11 piece sets, 13 piece sets, 16 piece sets, 18 piece sets. You could spend a fortune buying yourself the tools needed to essentially accomplish the same thing you did when you were a kid mixing yourself a glass of chocolate milk. Not to mention the fact that getting yourself a high quality set could cost a fortune.

If all else fails, just outsource the work to tiny, tiny workers.

Luckily, Sarah Mitchell, the manager of Lab Bar, one of London’s best watering holes, has compiled a list of alternative tools you probably have lying around that adequately replace the specialized ones bartenders use to whip up thousands of cocktails a year.

Measure/Jigger: Egg cup

Cocktail shaker: Thermos flask

Muddler: Small rolling pin/End of a wooden spoon

Juicer: Squeeze by hand

Mixing spoon: Long teaspoon/Fork handle

Strainer: Tea strainer

Since no one has owned an egg cup in the past 50 years, you can instead use a shot glass or, better yet, the ring of measuring spoons you’ve had lying in a kitchen drawer for so long you’re pretty sure it came with the apartment.

On second thought, don't open that. There are ghosts in there.

Learning How To Balance Ingredients

Understanding the nuances of individual ingredients helps you develop a better idea how they’ll mingle together in a glass. Jim Meehan, proprietor of PDT, one of New York’s most renowned cocktail lounges, suggests familiarizing yourself not only with the flavors of each ingredient, but their scents as well. After selecting a base spirit, he calls the notes he detects in each subsequent ingredient his “road map to tailor a cocktail for that product.”

In other words, trust your tongue to help you figure out what combo of ingredients work best. Sounds simple enough, but even that might be a little too advanced if you’re just dipping your toes into the cocktail game.

Or dipping someone else's toes in there.

Celebrity mixologist [gags] Eric Alperin further simplifies the equation by suggesting you think of ingredients not as individual pieces but as larger categories you can mix and match as you please until you get something that works.

Sweet (simple syrup, raw sugar, sweet vermouth, juices)

Smoky (bourbon, tequila, cinnamon)

So a Manhattan would be a Strong (rye whiskey), a Sweet (sweet vermouth), and a Bitter (Angostura bitters). A margarita would be a Smoky (tequila), a Sour (lime juice), and a Sweet (agave), and maybe a Bitter (orange bitters). Once you start thinking of cocktail recipes as a series of interchangeable parts that can be toyed with at your leisure instead of a sacred text that must be strictly adhered to then you can really start innovating.

OK, maybe we need to go over the term "innovation" first.

If you want the most practical advice out there, designed specifically to help cocktail novices better understand how to balance flavors, we turn back to Sarah Mitchell of London’s Lab Bar. She recommends practicing balance by lowering the stakes as you try to make a glass of lemonade before you use any precious bottles of liquor. Good lemonade requires careful balance between its three ingredients: water, lemon juice, and sugar. Too much or too little of any one of the three can throw off the experience. We all have in our heads a solid idea of what good lemonade tastes like. Use that image of perfection as you incorporate the ingredients little by little, slowly nudging the flavor toward your ideal lemonade. If the end result is too watery or too sugary or too sour, well, the ingredients in total cost you no more than five dollars, so just keep making it into you get it right.

Lemonade, it turns out, is Cocktail Making 101.

The Nitty Gritty Details Of Cocktail Creation

A lot of what you’ve read up to this point has been a mix of theory and practical advice on how you can make the next great drink that will sweep the nation, leaving you solely responsible for millions of hangovers should it catch on. But we’re done with theory. From here on out, it’s all about the tangible advice you can immediately apply to the invention of your signature cocktail.

For instance, never put a meatloaf in your drink.

First, ice. You probably don’t put much thought into the ice you’re using your cocktails, and why should you? It’s just frozen water that makes the drink cold. Stir it, shake it, dump it out and move on.

If that’s how you think, ask yourself this: why is it that every cocktail that you order from a good bar or restaurant, comes with those big blocky cubes of ice that are magically transparent in a way your Dollar Store ice cube trays can’t replicate? Those cubes aren’t just for show they actually play a huge part in the foundation of a cocktail.

Bartender-style cubes melt much more slowly than regular ice, which helps to maintain even dilution and temperature. The ice cubes that your fridge’s ice dispenser spit out are fine and work in a pinch, but if you really want to give your home cocktail that professional look and taste, here’s a trick: whether you’re using a cheap ice tray or dope silicone trays that make huge spheres, the real secret is in the water. Instead of filling the mold with tap water, bring filtered water to a near-boil then fill your mold or regular ice tray and freeze as usual.

Remember to thaw them out, overnight, before use.

This makes the ice form more slowly and allows for the release of tiny air bubbles that would normally cloud an ice cube. Ice is the phantom ingredient influencing everything in the background of nearly every cocktail you’ve ever had and will ever make. Treat it with the same respect as the rest of your ingredients.

Long or tall drinks (so called because they’re usually served in a tall glass) are typically cocktails where a nonalcoholic beverage like a juice or soda is spiked with alcohol, are mellowed by the dilution of ice. A shorthand for nailing the ratios in a long drink is 2:1:1 -- that’s 2 ounces of alcohol for every 1 ounce of tartness and 1 ounce of sweetness.

Short drinks, where alcohol was mixed with alcohol, generally don’t have to be any more than 4 ounces total -- 3 ounces of ingredients plus 1 ounce of diluted ice.

If you're just serving beer, make sure the ice is on the outside.

According to Joel Lee Kulp, the owner of two popular Brooklyn-based the bars, a lot of classic cocktails prove you don’t need any more than three ingredients to make a great drink. So when you’re designing your own signature cocktail, keep it simple. Kulp suggests no more than five ingredients. The flavors will be easier to balance, and keeping the ingredients list short makes the drink easier to replicate for guests.

As a general rule, you should be building cocktails on a foundation of 50 mL of a base spirit, which equals a little over one and a half ounces. Be stingy with everything else. When you’re starting off, it’d be wise to add your base spirit at the end after you’ve added your cheaper ingredients into the shaker. That way if you screwed up the ratios of the cheap stuff like grenadine or vermouth, you won’t have to toss out your expensive base liquor along with it. It’s always easier to add than subtract.

Speaking of shakers, James Bond has terrible taste in martinis. Martinis should never be shaken. The only cocktails that deserve a vigorous shake are those that include fruit juices, like the previously mentioned long cocktails. Stirring ensures a more even dilution of ice, which results in a smoother cocktail. Juices are denser than the liquor, bitters, or fortified wines you would use in a cocktail like a martini or a Manhattan. Juice cocktails need the violence of a good shake to combine these disparate densities. Straight cocktails, like James’ martini, should be stirred.

It should be so pretty, you want to comb its hair.

The Emergency Ratio

If all else fails and everything you made just outright sucks, just plug some ingredients into this handy formula devised by the hosts of the Cooking Channel’s Drinks with Alie & Georgia and you’ll be able to call yourself a mixologist [barfs].

1 oz liqueur (you can also substitute a better aperitif like Angostura or a fortified wine like sweet/dry vermouth)

So start practicing, because the next time The Modern Rogue comes to your town, you owe us all a drink. Or five. Also, we'll need to crash on your couch.


10 Signature Cocktails To Serve At Your Wedding That Guests Will Love

If you want to impress guests at your wedding ― and loosen them up a bit after the ceremony ― serve them a signature cocktail.

Below, drink specialists share their favorite wedding cocktail ideas to pass on to your beverage caterer or bartending service. (Coming up with a cute, personalized name for the drink is on you!)

What you'll need:
2 oz. Blanco 100% Agave tequila
.75 oz. simple syrup (to make, combine and stir one part granulated sugar and one part water)
1 oz. lime juice
2 cucumber wheels
2 mint sprigs (or sage leaves)

Why it works:
"For weddings, a good starting point is a drink that’s accessible and refreshing. I like to make a Tequila Eastside, which consists of tequila, lime, cucumber and mint and switch the herbs based on the season -- sage works well year-round when combined with the minerality of the tequila. You should also always have something on-hand for your guests that aren’t drinking Seedlip Garden, a non-alcoholic spirit, subs for the tequila perfectly in this recipe. Buy a bottle or several, depending on the size of the wedding, and ask your caterer to make a small batch of non-alcoholic cocktail." -- Aaron Polsky, bar manager at Harvard & Stone in Los Angeles, California

What you'll need:
2 oz. gin (or vodka)
.5 oz. lemon juice
A heaping teaspoon of powdered sugar
Basil and blueberries, to taste

Why it works:
"I think the perfect wedding cocktail is a Tom Collins. It is an incredibly versatile drink. This version here includes basil and blueberries. You can even make a DIY station with a variety of add-ins. It is a great classic and a crowd-pleaser that you can truly make your own with just a few fun changes." -- Alejandro De La Parra, manager at Teardrop Lounge in Portland, Oregon

What you'll need:
1 oz. ginger vodka
1/2 oz. of elderflower liquor
1 oz. Sauvignon Blanc
Dry Champagne

Why it works:
"Your guests will fall in love with the sparkling St. Louis Bellini. Ginger vodka, elderflower liquor, and your favorite dry champagne come together in the glass for true wedded bliss. The St. Louis Bellini is also a fun, cost-effective way to liven up the traditional champagne toast." --Lucas Gamlin, proprietor of Sub Zero Vodka Bar in St. Louis, Missouri

What you'll need:
1 oz. Hayman's Old Tom Gin
1 oz. Mizu lemongrass shochu
.5 oz. ginger demerara syrup
2 dashes 1821 Earl Grey bitters
Lime or lemon
Top with Indi & Co strawberry tonic

"This spirit-forward cocktail is refreshingly light and has great balance in being tart and sweet with delicate herbal tones. If you want to impress your guests during cocktail hour, but make sure they’re not over-boozed before the reception, this should be your summer go-to." -- Andrew Dissen and Taylor Katz, bartenders at Sugarvale in Baltimore, Maryland

What you'll need:
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. honey syrup (combine and stir two parts honey, one part water)
2 oz. bourbon
2-3 fresh strawberries

Why it works: "It can appeal to those who like a strong whiskey cocktail, as well as to those who prefer something fruity and light. It's an all-around crowd pleaser." -- Becky McFalls-Schwartz, the beverage director at Bar Moga in New York City

What you'll need:
1 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup (combine and stir one part granulated sugar and one part water)
2 oz. aged or white rum
1 pineapple wedge

Why it works: "It's fresh and bright and brings a touch of the tropics to your special day." -- Becky McFalls-Schwartz, the beverage director at Bar Moga in New York City

What you'll need:
1 oz. Sino jalapeño tequila
.5 oz Cynar bitters
.5 oz. mezcal
Basil
1 lime

“If you like margaritas, this is great because it's an earthy and spicy alternative to typical sweet and syrupy margaritas. The Sino Jalapeño Tequila gives the margarita its spicy kick while the Cynar bitters, basil and lime give the cocktail its herbal, citrusy flavor." -- Kaitlin Dover, bar manager at the Driftwood Room in Portland, Oregon

What you'll need:
1 oz. espresso coffee
1 oz. Lab's Old Timer's tonic syrup
½ oz. Absente 55 Absinthe
1 ½ oz. Tia Maria coffee liqueur
2 oz. milk + .5 oz. vanilla liquor to cover

Why it works:
"Coffee cocktails are often overlooked but they're so popular with guests. Plus, serving them is a great for late night parties and receptions because of the caffeine. And it's not necessary to have an espresso machine to be able to serve our sweet energizing beverages. The coffee is cold-pressed (cold brew) and can easily be prepared in advance. As for conservation, it can go up to 14 days without actually losing its aroma." -- Fabien Maillard, mixologist at Bar Le LAB in Montreal, Quebec

What you'll need:
1 oz. Fords Gin
1 oz. lemon juice
75 oz. Aperol
.25 Giffard's orgeat syrup

"For a wedding cocktail, you want something refreshing, easy to drink and crowd pleasing. Gin is a spirit that is fitting for any season. The use of Ford's Gin gives beautiful notes of grapefruit and juniper and plays well with the bitter orange flavors of the aperol. I use orgeat as the sweetener to add flavor and mouth feel, along with fresh lemon juice. It is finished with champagne on top. Everything except the fresh lemon juice has shelf life so the only thing you need to prepare the day before or day of is the lemon juice." -- Bethany HamBar, manager at Birds & Bees in Los Angeles, California

What you'll need:
1 oz. dry gin
1 oz. fresh lemon
1/2 oz. 2:1 simple syrup (two parts sugar, one part boiling water)
2 oz. cava

Why it works: "If you ask me, the French 75 is the quintessential wedding cocktail for any time of year. It's light, refreshing, easy to drink, sexy, bubbly and not terribly boozy so it won't get all your guests hammered early in the night. To mix it up, try it with blanco tequila! And sparkling rosé! And a grapefruit twist! Talk about sexy." -- Banjo Amberg, head bartender at Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon


10 Wine (Yes, Wine!) Floats to Make This Summer

Those with a creative eye know firsthand that inspiration is all around us. Whether you're energized by the earth tones of nature, a color-filled walk through a local farmer's market, or even by a quick scroll through Instagram, you never know what might spark a new creative project.

In the spirit of inspiring your next masterpiece, we're excited to partner with Bounty to fuel the next generation of artists and designers forward by launching a national design competition. We're calling on graphic designers to apply for a chance to see their work featured on a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection, set to launch in 2022.

Aside from the incredible exposure of having your illustrations on paper towels that'll be in stores across America next year, you'll also receive $5,000 for your art a scholarship for Selfmade, our 10-week entrepreneurship accelerator to take your design career to the next level (valued at $2,000) and a stand alone feature on Brit + Co spotlighting your artistry as a creator.

The Creatively You Design Competition launches Friday, May 21, 2021 and will be accepting submissions through Monday, June 7, 2021.

APPLY NOW

Who Should Apply: Women-identifying graphic designers and illustrators. (Due to medium limitations, we're not currently accepting design submissions from photographers or painters.)

What We're Looking For: Digital print and pattern designs that reflect your design aesthetic. Think optimistic, hopeful, bright — something you'd want to see inside your home.

How To Enter: Apply here, where you'll be asked to submit 2x original design files you own the rights to for consideration. Acceptable file formats include: .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .PSD, and .TIFF. Max file size 5GB. We'll also ask about your design inspiration and your personal info so we can keep in touch.

Artist Selection Process: Panelists from Brit + Co and P&G Bounty's creative teams will judge the submissions and select 50 finalists on June 11, 2021 who will receive a Selfmade scholarship for our summer 2021 session. Then, up to 8 artists will be selected from the finalists and notified on June 18, 2021. The chosen designers will be announced publicly in 2022 ahead of the product launch.

For any outstanding contest Qs, please see our main competition page. Good luck & happy creating!


3-Ingredient Wedding Cocktails That Cost Way Less Than an Open Bar

Are those wedding bells ringing? All I hear is a call to the open bar.

If you've been to approximately 4,007 weddings in the past three years as I have, you know that the most crucial decision the bride and groom is not whether or not to get a prenup , it's the "just beer and wine" versus "open bar" debate. One is more expensive and rowdier than the other, and will guarantee I'll reply yes to the invite the other is fine, totally fiiiine.

But a new-ish, compromise option is a "wedding cocktail," which might be one to three cocktail options, or a punch , all with cutsie names and more complicated backstories than characters on Orange Is the New Black. It's cheaper than an open bar, but still satisfyingly boozy, and then dinner is just beer/wine. The tricky part is picking the cocktail recipe. Will it be fast and easy to make? Cost as little as possible? Not require a torch of any kind? Please every single person you've ever known and loved? Good luck on that last part.

So to take your wedding cocktail up a notch (this is not a time for vodka and orange juice), we asked some professional badass bartenders for their suggestions for easy, awesome wedding cocktails that won't get Uncle Paul too wasted before the lukewarm steak and/or choice of overcooked fish arrives. For goofy names, that's on you.

These cocktail recipes were not tested by the BA Test Kitchen

Similar to Alba Huerta's Doree Spritz, this strawberry rosé spritz would also make a great wedding cocktail. Photo: Christopher Testani

Doree Spritz

by Alba Huerta , Julep Houston
"A low alcohol spritz that's refreshing is best, especially for outdoor weddings."

2 oz. FRV 100 sparkling Gamay or sparkling rosé
1½ oz. Aperol
1 oz. mineral water (I prefer Topo Chico)
Seasonal fruit and mint sprig (for garnish)

Combine Gamay, Aperol, and mineral water in a wine glass filled with cracked ice. Garnish with seasonal fruit and mint sprig.
For more spritz recipes, check these out.

Spicy, sweet, and good warm-up material for your bridesmaid's speech. Photo: Courtesy of the Bon Vivants

Ancho Reyes Daiquiri

by Josh Harris , founding partner, The Bon Vivants (the team behind Trick Dog and Cafe du Nord )

2 oz. Ancho Reyes Ancho Chili Liqueur
1 oz. fresh lime juice
½ oz. simple syrup (2 parts sugar : 1 part water)
Thin lime wheel (for garnish)

Combine chili liqueur, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake, and double strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with lime wheel.

Maybe, just maybe, a drink with "gold" in the title will bring your marriage prosperity, or at least bourbon breath. Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Golder Rush

2 oz. 90+ proof bourbon
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
¾ oz. honey syrup
Angostura bitters (for garnish)

Combine bourbon, lemon juice, and honey syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled DOF (or "rocks") glass. Garnish with Angostura bitters. The cocktail can be batched ahead of time, but keep cool once ingredients are combined. It's a nice serving touch to ladle some of this punch into an ice-filled glass and then dash some Angostura bitters on top.

Stir Clap

by Danny Shapiro
"For the crowd that appreciated a booze-forward, Manhattan variation."

2 oz. 90+ proof rye whiskey (or 90+ proof ANYTHING - this is super versatile)
¾ oz. Kina L➮ro (has to be this aperitif)

Combine rye whiskey and Kina L➮ro in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled DOF (or "rocks") glass. No garnish needed. This can be batched ahead of time, but once these ingredients are combined, it's best to keep them cool.

The Milano Torino at Pouring Ribbons. Photo: Paul Wagtouicz

Milano Torino

by Joaquín Simó for Pouring Ribbons
(We let Simó get away with four ingredients for this one)

¾ oz. Campari
¾ oz. Contratto Bitter
¾ oz. Contratto Rosso
¾ oz. Martelletti Classico
Orange slice (for garnish)

Combine Campari, Contrattos, and Martelletti in a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with orange slice.

You can never go wrong with a daiquiri (well, you can, after you drink seven). Peden + Munk

Daiquiri

Paul McGee of the Cherry Circle Room and Milk Room at Chicago Athletic Association Hotel recommended a handful, including a daiquiri, which we think doesn't get enough play because so many people associate the name with the frozen drink. Find the BA recipe here.


Create a Signature Cocktail for Your Wedding - Recipes

Herb Westphalen crafts amazing Signature Cocktails and Mocktails for all your needs:

  • Events
  • Weddings & Civil Unions
  • Celebrations
  • Children’s Parties
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Liquor Brands and more
  • The most Unique Gifts ever!

Herb’s international culinary expertise, as a private chef, insures that flavor is paramount. His experience as an award-winning designer and event planner guarantees the “Wow” factor with his presentations, surpassing most others around the globe for creativity.

Called “The Cocktail Avatar” by ESQUIRE Magazine, Herb’s cocktails showcase the theme of the individuals, event, venue and cuisine. Fabulous non-alcoholic creations or “Mocktails” are often crafted for “dry” or Children’s events.

Herb starts by creating a flavor profile for you, exploring your needs regarding specifics like types of spirits, theme, demographics, venue, usage, style, color, execution and much more. The details gathered from the profile form the foundation of the drink. From there, he creates magic.

Cocktail Services

Herb Westphalen will not only craft your outstanding Signature Cocktails, but he and his staff are available to create and serve them at your event. Herb offers a range of Bar Services including:


Cocktail Recipes For Signature Wedding Drinks

Thanks to Inka mama's, one of Amy's favorite Peruvian restaurants in Orange County, we have some wedding worthy signature cocktail recipes for you to peruse.
But before we start mixing, muddling, and pouring, we wanted to make sure that you had a signature cocktail wedding sign in place to share with your guests what ingredients are in your signature wedding cocktail. So, the super cute sign you see above will be available for you to customize with your signature wedding drink in our Free Printables section soon. Stay tuned for updates and enjoy all these fabulous recipes!

Blackberry Love Ingredients:
Titoʼs Handmade Vodka - 1 1/2 oz Fresh Blackberries - 2
St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur - 3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon - 3/4 oz Cane Syrup - 1/2 oz Glassware:
Martini Cocktail glass Directions:
Muddle • Pour • Shake • Add Ice • Shake • Serve “up”

Minty Fresh Refresher Ingredients:
Pisco Porton - 2 oz Fresh Lime Juice - 1 oz Cane Sugar - 3/4 oz Cucumber - 3 rounds Mint - 1 sprig Glassware:
Rocks glass “bucket”
Directions:
Pour Cane Syrup, add 3 cucumber rounds and 1 mint sprig into a pint glass and muddle. Then pour Pisco Proton and fresh lime juice. Fill a glass with fresh ice and frozen cucumber cubes. Add 1 scoop of ice to pint glass, shake for 10 seconds and pour with double strainer into glass with frozen cucumber and lime cubes. Garnish with Lime round and Mint sprig.
Muddle • Pour • Add Ice • Shake • Serve on the rocks

Blushing Bride Ingredients:
Pisco Porton - 1 1/2 oz Hibiscus Tea - 1 oz Fresh Lemon - 1/2 oz Agave Nectar - 1/2 oz Reaganʼs Orange Bitters - 4 dashes Orange Zest Glassware:
Cocktail glass “martini”
Directions:
Pour Pisco Patron, Hibiscus tea, Fresh lemon Juice, Agave Nectar and add 4 dashes of Reagan’s Orange Bitters into pint glass. Set up Martini Glass. Add ice to pint glass and shake for 10 seconds. Pour and strain into martini glass. Zest orange peel over drink and garnish with same peel.
Pour • Add Ice • Shake • Serve "up"

Sweet Ginger Ingredients:
Bacardi Rum - 1 1/2 oz Canton Ginger - 3/4 oz Creole Shrub - 3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice - 1/2 oz Ginger Juice - 1/2 oz Falernum Bitters - 2 dashes Glassware:
Rocks glass “bucket”
Directions:
Pour Bacardi Rum, Canton Ginger, Creole Shrub, Fresh Lime Juice, Ginger Juice and add two dashes of Falernum Bitters into a pint glass. Set up rocks glass with fresh Ice. Add ice to pint glass and shake for 10 seconds. Pour with strainer into rocks glass. Garnish with candied ginger.
Pour • Add Ice • Shake • Serve on the rocks

Strawberry Cachaca Cocktail Ingredients:
Cachaca - 2 oz Strawberry Puree 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice - 1/2 oz Cane Syrup - 1/2 oz Basil - 4 Leaves Glassware:
Collins glass “highball”
Directions:
Pour Cane Syrup and add 4 Basil Leaves to a pint glass and muddle. Then pour Cachaca, Fresh Strawberry puree, fresh lime juice. Set up HighBall with fresh ice. Add 1 scoop of ice to pint glass and shake for 10 seconds. Pour and double strain into Highball and garnish with strawberry (or lime round if strawberries are not fresh).
Muddle • Pour • Add Ice • Shake • Serve on the rocks

Pisco Sour Ingredients:
Pisco Porton - 1 1/2 oz Egg White - 1 oz egg white Fresh Lime Juice - 3/4 oz Cane Syrup - 3/4 oz Angostura Bitters - 6 drops Glassware:
Cocktail glass “martini”
Directions:
Pour Pisco, fresh lime juice, cane syrup egg whites and add 3 drops of bitters into a tall pint glass. Dry shake the drink for 10 seconds to make it frothy. Add a scoop of ice and shake for another 15 seconds. Pour with strainer into a martini glass “up.” Float the drops of bitters on the top of the foam in a triangle. Add a lime round for garnish.
Pour • Dry shake • Add ice • Shake • Serve “up”

La Puritita Mezcal And Tequila Ingredients:
Herradura Tequila Blanco - 1 oz La Puritita Mescal - 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice - 3/4 oz Pineapple Juice - 1/2 oz Cane Syrup - 1/2 oz Aji Amarillo - 2 round Glassware:
Rocks glass “bucket”
Directions:
Pour cane syrup, add two aji amarillo rounds into a pint glass and muddle. Then pour Herradura Tequila Blanco, La Puritita Mescal, lime juice, pineapple juice. Set up rocks glass with fresh ice. Add one scoop of ice to pint glass then shake for 10 seconds and pour with strainer into glass. Garnish with lime round.
Muddle • Pour • Add Ice • Shake • Serve on the rocks

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For The Groom And His Men Ingredients:
Few Rye Whisky - 2 oz Cane Syrup - 1 Bar spoon Bittermanʼs Grapefruit (Orange) Bitters - 2 Dashes Glassware:
Rocks glass “bucket”
Angostura - 2 Dashes Directions:
Pour • Add Ice • Stir • Serve


Sparkling Cucumber Limeade

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 cup water
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup lime juice
1 medium English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
2 cups sparkling water, chilled

Combine the sugar, lime zest, and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint leaves. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Strain the lime syrup through a fine mesh sieve. Combine the syrup with the lime juice and cucumber. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, add in the sparkling water. Serve over ice.

You can't go wrong with a classic.


Signature Cocktail Ideas for Weddings:

  • This Lavender Lemonade Cocktail would be great for a summer garden wedding!
  • The Dark & Bubbly is a wonderful option for a festive winter wedding!
  • This Fall Harvest Punch seems like a fab drink to serve at an autumn wedding!
  • The Something Turquoise makes a perfect splash for your spring wedding!

Another favorite source for cocktail recipes is Something Turquoise!

  • We love this simple Raspberry Sparkler for any season!
  • This Spiked Apple Cider is sure to warm you up at a chilly fall wedding!
  • This Black Berry-Rita sounds fabulous and summer wedding appropriate!
  • Who doesn’t love a little something special in their coffee? Love this Kahlua Creme Soda recipe.

Be sure to check out all the fab options for signature drinks on these fantastic blogs! Of course, it is up to you to decide on the quality of liquor to serve in your signature drinks, so if you choose a budget brand that could be another way to save money. However, if you’re serving just one or two signature cocktails I think it’s nice to splurge on the good stuff in order to offer a really nice option for your guests to enjoy.

Check out some of our favorite cocktails we’ve shared here on The Budget Savvy Bride:


10 Signature Cocktails To Serve At Your Wedding That Guests Will Love

If you want to impress guests at your wedding ― and loosen them up a bit after the ceremony ― serve them a signature cocktail.

Below, drink specialists share their favorite wedding cocktail ideas to pass on to your beverage caterer or bartending service. (Coming up with a cute, personalized name for the drink is on you!)

What you'll need:
2 oz. Blanco 100% Agave tequila
.75 oz. simple syrup (to make, combine and stir one part granulated sugar and one part water)
1 oz. lime juice
2 cucumber wheels
2 mint sprigs (or sage leaves)

Why it works:
"For weddings, a good starting point is a drink that’s accessible and refreshing. I like to make a Tequila Eastside, which consists of tequila, lime, cucumber and mint and switch the herbs based on the season -- sage works well year-round when combined with the minerality of the tequila. You should also always have something on-hand for your guests that aren’t drinking Seedlip Garden, a non-alcoholic spirit, subs for the tequila perfectly in this recipe. Buy a bottle or several, depending on the size of the wedding, and ask your caterer to make a small batch of non-alcoholic cocktail." -- Aaron Polsky, bar manager at Harvard & Stone in Los Angeles, California

What you'll need:
2 oz. gin (or vodka)
.5 oz. lemon juice
A heaping teaspoon of powdered sugar
Basil and blueberries, to taste

Why it works:
"I think the perfect wedding cocktail is a Tom Collins. It is an incredibly versatile drink. This version here includes basil and blueberries. You can even make a DIY station with a variety of add-ins. It is a great classic and a crowd-pleaser that you can truly make your own with just a few fun changes." -- Alejandro De La Parra, manager at Teardrop Lounge in Portland, Oregon

What you'll need:
1 oz. ginger vodka
1/2 oz. of elderflower liquor
1 oz. Sauvignon Blanc
Dry Champagne

Why it works:
"Your guests will fall in love with the sparkling St. Louis Bellini. Ginger vodka, elderflower liquor, and your favorite dry champagne come together in the glass for true wedded bliss. The St. Louis Bellini is also a fun, cost-effective way to liven up the traditional champagne toast." --Lucas Gamlin, proprietor of Sub Zero Vodka Bar in St. Louis, Missouri

What you'll need:
1 oz. Hayman's Old Tom Gin
1 oz. Mizu lemongrass shochu
.5 oz. ginger demerara syrup
2 dashes 1821 Earl Grey bitters
Lime or lemon
Top with Indi & Co strawberry tonic

"This spirit-forward cocktail is refreshingly light and has great balance in being tart and sweet with delicate herbal tones. If you want to impress your guests during cocktail hour, but make sure they’re not over-boozed before the reception, this should be your summer go-to." -- Andrew Dissen and Taylor Katz, bartenders at Sugarvale in Baltimore, Maryland

What you'll need:
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. honey syrup (combine and stir two parts honey, one part water)
2 oz. bourbon
2-3 fresh strawberries

Why it works: "It can appeal to those who like a strong whiskey cocktail, as well as to those who prefer something fruity and light. It's an all-around crowd pleaser." -- Becky McFalls-Schwartz, the beverage director at Bar Moga in New York City

What you'll need:
1 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup (combine and stir one part granulated sugar and one part water)
2 oz. aged or white rum
1 pineapple wedge

Why it works: "It's fresh and bright and brings a touch of the tropics to your special day." -- Becky McFalls-Schwartz, the beverage director at Bar Moga in New York City

What you'll need:
1 oz. Sino jalapeño tequila
.5 oz Cynar bitters
.5 oz. mezcal
Basil
1 lime

“If you like margaritas, this is great because it's an earthy and spicy alternative to typical sweet and syrupy margaritas. The Sino Jalapeño Tequila gives the margarita its spicy kick while the Cynar bitters, basil and lime give the cocktail its herbal, citrusy flavor." -- Kaitlin Dover, bar manager at the Driftwood Room in Portland, Oregon

What you'll need:
1 oz. espresso coffee
1 oz. Lab's Old Timer's tonic syrup
½ oz. Absente 55 Absinthe
1 ½ oz. Tia Maria coffee liqueur
2 oz. milk + .5 oz. vanilla liquor to cover

Why it works:
"Coffee cocktails are often overlooked but they're so popular with guests. Plus, serving them is a great for late night parties and receptions because of the caffeine. And it's not necessary to have an espresso machine to be able to serve our sweet energizing beverages. The coffee is cold-pressed (cold brew) and can easily be prepared in advance. As for conservation, it can go up to 14 days without actually losing its aroma." -- Fabien Maillard, mixologist at Bar Le LAB in Montreal, Quebec

What you'll need:
1 oz. Fords Gin
1 oz. lemon juice
75 oz. Aperol
.25 Giffard's orgeat syrup

"For a wedding cocktail, you want something refreshing, easy to drink and crowd pleasing. Gin is a spirit that is fitting for any season. The use of Ford's Gin gives beautiful notes of grapefruit and juniper and plays well with the bitter orange flavors of the aperol. I use orgeat as the sweetener to add flavor and mouth feel, along with fresh lemon juice. It is finished with champagne on top. Everything except the fresh lemon juice has shelf life so the only thing you need to prepare the day before or day of is the lemon juice." -- Bethany HamBar, manager at Birds & Bees in Los Angeles, California

What you'll need:
1 oz. dry gin
1 oz. fresh lemon
1/2 oz. 2:1 simple syrup (two parts sugar, one part boiling water)
2 oz. cava

Why it works: "If you ask me, the French 75 is the quintessential wedding cocktail for any time of year. It's light, refreshing, easy to drink, sexy, bubbly and not terribly boozy so it won't get all your guests hammered early in the night. To mix it up, try it with blanco tequila! And sparkling rosé! And a grapefruit twist! Talk about sexy." -- Banjo Amberg, head bartender at Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon


Watch the video: How to Flower Nest . Mr. Goodmix Signature Cocktails (May 2022).