Wedding Mixology

photo credit: jamee photography

Have you even heard someone say "As long as there's good food and plenty to drink, we'll have a good time"? Well, I have, lots. Let's face it, the part of your day your guests get to experience the most is what you serve at the reception. Treat them to something special, like a really fantastic bartender and great signature drinks, and you're guaranteed to have one very happy group on your hands (just make sure someone is on patrol to keep your frat boy cousin or notoriously tipsy co-worker from getting too happy!) And if you're able to bring in your own alcohol for the venue, spend some time with a sommelier to find a wine that's the perfect match to your dishes.

Consider drinks that could be made in large batches in advance for the cocktail hour rush (hand-squeezed lemonade, champagne punch, sangria) and nothing is quite so nice as walking into a party with someone waiting to hand you a crisp champagne.

Here's a couple out of the box drink ideas for your wedding. I've included a wine and beer option, and a signature cocktail and mocktail, so even younger guests or non-drinkers can enjoy:

Springtime wedding:
Think light, fresh, and bubbly, with a hint of sweetness.

Wine: A dry Riesling or Muscato, something with apple in the bouquet
Beer: IPA, all the way!
Cocktail: Apple Elderflower Martini (made with my personal favorite liquor, St Germain)
*Mocktail: Orange Hibiscus Tea Spritzer (2 parts tart strong Hibiscus tea, mixed with 1 part Hanson's Natural Mandarin soda, serve over ice and garnish with orange)

Afternoon brunch:
something breakfast inspired and to cut the sweetness of the amazing brunch dishes

Wine: Sangria, red and white
Beer: In the afternoon? Really? Well, not unless it's sopas, shrimp benedicts, and Corona
Cocktail: Bellini. Peach puree and champagne, fancier than a mimosa and lighter as well.
Mocktail: The Virgin Sunrise. Just minus the tequila, it's still mighty tasty!

Swank evening Soiree:
Give them high-end options of easy classics

Wine: Pick a few options of whites and reds, and make recommendations based on their meal selection. Better yet, do course pairings so they get to try them all
Beer: Imported. Chimay (love that hazelnut flavor) or a Belgian white. Molson does not count as imported.
Cocktail: Hemingway Daquiri, Old Fashioned, Gimlet. Just think old school
Mocktail: Shirley Temple's or have your bartender create something sophisticated with cream soda or ginger beer

Love locally sourced, seasonal food? Go all the way with your drinks as well

Wine: Take a trip up to Grand Junction and take a wine tour. Grab cases while your up there of your favorites. West Coasters have amazing options, and New York has a surprising high quality of the sweeter stuff: whites, sherry, and ice wine
Beer: Another easy one for Coloradoan, Look into getting custom labels printed for your fav New Belgium flavor
Cocktail: Colorado whiskey in a Washington Apple (not the shot) or served neat
Mocktail: Muddled seasonal fruit, organic mint, soda, enjoy!

Desert Bar:
Sweet options to pair with cheese, berries, chocolate, and all things dessert-y

Wine: Find a nice port (are you a tawny or a ruby?) and have plenty of pinot...white and red
Beer: Milk Stout, Vanilla Porter, think dark, rich, and a little sweet
*Cocktail: Raspberry Vanilla Creme: A dollop of raspberry jam, milk, vodka, and half a split vanilla bean go into a shaker, one delicious drink comes out
Mocktail: Grasshopper, essentially a fancy milkshake with chocolate syrup and mint ice cream (oh, or gelato!) blended and served in a martini glass, topped with a Thin Mint!