Ever wondered what can make your day different to others, it's your drink! We have spoken to Marc, one of the co-founders of the award winning catering company, Caviar & Chips to give us his suggestions on getting creative with your cocktails for your wedding day.
We love making cocktails at weddings and they’re such a great way to create something a little special and different for your guests. Along with your food catering, you can get creative and playful with drinks that you serve throughout the day. We’ve picked five of our favourite cocktails and also the moments in the day when they’re perfect to serve.
Your Wedding Reception: An English Garden - Gin-based cocktail
For your drinks reception let’s imagine you’ve just exchanged your vows, you’re now officially married and your guests are excited to celebrate your day with you. Perhaps your drinks reception is on a lawn, in a courtyard or in a hall - wherever your guests start coming together the reception is a great place for people to get to know each other while your photographer captures the memories. It can be traditional to serve a glass of champagne, sparkling wine or prosecco at your reception but bringing in a cocktail instead can catch your guests by surprise and set the tone for what they’re about to enjoy for the rest of the day!
We catered for a lovely wedding last summer in the Cotswolds in a marquee in a garden and the couple absolutely loved gin. We put together a fantastic selection of their favourite gins and we served these on the bar throughout the day and into the night. For their drinks reception, and as we served canapés, we served their guests a lovely gin-based cocktail called an English Garden.
An English Garden is a really nice, refreshing gin cocktail that’s easy to drink and perfect for summer time. Made with gin, Elderflower liqueur, apple juice, lime and cucumber ribbons and served in a tall glass with lots of ice. It’s a great cocktail to serve your guests and a nice ice-breaker for guests to talk about as they enjoy the canapés and relax during the social part of your wedding day.
Your Wedding Toasts - Build your own Old Fashioned - Bourbon-based cocktail
It’s fascinating to see how many different variations there are of toasts and speeches at weddings. Tradition would follow that there are three speeches, each from the father-of-the bride, the groom and the best man with a toast after each speech usually with a glass of champagne. However, many couples that we work with want to make their own rules and we see speeches during the canapé reception, as a welcome when guests first take their seats, or then there’s some we’ve catered for with a shot of vodka after each course!
We have a wedding coming up where the couple are having an Old Fashioned cocktail for their toasts. They got engaged in Kentucky, USA, home to the Woodford Reserve distillery which is a great, premium Kentucky bourbon and the base spirit in an Old Fashioned.
For the wedding favours, each of their guests will get a crystal cut tumbler, a small bottle of bourbon, a sugar cube and then in the table centre there will be a bucket of ice, a bottle of soda, Angostura Bitters and orange twist garnishes for the table to share. There will then be instructions on each table on how to make your perfect Old Fashioned cocktail.
To make a great Old Fashioned they do take time. Crushing the sugar cube in the glass and lining the glass with the Angostura Bitters is something that takes patience and in between courses, guests will be making their cocktail ready for the speeches. We’re really looking forward to this part of the day as there will be some people who are amateur mixologists and then others that may need a little help from our hosts. It will be a fun way for guests to chat and get to know each other and share stories and tales of favourite cocktails and drinks.
After dinner - Espresso Martini - Vodka - based cocktail
After your wedding breakfast when the last bit of dessert has been enjoyed and your guests start thinking about cutting some shapes on the dance floor ,you may be in need of a little “pick-me-up”. Instead of serving traditional tea and coffee after dinner, you could go straight to the cocktail menu and serve an Espresso Martini. This really will get the party started with shots of espresso and vodka going down very easily!
An Espresso Martini is traditionally served in a classic martini glass with vodka, Kahlua (coffee liqueur), sugar and coffee beans to garnish. It smells divine with freshly brewed espresso coffee filling the air and after one or two you’ll certainly be ready for your first dance…with the energy to see you through the night!
Evening - His & Hers - Gin & Rum-based cocktails
As you get your evening party underway, it can be a really nice touch to have his and her cocktails served at the bar. Choose your favourite cocktails that say something about you or your relationship - it’s your big day so you should definitely have your favourite drinks to enjoy!
We’ve chosen a Bramble and a Mojito. Both cocktails are crowd pleasers and really popular but have very different flavours. For the Mojito it’s made with white rum, soda, sugar, lime juice and a handful of crushed mint leaves to garnish. Served in a tall glass with lots of ice its refreshing and easy to drink. For the Bramble, its gin, creme de mure, lemon juice, sugar syrup served in a tumbler with crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of lemon and blackberry - the colour is vibrant and you can even glam it up with a splash of champagne for a Bramble Royale!
Hopefully these few cocktail ideas will give you a little inspiration for your drinks on your wedding day, but also help you think of ways in which you can serve them a little differently. Don’t forget it’s your wedding day so take the opportunity to sprinkle your favourite things throughout it in as many place as you can.
Visit Caviar & Chips website www.caviarandchips.co.uk and check out some of the example menus and stories of weddings they've catered for around the country - everything from a woodland through to a stately home…and many with bespoke cocktails!