You might have a strong opinion about the types of cocktails you'll serve at your wedding, or you might not really care, leaving it up to bartenders to choose what they'll whip up for your guests instead. Whether or not you have a list of cocktails you already love, it's a good idea to be in the know about what types of drinks wedding attendees love most. Melissa Fike, wedding coordinator at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, says that personalization is key. "If a couple got engaged at a Champagne house in France, using that label of Champagne in their French 75 adds a unique touch that helps to tell their story," she says. "Infusing personality is great too—naming a signature drink after the couples' pup or alma mater or the bar where they met is not only a cute personal touch, it is also a great conversation starter."
To help get you inspired, we asked mixologist Davis Waddell, founder and CEO of Tend, to share the drinks he'd shake up at his own wedding.
For the hot-sauce loving couple…
This is a fun take on a whiskey sour cocktail. "The drink is delicious and will be impressive to any guest at the big event," he says. "It's a balanced blend of sweet and sour—just like the bride and groom."
The Forget Me Not
2oz Buffalo Trace Straight Bourbon Whiskey
1oz Lemon Juice
3/4oz maple syrup
2 Bing cherries
1 egg white (optional)
- Muddle 2 Bing cherries in shaker tin
- Add 2oz Whiskey, 1oz Lemon juice and 3/4 oz maple syrup
- Add 2 to 3 large ice cubes and shake vigorously
- If using egg white, use only 1 cube of ice and shake
- Egg white will add volume, silky smoothness and marries the ingredients wonderfully together
- Shake and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice
- Garnish with cherry or lemon wheel, or both, using cocktail pick
For the groom…
"This drink is the perfect blend of wedding pomp and circumstance and a fabulous party," he says. "Familiar like a margarita, but the Aperol gives the drink grapefruit and orange flavors that will have guests coming back for more and the Tajin rim gives it the kick all good weddings should have and will keep you on the dance floor all night."
2oz Cazadores Reposado Tequila
1oz Aperol Aperitivo
1oz Lime juice
1 dash Agave nectar syrup
- Add 2oz Tequila, 1oz Aperol, 1oz lime juice and 1 dash of agave nectar syrup into shaker tin
- Add 6 to 8 ice cubes in shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds
- Wipe lime wedge around rim off glass to moisten
- Turn glass upside down and dip in Tajin seasoning
- Strain cocktail in rocks or margarita glass over fresh ice
- Add lime wedge in glass as garnish
For the bride..
"You can keep this light floral cocktail in your hand all night and still feel your best," says Waddell. "The unique taste of citrus, pear and roses is a perfect drink for a fairytale wedding and the rose petal garnish makes the drink as beautiful as the bride on her special day."
1.5oz Barsol Pisco
3/4oz Lemon juice
1/2oz simple syrup
1/4oz pear eau de via
1/4oz yellow Chartreuse
Splash of soda water
2-3 dashes rose water
- In shaker tin add 1.5oz Pisco, 3/4oz lemon juice, 1/2oz simple syrup, 1/4oz pear eau de via, 1/4oz yellow chartreuse and 2 dashes rose water
- Add 6 to 8 ice cubes and shake for 10 seconds
- Strain into Bordeaux wine glass and add 3 to 4 fresh ice cubes
- Add splash of soda water
- Add 2 to 3 rose petals for garnish
For the father of the bride…
This is a beverage more on the intense side, not for the novice drinker, according to Waddell. "It's perfect for the father of the bride—a strong man who needs a strong drink," he says. "It's similar to a Manhattan with added heat and complexity—plus the dark color will match his black tux."
Father of the Bride
2oz Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey 100 proof
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash Angostura orange bitters
- Stir well with ice, strain into chilled martini or rocks glass
- Garnish with large orange zest twist
For cocktail hour...
This Champagne cocktail will have guests toasting to the happy couple all night. "It's simple and perfect for any wedding guest, even the older bunch," says Waddell. "The bitters and sugar add a complexity and sophistication to make this not just a simple glass of Champagne."
1 sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 glass champagne
Lemon twist, for garnish
- Place sugar cube in Champagne flute and add 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Pour Champagne over super cube