It seems like only a few years ago that every bar in Rochester was simply a dispensing mechanism for gallon after gallon of Labatt’s Blue Light. Not just here, but in a lot of places across the country refreshments became a lot more interesting with the resurgence of cocktail culture.
Maybe it’s the effect of the Mad Men series on AMC or good PR folks at the liquor companies, but either way mixed drinks are a lot more popular and our friends in the bartending trade kept up with all manner of, “craft cocktails” made with exotic ingredients and things you’ve never heard of.
At wedding receptions all around Rochester, many couples have chosen to create a signature cocktail that aligns with their likes and personality. You can work with your venue or caterer to develop something unique that works for you. Here are a few ideas to keep you thinking.
What do you like? Have you resolved never to drink tequila again after that spring break trip in college? Most of us have drinks or liquor that we don’t care for that much so it stands to reason that you don’t want to build a signature cocktail around something you have to hold your nose to drink.
What are your Wedding Colors? If you have deep aubergine purple bridesmaid dresses, perhaps something with a dash of pomegranate juice or cranberry will coordinate well. If you choose an interesting garnish that coordinates with your colors you can make even a simple drink look elegant.
What’s the Location or Theme of Your Wedding? Having an elegant reception at Belhurst Castle in Geneva? How about a casual clam bake at Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte? Each one might call for a different style signature cocktail.
Season? A hot liquor drink that warms you down to your toes is great during the winter months. In July it may make your guests spontaneously burst into flame. Something more refreshing may be the order of the day at a summer or early fall wedding.
Ease of Making It – When you’re serving 175 people, choosing a cocktail that doesn’t require five minutes of prep per drink is probably a good idea. Pre-mixed batches are even better. We were at a summer wedding last year and the wait staff had pre-mixed glasses that they were distributing at the beginning of the reception. The unexpected bonus? No lines at the bar right off the bat.
Cost Control – unless you have an unlimited liquor budget, some cost control ideas include adjusting the quality of the liquor. No, you don’t need to use that stuff that comes in the plastic gallon jug but you also don’t need to use the Johnnie Walker Gold Label at $75 a bottle either. Limiting the signature cocktail to one pour and then cash after that is another option
Resources – Absolut offers a great app for phones called Drinkspiration and also has a website with a drink builder. You just click what base liquor you want and the type of drink such as sweet, fruity, spicy, etc. and it will give you some assorted options. This is a good place to start to build your signature cocktail.
For those playing at home, the drink in the picture is a Cuba Libre. There are a few ways to make it, but it’s basically a Rum and Coke with lime juice to lighten it up. Whatever you decide, have a great time and make sure that anyone enjoying too many of your signature cocktails has a safe way to get back home or to their hotel.