I have a great idea for these summer weekends, invent a cocktail for your reception!
Serving a signature drink during cocktail hour at your wedding reception can save you money on your bar bill while adding a unique and personal touch to your day.
Here's my must-do list for creative cocktail invention.
Think of your colour palette and let that help you drive the flavour. Are your bridesmaid's dresses coral? Think tangerine, mango, grapefruit... Dusty blues? How about blue raspberry or a contrasting lemony yellow flavour? You can't go wrong with a fruit or blend of fruit flavours, and you then you can just omit the alcohol portion for the non-drinkers on the guest list.
Make sure it's tasty - go for a leisurely stroll through your local liquor store, being sure to slow down at the vodka section. Vodka is a clear and virtually tasteless alcohol and so is an easy crowd-pleasing choice. Vodka also comes in about a million flavours so choose a couple that might pair nicely with your perfect coloured juice.
Choose a couple of mixing options. Together with the vodka (flavoured or not), and a taste base (the combination of fruit flavours) you will need a mix to make it thirst-quenching on a hot summer day. Here is where your soda water, ginger ale, lemonade or other inexpensive water-based mix comes in.
Add loads of ice. Adding ice to your signature cocktail glasses will keep the drink nice and cold (duh!), will help fill the glass, and will also extend the length of the drink, diluting it as the ice melts. These are all good things for helping to keep your guests standing by dinner time and getting the biggest bang for your buck at the cocktail bar.
Then get creating! Experiment with flavours and colours and ratios until you get something that isn't too sweet, isn't too weird, is a great colour and that tastes great to you. Be sure to document how much of what you are adding to your concoction so that when you hit the winner you can recreate it.
Next comes the reality check... make your drink the next day... when you haven't been 'testing' drinks for hours - create the non-alcoholic version - still yummy? Great! Try it out on a couple of friends and a parent or two... still great? Bingo!
Now onto the final step.. presentation! Find the perfect garnish - and I am pretty sure we can all do better than a lemon wedge - unless, of course, it's perfect for your flavours and colour scheme! Think edible flowers (be sure they have been grown for consumption and haven't been sprayed with pesticides), an herb sprig, or a pretty section of your key fruit? and then....
Name it! Brainstorm a bunch of names that describe you, the drink, your vibe, a private joke, your cat's name... the options are endless!
If you get stuck in the experimentation part - choose a favourite easy-sipping summertime cocktail and switch out some ingredients... keep it simple.... lemonade... with strawberry flavoured vodka and soda water or with a bit of tangerine flavoured vodka, prosecco and soda for fizz.
Can't wait to hear what you come up with,