The dress. The caterer. The invites. The seating. As any bride-to-be can tell you, a successful wedding is all in the details, organized to death, so that every moment of the wedding day goes off without a hitch. As a 30-year old bachelor with one younger sister who has yet to have her own bridezilla moment, I can only speak from the perspective of a wedding guest when I say one thing wedding planners don't put enough emphasis on is the bar.
If you're the average American couple who met at a bar, you'll wistfully remember the watering hole as a big part of your single life. So, like a cozy old cashmere sweater, don't forget about the bar just because you're walking down the aisle!
My brother Courtney (also a bachelor, go figure) and I own a liquor brand: VeeV Açaí Spirit. Because of our large family and social network, we are often asked to donate booze for events, and sometimes even for bachelor/bachelorette parties and weddings. Although the majority of the events we donate to don't fall in the nuptial realm, when we do sponsor weddings we like to own the bar with VeeV specialty cocktails that spark conversation and make guests want to laugh and celebrate. There are also some key rules we always recommend couples follow when it comes to libations on their special day.
First rule of thumb: A full bar doesn't mean an exciting bar. It just means too many bottles and not enough strategy on how the bar and specialty cocktails can complement all the wedding details -- and the guests' overall experience.
My advice: iconic cocktails that touch upon the happiness, humor and stereotypes of the typical wedding. Cocktails that serve as conversation starters. Cocktails that take into account the duration of a wedding and how dignified (or not) you wish to remain during the big event. As a culture, we love to stereotype. Why appreciate human depth and complexity when you can put it in a box? Or in this case, a glass.
Also important is keeping the cocktail options simple as, let's be honest, regardless of how hard any couple tries to avoid it, weddings remain decidedly complicated affairs. Any chance at simplification is welcome.
So although I may not have any martial advice to offer (at least not at this point in my life), I do know a thing or two about great-tasting simple cocktails with a humorous twist that will have your wedding party toasting to the bride and groom all evening long;
This refreshing cocktail goes down easily, is light on calories and even after a few, won't make the bridesmaid feel too heavy-headed so she can still focus on her responsibility to the bride and not the single groomsmen (although it never seems to work out that way). 1.25 ounces VeeV Açaí spirit Fill with pink lemonade Splash of cranberry juice Squeeze of fresh lemon Lemon wheel, for garnish *Build in an ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with a lemon wheel.
VeeV mixes beautifully with rum and this cocktail is festive yet decidedly masculine; perfect for the manly-men without letting them get to the stage where shirts come up and ties go around their heads. 1 ½ ounces VeeV Açaí Spirit ¾ ounce dark rum ½ ounce simple syrup 1 ounce unsweetened coconut milk Grated nutmeg, for garnish Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the grated nutmeg.
This crisp, herbal cocktail will help dad keep a clear head so he doesn't end up having to apologize for something he did at the brunch the next day. 2 ounces VeeV Açaí Spirit 1 ounce fresh lime juice 1 ounce simple syrup 5 sage leaves Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with floating sage leaf.
Moms are so emotional at weddings. You need something with a little sugar, citrus and spice for energy so she can dance like its 1999 all night. 1 ounce VeeV Açaí Spirit 1 ounce blanco tequila 1 ounce fresh lime juice 1 ounce simple syrup or agave nectar ½ ounce POM juice (optional) Chili powder and lime wheel, for garnish Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Rim the glass with chili powder and garnish with the lime wheel.
This is the ideal cocktail for a guest who knows how to pace themselves throughout the night, without drinking too much or feeling lethargic (all that food and cake!) when the evening draws to an end...don't worry they'll still make some good wedding memories. 2 ounces VeeV Açaí Spirit 1-2 sprigs of mint 6 cucumber slices (thin) 1 ounce fresh lime juice ¾ ounce simple syrup Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice and sprig of mint. (Can also be served double strained in a chilled cocktail glass)