Saturday, August 16, 2008

Signature Drinks..

So I decided that a great topic for this post would be Signature Drinks. I think they are a wonderful way to cut down on bar costs yet add a touch of personalization to your event. You can choose your drinks by color, by taste, by liquor, whatever you desire. There are a zillion drinks out there and a great website to narrow them down as well called Cocktail Times.

Below are some tips taken from The Cocktail Guru's Blog to give you some ideas on how to choose and why!

1. The theme of your day – Whether it’s ‘Hamptons beach party’ or ‘70’s retro-disco’, align your specialty libation with what your day will hold forth.

2. Color – If this is a large part of your theme, consider it for your cocktails: Purple, pink, yellow, green, silver – all colors can be recreated in the liquid form.

3. What liquor do I use? – Ask yourselves what your favorite spirits are, and decide from there. The possibilities are endless. A trend nowadays is back towards classic cocktails, so if you’re lovers of Gin, Rum, and Rye or Bourbon, think about using those as your base spirits.
Garnish – Maybe it’s your favorite fruit or flower (make sure it’s edible!), or just simply maraschino cherries (because on your first date you impressed your partner by tying a knot with the stem using only your tongue), make it meaningful and always keep in mind what flavor your garnish will add to your cocktail. A garnish serves dual purposes – to look pretty and to add flavor to a drink. Remember – we taste with our eyes first.

4. Save $$$ - By offering one or two specialty cocktails, you can limit your guests’ drinking habits. Even better, offer only your specialty cocktails during cocktail hour, and beer and wine during dinner.

5. Ease of preparation – If you’re fortunate enough to have caterers who are experienced in fine dining, you may not have an issue with this. But for the most part, catering bartenders don’t have much experience with specialty cocktails, let alone custom-made specialty cocktails. Think about using simple, ready-made and easily accessible ingredients. Even submitting a recipe for a batched or pitcher version of your drink would ease the bartender’s nerves, and ensure a perfect, consistent cocktail every time.

6. What about Uncle Frank who doesn’t drink, or Cousin Susie who just graduated 5th grade? – Always have non-alcoholic versions of your alcoholic cocktails readily available for your guests. It usually just entails eliminating the alcoholic portion of the drink, and adding in a bit more of the mixers.

If you’re too stressed and can’t even think about adding this to your long list of to-do’s - Hire a professional! Nowadays, specialty wedding cocktails are almost the norm, and there is a slew of catering companies that offer this service. Independent and special event ‘mixologists’ are also another good option (yours truly, wink, wink). The service is personal and special, and you can be assured that nobody else in the world will have the same cocktail that’s being served at your wedding (unless, of course, you choose to serve a classic).

The Fiance Cocktail
2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
1/2 oz. Elderflower Syrup
Splash of Moet et Chandon Champagne
Directions: Stir the above ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled champagne flute.
Garnish: rose petal

Blushing Bride
1 oz. 10 Cane Rum
1 oz. Pama Pomegranate Liqueur
1/2 oz. Fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. Mint-infused simple syrup
Directions: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish: mint sprig and lemon twist

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