Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bottoms up!

Signature cocktails have been all the rage at weddings for awhile now, but it’s only been within the last few years that venues and caterers have been promoting them as a special addition to their reception packages. We must admit we love the idea of a special drink that reflects our couple’s personalities and tastes.

Yet… (of course, there’s always a “yet”)

Picking a signature cocktail isn’t always easy. It’s also not necessarily something that every couple wants: one of our brides chose red wine as her signature cocktail because it was her favorite drink.

When selecting a signature cocktail consider:

The composition of your guest list: have you invited lots of children and is the wedding outside? One of our brides had specially mixed “hard lemonade” at her outside wedding; it was all we could do to keep the tempting yellow liquid out of youngster’s hands. If you’ve a lot of children or guests who don’t drink alcohol, consider making your signature drink non-alcoholic. In our experience, a non-alcoholic signature drink makes non-drinking guests feel very special.

Your venues rules: if your venue doesn’t allow red wine, it’s unlikely that its management will allow you to serve a drink with red tinting. So, if you really want sangria, and only sangria, as your signature cocktail, consider your venue’s rules before selecting a package containing the option.

When and where the drink will be served: there’s no rule that your signature cocktail must be prepared and offered to guests throughout your reception. Commonly, the drink is pre-made and ready and available during cocktail hours, but it’s availability during the reception is limited to only those that ask for it. In fact, this schedule is the status-quo at many venues. During cocktail hours, specialty drinks are usually passed on a tray, while they’re created on an on-demand basis at the bar starting at dinnertime.

Any additional costs your selected specialty drink may incur: although a component or easy addition to many catering packages, some venues or caterers may have a limited definition of “specialty cocktail”. It’s common for venues and caterers to limit what you can select or put into your specialty cocktail to what is in the level of bar service you selected. Therefore, if your bar service provides non-premium liquor, you may be unable to use a premium liquor in your specialty drink. Although obtaining the specific ingredients for your specialty drink is usually easily done for a charge, we encourage you to consider whether the cost is worthwhile.