Expert Tips for Upgrading Your Wedding Cocktails

Expert Tips for Upgrading Your Wedding Cocktails

Custom cocktail companies are popping up all across the map, promising to add the perfect personal touch to a wedding day by creating libations unique to the bride and groom.

“A signature wedding cocktail can and should reflect what the couple is all about. It should mean something,” says Herb Westphalen, mixologist/owner of Signature Cocktail Creations—a New York City-based company that creates show-stopping cocktails custom-fit for events (he also does graduations, bridal showers and children’s parties with nonalcoholic “mocktails”).

Before creating the signature drink, Westphalen meets with the couple to find out the theme of the wedding—the cuisine, setting, décor—and their flavor preferences, from syrups to spirits. The details gathered from the profile of the couple and event form the foundation of what will be the drink of the day.

Similarly, owner of Wedding Cocktail Design and Northeast-based mixologist, Jonathan Pogash, conducts an interview with the couple before delving into the recipe creation. After learning about the duo’s personalities, flavor preferences and wedding theme, he whips up a cockail concotion that can be served as a special toast or throughout the evening.

So what’s the cost for custom cocktails that promise to leave a lasting impression? On average, $300. 

“Sharing a custom cocktail is a nice way of bringing everyone at a wedding together,” says Maria C. Hunt, author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion (Random House Inc, 2009). She creates sparkling wine-based cocktails for weddings and other events, and says the price is worth it. “It gives the guests something to talk about.”

Wedded Bliss

Recipe courtesy Jonathan Pogash, Wedding Cocktail Design

1½ ounces Van Gogh Cool Peach Vodka
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon agave nectar
8–10 mint leaves
1 mint sprig, for garnish

Combine all ingredients except the garnish in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a mint sprig.




Lover’s Lane

Recipe courtesy Maria C. Hunt

1½ ounces fresh pineapple juice
1 ounce lavender syrup
¼ ounce Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey
3–4 ounces brut Champagne
3 lavender blossoms, for garnish

Combine pineapple juice, lavender syrup and whiskey in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a Champagne coupe, top with the Champagne and garnish with the lavender blossoms.


The La’Khoury Cocktail

Recipe courtesy Herb Westphalen, Signature Cocktail Creations

2 ounces Myers’s Original Dark Rum
5 ounces mango iced tea
¼ teaspoon garam masala
Edible miniature purple orchid, for garnish

Combine the rum, iced tea and garam masala in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake. Strain into a glass and garnish with the orchid.


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See our complete Wedding Wine Guide >>>

Published on February 23, 2012