Alcohol is one of the biggest expenses at any wedding. Since most reception sites will charge a fee for every opened bottle, cut costs by having a limited bar and serving one or two classic, signature drinks to guests. Check out five of our favorite signature wedding cocktails below (and yes, they also make splendid options for other types of celebrations)!
Raspberry Champagne Cocktail
- 1/2 ounce raspberry (or regular) vodka
- 3 ounces Champagne (chilled Brut)
- 3 fresh raspberries (rinsed)
Step 1: Pour ingredients into Champagne glass and stir.
Step 2: Add raspberries to glass to garnish.
No-Mixer Margarita on the Rocks
- 3/4 cup tequila reposado
- 1/4 cup triple sec
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- Coarse margarita salt
- 2 limes, thinly sliced
Step 1: Margaritas can be made ahead and be ready to be shaken to order as soon as your guests arrive.
Step 2: In a large pitcher, combine the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and agave. Stir to combine, then chill under ready to serve.
Step 3: Place margarita salt on a flat dish and use a lime slice to moisten the rim of a glass. Dip the rim into the margarita salt. Fill a shaker 3/4 of the way with ice, then top off with margarita mix. Shake well and pour into salt-rimmed glass. Garnish glass with slice of fresh lime.
Alternative: Cadillac Margaritas: Finish each poured margarita glass with a shot of Grand Marnier.
Red Wine Sangria
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 bottle (750 mL) of inexpensive dry red wine (such as burgundy or rioja)
- 1 orange, cut into thin rounds
- 1 lemon, cut into thin rounds
- 1 cup seedless red, purple or black grapes (optional)
Step 1: Mix together juice and sugar in a standard 60-ounce pitcher until sugar dissolves.
Step 2: Stir in remaining ingredients and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24 hours in advance.
Step 3: Serve over ice.
Tip: Freeze the grapes at least an hour in advance of serving, then use them in lieu of ice cubes.
- 2 ounces raspberry-flavored vodka
- 2/3 ounce triple sec
- 1 ounce cranberry juice
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 1 cup of ice
Step 1: Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake well.
Step 2: Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass and serve.
Lemon-Drop Basil Martini
- 2 cups cold, lemon-flavored vodka
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (preferably Meyer lemons)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 18 basil leaves
Step 1: Martinis can be made ahead and be ready to be shaken to order as soon as your guests arrive.
Step 2: In a small sauce pot, warm the lemon juice and 6 basil leaves over low heat. Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Chill completely.
Step 3: Remove the basil leaves and, in a large pitcher, combine the vodka and lemon-juice-sugar mixture. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Step 4: Fill your cocktails shaker 3/4 of the way with ice, add 2 basil leaves, and pour in lemon-drop martini. Shake. Serve in a martini glass with 1 fresh basil leaf for garnish.
Alternative: Lemon Ginger Martini: Exchange the basil for 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped ginger. Before adding the lemon-sugar mixture to the pitcher, strain out the ginger with a fine mesh strainer.