Saturday, July 30, 2011
Step 93 - Determine What Alcoholic Drinks to Serve for your Wedding
If you want your wedding to be special, tradition states you should serve alcohol at your wedding. It's a grand occasion and serving alcohol has become part of the American tradition, and to celebrate the big occasion many wedding guests look forward to seeing the beautiful bride, a beautiful wedding cake and they look forward to top off the big occasion with a very special drink. If it's at all possible, you should try your best to accommodate your wedding guests and serve alcohol at your wedding.
If the budget is no object for your wedding, you should consider an open bar. No guest is suppose to pay for anything at the wedding they were invited to the event after all, but with an open bar this tends to get mighty expensive for the wedding couple. Guests can order any drink on the planet and the tab will be hearty once the party is over, because there is no limit, some guests will take full advantage. Just be sure if you know of anyone who has a reputation on imbibing too much, put an APB to your bartender to be on the lookout on any individuals that aren't good with their liquor intake?
Some couple's decide to have a cash bar for their wedding. A cash bar in the world of weddings is an absolute positive no-no. To have one will ruin the wedding, it's not considered a good cost cutting solution and besides is considered very offensive to many of your wedding guests.
Some wedding couples don't drink at all and would rather have a dry house. They instead might opt for something like an Italian soda bar, or serve non-alcoholic mixers with juice called mocktails, or serve flavored mineral water, or serve sparkling water or cider, or serve flavored Gatorade, Powerade and Energy Drinks. They may even create a wedding punch that has no or very little alcohol. Just be aware, if there is no alcohol served at the wedding, some of your guests may become very disappointed and choose to leave early and hunt down a local pub, hotel, or restaurant to satisfy their wedding drink craving.
If you are a savvy wedding couple and have a limited budget you may opt for a limited bar. Instead you offer a selection of drinks, maybe beer, wine, champagne, and a couple of signature drinks. You determine the signature drinks by first figuring out your top drinker's alcohol of choice and next apply your color scheme to their drink and see if you can come up with a few different liquored drinks, maybe one drink with vodka, one with scotch, and one with rum. Try to find and create signature drinks to your color scheme. If the color is red one might be a bloody Mary, another strawberry daiquiri, and another cosmopolitan.
The modern definition of a cocktail is a drink composed of at least two ingredients which have been shaken together or stirred together, and served as a tall or short drink. Cocktails are American as apple pie and became popular in the 1920's when many of today's popular cocktails were invented. The experts recommend your basic bar for a wedding begins with these choices; red wine, white wine, champagne, beer, vodka, gin, rum, bourbon, and scotch. Your average wedding guest will average drinking about one drink per hour. Most wedding receptions tend to last about 4 and a half hours meaning to expect to serve each guest from 4 to 5 drinks for the wedding reception.
For a larger wedding the experts recommend adding additional amounts of bottled stock. You might include additional choices of red and white wine, cherry brandy, Cognac, Cointreau, creme de cassis, creme de menthe, Curacao, Galliano, gin, Grenadine, Kahlua, Malibu, melon liquor, light and dark rum, tequila, dry and sweet vermouth, and a couple of types of scotch and whiskey. You might call a few of your drinkers or consult with your bartender on any additional liquor and liqueurs to include.
Also keep a range of mixers and seasonings on hand in order to make a variety of drinks. Mixers for tall drinks should be chilled in the refrigerator. The following drinks are considered basic to have at bars, apple juice, coconut creme, grape juice, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, lemonade, lime juice, milk, orange juice, pineapple juice, tomato juice, tropical fruit juices, mineral water, soda, and tonic water.
A good bar also keeps a selection of ingredients for garnishing or flavoring of drinks. Include garnishments such as olives, cherries, canned consomme, salt, celery salt, grated nutmeg, ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, oranges, lemons, limes, cucumber, mint, Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce. There are thousands of drinks you can find in bartender's guides, there are specific guidelines for making specific drinks.
The equipment used to make each drink is as import as the ingredients required, the basic bar should have at least the following equipment. Cocktail shaker, strainer, mixing glass or pitcher, blender, long handed mixing spoon, teaspoon, tablespoon, jigger, ice bucket and tongs, corkscrew, bottle opener, chopping board, paring knife, lemon squeezer, cloth, cocktail picks, straws, stirrers, ice crusher such as a wooden mallet or rolling pin, and a vegetable knife or canelle knife is useful for preparing decorated fruit and vegetable garnishes.
There are also many different types of glasses that are recommended for many types of drinks. Certain glasses are expected to be used depending on the cocktail. Some glasses you should have at the bar are Cocktail or Martini glasses, Brandy snifter, red wine glass, white wine glass, Champagne glass, Liqueur glass, Highball or Tall glass, Large goblet, and Old fashioned or whiskey tumbler and Tulip glass. You might include a special type of glass for Tropical drinks such as a carved coconut or a designer free form large glass.
Classic Cocktail Drinks
Amaretto Sour, Americano, Apple Martini, B-52, Bacardi Cocktail, Bahama Mama, Banana Daiquiri, Bellini, Black Russian, Bloody Mary, Brandy Alexander, Brandy Eggnog, Bronx, Buck's Fizz, Bull Shot, Caipirinha, Champagne Cocktail, Cosmopolitan, Cranberry Vodka, Creamsickle, Cuba Libre, Daiquiri, Dry Martini, French Connection, Frozen Daiquiri, Gibson, Gin Fizz, Godfather, Godmother, Golden Cadillac, Golden Dream, Grasshopper, Harvey Wallbanger, Horse's Neck, Hurricane, Irish Coffee, Jack Rose, Japanese Slipper, Kamikaze, Kir, Kir Royale, Lemon Drop, Long Island Iced tea, Mai Tai, Manhatten, Manhatten Medium, Margarita, Martini, Martini Dry 5-to-1, Martini Sweet, Mimosa, Mojito, Mudslide, Negroni, Old Fashioned, Orgasm, Paradise, Pina Colada, Planter's Punch, Porto Flip, Rob Roy, Rose Cocktail English, Rum and Coke, Rusty Nail, Salty Dog, Scotch on the Rocks, Screwdriver, Sea Breeze, Seven and Seven, Sex on the Beach, Singapore Sling, Sloe Gin Fizz, Smirnoff Island Punch, Tequila Sunrise, Three Wisemen, Tom Collins, Vodka Martini, Whiskey Sour, and White Russian.
To set up your wedding bar, either talk to your bartender or some wedding guides suggest to set up your wedding bar as follows. Include a few extra wine bottles if you have 50 wedding guests.
For every 50 wedding guests include:
Red Wine 5 Bottles
White Wine 5 Bottles
Champagne 10 Bottles
Beer 60 Bottles
Vodka 2 Bottles
Gin 1 Bottle
Rum 1 Bottle
Bourbon 1 Bottle
Scotch 1 Bottle
Liqueur 1 Bottle (different type for every 50)
For a simple bar include some soda's, mineral water, Gatorade, Powerade, energy drinks, or some type of coffee for your non-alcoholic drinkers. Keep a few juices on hand such as orange juice and lemonade. Some guests these days like flavored teas such as blueberry or peach. Include milk and tonic water at your bar and you might include Bailey's Irish Cream and Kahlua.
Like an artist using his pallet and brush, the savvy wedding couple can create exotic wedding cocktail recipes that are a popular hit with wedding guests and at the same time reduce their bar tab at the wedding. Start with the couple's color scheme and come up with a few drink's the wedding guests will enjoy, use some crazy naming conventions and your wedding guests may never realize they are at a wedding with a limited bar. Some idea's of drinks that are color schemed are listed below. You can serve the amount of signature drinks that you are comfortable with that fits your budget. If your budget is extremely tight you could go with one signature drink with beer and wine. But to satisfy your wedding guest's varied tastes your are best to go with at least three signature drinks each with a different liquor base.
Some ideas for offering signature wedding drinks with a color scheme are listed below. If you create color schemed drinks have fun with it, create fun names that have wedding connotations or names associated with the wedding couple. A Bloody Mary could be called "Mary's Lost Virginity", Strawberry Daiquiri could be called "Charlie's Orgasm", etc. Create names that will get your drinks to become a topic of conversation for your wedding guests. If you have many conservative wedding guests, keep the names conservative.
Colored Alcoholic Drink Ideas
Black Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Amaretto and Coke
Dark Ale Beer
Root Beer Scnapps
Rum and Coke
Blue Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Absolut Blue Souvenir
Alaska Iced Tea
Brown Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Italian Wedding Cake Martini
Long Island Iced Tea
Green Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Absolut Green Wedding
Green Apple Martini
Orange Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Grand Marnier Orange
Rosy Bikini Martini
Pink Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Good Morning Monaco
Pink Lemonade and Vodka
Purple Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Purple Glaze Martini
Red Colored Alcoholic Drinks
White Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Yellow Colored Alcoholic Drinks
Frozen Mango Daiquiri
There are thousands of alcoholic drinks to choose from, there are many other drinks that can comprise your signature drink list. There are some cocktail websites you can help you find drinks just right for your wedding. You can use "Youtube" and put in your drink's keyword to show just how exactly you can make many of the drinks or use a bartender's guide.
Cocktail Related Websites
The key to having a limited bar, is first to find what your heavy alcohol drinkers drink and build your signature drinks around what they like. Another point about purchasing alcohol for your wedding, if you are able, buy the liquor yourself from a local liquor store, brewery, or winery, work with your bartender on what drinks to get.
Last point, in the world of bartending, the best bartenders tend to be experienced bartenders. Experienced bartenders know how to set up a busy bar and they know the drinks in their head, they know, they don't have to think. If you are having a larger wedding, you are much better off having an experienced bartender, they make drinks to perfection, tend to have the bar set up more efficiently, and you tend to have less liquor waste.
When you order liquor for the wedding, see if you can return unopened bottles for a refund or if you have no interest in keeping specific liquor, give them as wedding favors to guests that like specific drinks. Just be sure you make no promises until after the wedding reception is over.
So if you set up your liquor bar the right way, you've increased the likelihood the wedding will be a huge success. When wedding guests have a good drink, they tend to have a good time!
See you on the other side!