The Best Craft Cocktails to Serve at Your Wedding

February 23, 2018 / Food & Cake, Wedding Advice / By:

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you their favorite part of the reception is the bar. With craft cocktails rising in popularity, brides and grooms are taking the opportunity to make an impression on their guests and serve up some delightful concoctions that not only taste spectacular but look amazing. If you’re worried about finding the right bevvy for your signature drink, it never hurts to throw a cocktail party with all your best lads and ladies. For research purposes, of course.

Some key players in the refreshment ring are elderflower and blood orange mixed with herbaceous flavors like tarragon and thyme. We’ve found that gin tends to be the liquor of choice for fancy cocktails, as it smacks of juniper and lends itself well to other botanical tastes, and pairs nicely with softer, floral flavors such as rose. Gin is in everything (literally 80% of  our favorite cocktails require gin), so to bring in some variation, we’ve compiled a list of drinkies that run the gamut of the liquor cabinet. We’ve included the ones that didn’t make the list down at the bottom for additional options.


Plum and Thyme Prosecco Smash

Light and bubbly, the perfect mix champagne and plum– a sorely underappreciated fruit– and hinting of lemon and thyme, this dazzlingly refreshing cocktail is choice if you want ease into the evening. Did someone say “happy hour special”?– because it’s an ideal cocktail hour bridge between the ceremony and reception.

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2 Plums
6 Thyme Sprigs
Juice from one Lemon
4 Tbsp. Thyme Simple Syrup (1/2 Cup of Sugar, 1/2 Cup of Water, bring to a boil, remove from heat, add thyme sprigs, stir, and let cool.  Chill until ready to use.)

1 Bottle of Prosecco or your favorite bubbly

1. Peel and chop 2 plums.
2. Muddle the plums with the thyme simple syrup and lemon juice until all of the plum juices have been released.  (You can also muddle right in the glass if you prefer to have bits of fruit in your cocktail.)
3. Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker.
4. Pour over crushed ice evenly between two glasses.

5. Top off with prosecco and garnish with extra plum slices and thyme sprigs.
Serve immediately.


Blood Orange Elderflower Gin Cocktail

Let the gin flow with a hint of delicious St. Germain (elderflower liqueur) for subtle floral flavor, balanced with lime and ginger for a delightfully vibrant cocktail.

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1 oz gin
3/4 oz St. Germain (elderflower liqueur)
1/2 oz lime juice
2 1/2 oz ginger ale
1 oz blood orange juice

1. In a serving glass, combine gin, St. Germain, lime juice, and ginger ale.
2. Top glass with ice.
3. Slowly pour in blood orange juice.
4. Garnish with blood orange slices and fresh lemon thyme sprigs, if desired.


Pineapple Coconut Mojito

What best describes the taste of coconut and pineapple? Liquid sunshine? Happiness in a glass? The summery combo brings to mind calypso drums and sandy beaches. Combine coconut rum with club soda and muddle a little pineapple and mint and you’ve got yourself a sparkling glass of good feels.

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1/4 cup fresh pineapple chunks
10 mint leaves, plus extra for garnishing
2 oz coconut rum
oz club soda

1. In the bottom of a cocktail shaker or large glass, muddle the pineapple with the mint leaves and rum.
Add ice and stir until well chilled.
Strain into an ice-filled cocktail glass and garnish with the extra mint leaves.


Honey & Smoke Mezcal Cocktail

If you love tequila then we’re sure you’ll be dying to meet it’s cousin– say hello to mezcal. Mezcal, like tequila, is a powerhouse and in our opinion one of the tastiest options for a signature wedding cocktail. Actually,– this is a statement cocktail. A warming blend of mezcal, lime, ginger, and honey simple syrup is a legitimate fiesta in a glass.

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For the cocktail
1 part honey simple syrup

2 parts mezcal
2 parts ginger beer
Juice from 1/2 lime

For the honey simple syrup
1 part honey

1 part water

Instructions for the honey simple syrup
1. Boil water and pour over honey. Whisk to combine.

For the cocktail
1. Combine simple syrup, mezcal, and lime juice in tumbler.

2. Shake for 10 seconds.
3. Pour over ice and top off with ginger beer.
4. Garnish with lime slice.

*Optional glass garnish: Salt rim of glass with Jalapeño salt or sea salt


Rose Lemon Spritzer

Just a little sweet and oh so delicate, rose water and vodka mingle together in a concoction that’s as refreshing as it is pretty. Lemon juice and honey round out the flavor and complete this pink and gauzy treat.

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2 tablespoons rose water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2-2 ounces vodka
1-2 tablespoon honey or to taste
A few drops of blood orange or pomegranate juice for color
3/4 cup sparkling water or more to taste
Fresh roses for garnish

1. Combine all the rose water, fresh lemon juice, vodka, honey and blood orange or pomegranate juice (if using) in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.
2. Shake until combined and then strain into a glass.
3. Pour in the sparkling water.
4. Garnish with fresh roses.


The Godfather Cocktail

A bold mix of scotch whiskey and cherry tempered with amaretto, this cocktail brings it. Say hello to the mother of all cocktails– The Godfather. A gusty divergence from your run-of-the-mill cocktail menu that packs as much buzz as sipping pleasure.

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1 shot scotch whiskey (or bourbon)
1 shot amaretto
Frozen whiskey stones (optional)
Fresh cherries

1. Drop a few frozen whiskey stones into your favorite glass. Godfather cocktails are usually served in an old-fashioned glass, but use what you have.
2. Pour both the whiskey and amaretto over the stones, and give a gentle stir.
3. Add cherries if you wish for garnish.


The Gingersnap Cocktail

Weighing in with three ingredients but packed with flavor, the Gingersnap pairs splendidly with crisp autumn receptions or cold winter ceremonies. Amaretto, ginger beer, and bitters make up this sweet and spicy sipper.

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1 ounce amaretto, preferably Disaronno
2 ounces ginger beer, chilled
1/4 teaspoon Angostura bitters

1. Add the amaretto, ginger beer, and bitters to an old-fashioned glass filled with ice
2. Stir until combined


Grapefruit Salty Dog

If you’re a sassy greyhound, then the Salty Dog is your spirit animal. (See what we did there?) A traditional vodka Greyhound with a salted rim, plus a little added grapefruit for good measure. Tart and refreshing. An exceptional summertime aperitif.

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1/3 cup freshly squeezed red grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons good quality vodka
rse sea salt for rim
rapefruit slice for garnish
1 cup crushed ice

Wet the rim of your glass with water or the grapefruit slice. Dip in sea salt.
Fill glass with crushed ice.
Combine juice and vodka in shaker and shake or stir to combine.


Rose and Tarragon Gin Lemonade

Mixed to perfection and blushing just a bit, this cocktail is for the easy breezy lovers of simplicity but holds it’s own with downright elegance. An easy blend of gin, sparkling rose lemonade, and tarragon sprigs, this princess of  punch can be dressed up or down. It’s as low-maintenance as you can get without sacrificing anything in presentation. Can’t find sparkling rose lemonade? Make it with plain sparkling lemonade and rosewater– both easily obtained, and plus you get posh points for using rose water. It’s a win-win.

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3 ounces Gin
Sprigs of fresh tarragon
Sparkling Rose Lemonade, chilled
ose petals for garnishInstructions
1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add the gin and a sprig of fresh tarragon. Let sit for a few minutes and then shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.
Top off the glass with chilled sparkling rose lemonade. Garnish with a rose petal and a fresh sprig of tarragon


The Fig Thyme

A potion of Pisco (a brandy made in the Chilean and Peruvian wine country), Cointreau, and a thyme-infused simple syrup, the Fig Thyme cocktail is for the adventurous. An amalgamation warm fruit flavors with the distinguished bite of herbs gives this beverage it’s unique profile. As fragrant as it is savor-able, sipping on this gives your guests an experience for their senses.

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For the cocktail
1 1/2 oz

1/4 oz

1/2 oz
thyme simple syrup

1/2 oz
lime juice

fig (quartered)
prig of thyme and half fig (for garnish)

For the thyme simple syrup
1/2 cup

1/2 cup

sprigs of thyme


For the thyme simple syrup
Add sugar and water to a small saucepan and stir on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, add thyme and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove thyme and pour into a heat-safe glass jar.  Let cool before using in your cocktail. This can be refrigerated for up to two weeks

For the cocktail
Add the fig (quartered) and thyme simple syrup to the bottom of your mixing glass. Break up the pieces of fig by muddling lightly. If your fig is nice and ripe you probably won’t even need a muddler.
Once muddled, you’ll immediately notice the vibrant colors of the fig bleeding into your glass. Next, fill your mixing glass with ice, and add the remaining few ingredients.
Snap your shaking tin on top of your mixing glass and seal it into place with a firm whack with the palm of your hand. Give it a good shake for a full 10 seconds.
rack open your shaker and double strain through a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme and half of a fig.


Want more inspiration for wedding cocktails? Check out the recipes below!

Cognac Sparkler

Fennel, Black Pepper, & Grapefruit G&T

Blood Orange Champagne Mule

Raspberry Mojitos

The Love Potion Cocktail

Vermouth-Infused Cranberry Martini

Blueberry Gin Sour Cocktail

The Bees Knees Cocktail

Spiced Pear Gin Cocktail


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