While there’s nothing wrong with a good Gin & Tonic or glass of champagne at a wedding, a signature cocktail is just so much more fun. Not only is it a way to add a personal touch to your wedding menu and share some of your favorite spirits and flavors with your guests, but it can make the whole evening feel more like an “event” versus a regular party.
If you need a little inspiration for your signature cocktail, we asked Vincent Shakir and Shawn Shepherd from Palihouse in West Hollywood for help.
“If you think about the crowd at most weddings, you’ve got people who just want something tasty, others who aren’t really drinkers but will indulge at a special event, and others who are the life of the party,” Shakir said.
“With that variety of guests in mind, we created these drinks to be approachable and to appeal to just about anybody,” Shepherd said.
Read on for three stellar recipes and advice from Shakir and Shepherd.
First, consider the season:
“If your wedding is in the spring or summer, lean toward a white spirit with a floral, fruity character that will refresh your guests,” Shephed said. “NOLET’S Silver checks all the boxes. The flavor profile includes soft notes of Turkish rose and sweet, juicy peach balanced by lightly tart raspberry.”
The Blushing Bride Cocktail
- 1 oz NOLET’S Silver Gin
- .5 oz Domaine Canton Ginger Liqueur
- .25 oz Cranberry Juice
- .25 oz fresh Lemon juice
- Top with Sparkling Rosé
Combine all ingredients except Rosé in cocktail shaker with ice, shake hard, strain into cocktail coupe and top with Sparkling Rosé. Garnish with Rose petal or Lemon twist
Second, keep it local.
Not only does this provide conversation fodder for your guests, but it’s a nice way to showcase your wedding destination.
“In California, we’re lucky to have a thriving collection of local distilleries and it makes for a great story to source your booze locally,” Shakir said. “For example, Corbin Vodka, from Sweet Potato Spirits in the San Joaquin Valley, is distilled from California sweet potatoes. It’s viscous enough to hold up to rich food and has a silky, buttery finish and zero alcohol sting. Bonus: Vodka is making a big comeback among ‘crafty’ bartenders. Other California options include Crusoe Organic Rum, from LA’s Greenbar Spirits, and Ventura Limoncello Company, which produces a beautiful interpretation of the classic Italian lemon liqueur.”
Flowers of May
- 1.5 oz Corbin Vodka
- .5 oz Carpano Bianco or Dry Vermouth
- .25 oz Creme de Violette
- .25 oz Simple Syrup
- Top with Brut Champagne
Combine all ingredients except Brut in cocktail shaker with ice, shake hard, strain into cocktail coupe and top with Brut. Garnish with Edible Micro Flowers or colorful Flower petal or Orange twist.
Third, prep in bulk — carefully.
“It’s tempting to go cheap when batching cocktails or building punches for large weddings,” Shepherd said. “Don’t do it. You can only mask bad flavor so much. I like the Corbin Vodka in this situation as well. There are more expensive vodkas and less expensive vodkas, but few offer the unique flavor of Corbin at around $30 for a standard 750 milliliter bottle.”
Flowers of May (Batched)
3 parts Corbin Vodka to 1 part Marie Brizard Parfait Amour liqueur
- Pour vodka and liqueur together in a punch bowl over ice
- Pour mixture into individual glasses
- Float each cocktail w/ brut awesome