What's the best part of any wedding? Well, besides love or whatever, I mean. It's the drinking, right? It's the experience of elbowing up to an open bar and drinking yourself sideways with your oldest friends in the world (even if one of those old friends is someone's weird uncle you just met five minutes ago). But couples have to be careful about letting the liquid flow too freely: instead of hemorrhaging the unborn kid's college fund by serving every liquor under the sun, it might be smarter to choose a specialty wedding cocktail with just a handful of ingredients. So we asked a few experts around town to share their ideas for creative cocktails that have wide appeal, eschew logistical nightmares, and reflect the true spirit of a wedding - a time for romance, elegance, celebration, and drinking enough to stomach your family all weekend.
The Perfect Pair1½ oz. pear vodka
1½ oz. apple juice
1½ oz. white cranberry juice
Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a thin slice of pear.
There's an obvious pun in the name, says Katelyn Hill, senior wedding coordinator for the Saphire Event Group. But there's more to the idea here. "Pears are one of the oldest known fruits, used since prehistoric times," Hill explains. They also grow year-round, unlike less-hardy fruits. "We like combining the simple connotation of ‘pear/pair' with the more symbolic notion of something that endures over time, across all seasons, and throughout any element."
Wedding Cake Martini1 egg white
1½ oz. Ketel One Citroen
1½ oz. Frangelico
¼ oz. lemon juice
¼ oz. peach liqueur
In a pint glass, shake the egg white, vodka, and Frangelico into a nice froth. Add lemon juice and peach liqueur; shake well again. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with sugar.
Riffing off the characteristics of a Birthday Cake shot, Met Back Bay bar manager Leo Neves's Wedding Cake Martini has a similarly celebratory air. "It's an adult liquid dessert," says Neves.
Orange Flower Blossom Water Champagne CocktailSugar cube
Orange flower blossom water
Drop one sugar cube into a wine flute. Add four drops of orange flower blossom water and top with sparkling wine.
"In the Middle East, orange blossoms are seen as the traditional bridal flower and therefore symbolize purity. They're white, small, and delicate," explains bar manager Eric Pierce of Kingston Station. "In Mexico, orange blossom water is used in wedding cakes and pan de muerto," the "bread of the dead" - so hey, if you're in a pinch, you can always recycle this recipe for a funeral cocktail.
Photo: JOEL VEAK
2 oz. Crop Cucumber Vodka
1 oz. St. Germain
Splash of white grapefruit juice
Splash of Champagne
Thin slice of cucumber for garnish
Combine all ingredients but Champagne and shake over ice. Strain into a flute and top with a splash of Champagne. Garnish with a thin slice of cucumber.
Aside from the elegance, the flute serves a functional purpose. (Read: it makes it harder to splash your drink on the dance floor.) And even if there is a little spillover, it won't bring out anyone's inner bridezilla, explains OM Restaurant and Lounge event coordinator Amy Melvin. "The color is an off-white, so if the bride spills, she won't have to worry about staining her dress. Let's face it: weddings are all about the bride anyway."