Think Kir Royale and trade out the champagne for Prosecco, throw in some blackberries with a splash of lime, some zest and you have a Sunday brunch cocktail re-fashioned into an any-day-of-the-week popsicle treat.
Blackberry Prosecco Popsicle
Makes 12 2.5oz popsicles
20 oz Prosecco
1/3 cup of blackberries
4 oz crème de cassis
Splash of fresh lime juice
2 pinches of lime zest
1. Place blackberries in a bowl and pour crème de cassis on top and toss to coat. Using a muddler or a rounded blunt end of a kitchen tool, crush berries into the crème de cassis. Add lime juice and zest, toss to combine.
2. Measure out approximately 1 teaspoon of berry mixture into bottom of your chosen popsicle form and pour Prosecco on top.
3. Freeze for about 2 hours or until mixture starts to solidify enough to hold a popsicle stick upright. Insert popsicle sticks and finish freezing popsicles overnight.
A few notes:
1. Do not remove from freezer until ready to serve, or plate over crushed ice as the carbonation in the Prosecco creates tiny air pockets that will make the popsicles melt faster.
2. Cordial glasses were used for the popsicles in the picture, but any form will work.
If you’re hosting a bridal shower this spring, you can impress your guests with these pretty, easy-to-make cocktails!
Happily Ever After
- 1.25 oz. Frangelico
- 1.25 oz. pomegranate liqueur
- Dash of Auchentoshen scotch
- Splash of soda water
Combine ingredients with ice and stir. Strain to a chilled martini glass that is rimmed with red sugar crystals. Garnish with an edible flower petal.
- 1 oz. Frangelico
- 1 oz. SKYY Infusions Ginger Vodka
Shake Frangelico and SKYY Infusions Ginger Vodka with ice and strain into a tall glass. Fill with ice, top with lemonade and garnish with a sugared lemon wedge.
- 1 oz. CAMUS VS or VSOP
- 2 drops (.25 of oz.) of Raspberry liquor (Chambord)
- Top with French Sparkling wine (3 oz. of Champagne or sparkling)
Add a citrus twist on top for garnish.
Mini bottles of champagne can be served on ice with a straw to add a twist on the traditional “toast”.
Your reception menu is set and the cake design is picked. It’s time to focus on drinks. Add a personal touch to your bar menu by choosing a signature cocktail. Pick a drink that stars your favorite liquor, matches your color scheme, or just sounds delicious. A bonus for the budget-conscious: You can save on the drink tab by offering wine, beer, champagne, and just the signature cocktail, rather than a full bar.
Follow your first kiss as husband and wife with a delicious Cranberry Kiss. Spiced and sweet-tart, this Captain Morgan rum and cranberry cocktail gets a lift from a dash of collins mix.
Recipe: Cranberry Kiss
Godiva Chocolate Martini
This drink is perfect for the chocolate-loving bride and groom (and guests!). Cîroc Vodka pairs with Godiva Original Liqueur to make a craveable cocktail.
Recipe: Godiva Chocolate Martini
Sangria, a punchlike concoction made with sweetened red wine and fresh fruit, is perfect for summer weddings. Have the bar prepare this celebratory variation, which includes champagne.
Recipe: Sparkling Sangria
Cuervo Especial Oasis
Are your guests fans of tequila? Then they’ll love this drink enhanced with triple sec and a blend of juices.
Recipe: Cuervo Especial Oasis
Baileys Minty Mistletoe
Planning a winter wonderland wedding? Your signature cocktail should match the season. Try this delicious mix of Baileys Irish Cream and peppermint schnapps.
Recipe:Baileys Minty Mistletoe
Limeade gets an adult twist in this sweet-tart rum cocktail. The cool lime flavor will taste delicious during a warm summer evening reception.
Smirnoff Passion Fruit Punch
With passion fruit-flavored vodka and a festive combination of fruit juices, this party punch crowd-pleaser stands out from the usual cocktail offerings.
Recipe:Smirnoff Passion Fruit Punch
Baileys Raspberry Martini
This simple drink combines Baileys Original Irish Cream with raspberry-flavored vodka. Garnish each glass with a fresh raspberry to give it a wedding-appropriate decorative finish.
Recipe: Baileys Raspberry Martini
Petite in Pink
4 oz. VOGA Sparkling Wine
2 oz. lemonade
½ oz. lemon juice
Splash of cranberry juice
Garnish: mint leaves
Combine all ingredients in cocktail glass filled with ice. Stir, and garnish with mint leaves
* Recipe & Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan.com
When planning a party or wedding, you might assume your catering company or venue will supply the bartending staff. Well don’t be surprised if they don’t. Eeek! You may need to hire your own professional bartender service.
A good bartender can make drinks and serve beverages. But an EXCELLENT one can make your guests have fun and enjoy themselves even while waiting for drinks.
What To Look For When Hiring a Bartender
You need to meet and interview your bartender face to face before the wedding.
Here are some questions to ask:
- Ask if all their bartenders are state licensed? This is very important as many venues will not allow an unlicensed bartender to serve alcohol due to insurance and liablity concerns.
- Ask how many years of experience the bartender has and of what kind. A tap person with experience in pub-style establishments may not know cocktails.
- Ask questions to test expertise, good bartenders know major mixed-drink recipes by heart.
- Ask if the bartender is willing to act as a beverage consultant before the wedding day? An experienced bartender can help you calculate how much and what alcohol you’ll need. Some professionals will even go to a liquor supplier with you to help you with purchases.
- Quiz prospective bartenders on how they set up their bars and how they cope with nonstop drink demands and empty glasses and bottles. They should be in command of their work space, trash containers, and supply of glassware and beverages.
- Ask if the bartender will make you a special signature drink tailored for your wedding? Specialty drinks are great if your on a limited budget. Rather than offer a full bar you can offer one special drink to save money.
- Ask how the staff will be dressed? Generally, a bartender will wear a white dress shirt and black slacks. If you want them in a vest and tie, or a more casual look let them know in advance how you want them dressed.
- Ask about his/her experience in dealing with guests who drink too much. Ask for examples how he has dealt with this problem in the past.
- Ask if they have enough staff for your event. You will need approximately one bartender for every 50 guests.
- Ask what happens if the bartender(s) can’t make your event. Do they have an alternative company to substitute? Ask who they are?
- Be sure to ask specifics about their policies such as deposits, cancellations, overtime fees, payment schedules etc.
Good bartenders ask about guests’ ages and tastes, and know which drinks different groups favor. They will also ask about your food menu and recommend what would be the best wines/cocktails to serve.
Be sure to know your alcohol budget before visiting your vendor and stick to it. Don’t allow the bartender to talk you into services you can’t afford. Be open and honest about how much you can spend.
Do not pay your bartender with cash; pay with a credit card. By using a credit card you can protect yourself. If something goes wrong, your credit card company can help you fight any charges.
Last but not least…before you sign any contract read it carefully and make sure every single detail is listed…all company policies and anything you were promised should be listed. Take nothing for granted…get everything in writing!
Photo Credit: The Cocktail Concierge
Savvy couples are looking for any way to cut wedding costs - and rightfully so. Shelling out nearly $30,000 to host a party in these tough economic times just feels frivolous and wasteful. But sorry brides and grooms, a cash bar is never an acceptable money-saving solution. Think about it this way: would you ever charge your friends three dollars every time they grabbed another beer at your Superbowl party? People at your wedding reception are still your guests, even if the event is not held in your house (like said Superbowl party), so they shouldn’t be asked to pay for anything while there. Also keep in mind that, unlike the Superbowl party, some guests will have likely traveled and paid for a hotel room - not to mention a wedding gift - in order to attend your wedding. While the wedding ceremony is all about you, the wedding reception is about thanking your guests for celebrating in your nuptials.
Some couples think providing non-alcoholic beverages gratis while charging guests who wish to upgrade to an alcoholic beverage is perfectly acceptable, but here’s another analogy: Imagine serving all of your wedding guests free soup for dinner at your reception. Now imagine offering optional lobster tail, but forcing those who wish to eat lobster instead of soup to shell out $30 for their meal. Surely you can see why this shouldn’t be done. You should never offer anything that you can’t afford at a party you’re hosting - and then expect your guest to purchase it.
If a four or five-hour open bar is not within your budget, there are several less-costly alternatives that won’t offend your guests:
- Offer beer, wine, and soft drinks only.
- Offer a full bar for cocktail hour, then switch to beer and wine.
- Decide on one type of drink to serve - either a specialty cocktail, champagne, or one type of beer or wine. Most venues will charge significantly less to serve only one type of alcoholic beverage.
- Choose a wedding venue that allows you to bring in your own alcohol. Believe it or not - there are plenty of venues that do not have liquor licenses and will allow couples to bring in their own. Anything unopened can be returned for a full refund after the wedding.
There’s nothing quite like welcoming guests to your wedding with a beautiful and delicious specialty drink. Here are three fun wedding cocktail recipes:
Vanilla, Pear, and Vodka Cocktail
12 oz (1.5 cups) pear juice
6 oz vodka
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
vanilla sugar, for rim
1 cup ice, plus more to serve over
Mix pear juice and vodka in a pitcher or shaker. Split open the vanilla bean, and scrape the seeds into the juice and vodka. Add 1 cup ice, then give it a good shake. Pour into cocktail glasses over more ice and serve with sugared rim. Makes 4 drinks.
Cardamom Rose Cocktail:
1.5 oz of Hendrick’s gin (this is a rose & cucumber infused gin)
.75 oz of Rose syrup (make at home with rose water and simple syrup or buy locally)
.25 oz of Fresh lemon juice
.75 oz of Fresh grapefruit juice (ruby red preferably)
2 dashes of Peychauds bitters (Peychaud is credited with first creating the cocktail)
1 Cardamom Pod
Peach Tom Collins
1/4 cup simple syrup*
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped ripe peaches, divided
1/2 cup peach-flavored vodka
1/2 cup club soda
2 peach slices
1. Mix simple syrup, lemon juice, 1/4 cup peaches, and about 1/2 cup ice in a cocktail shaker or plastic cup. Using the end of a wooden spoon, muddle mixture until peaches start to break up. Pour in vodka, cover shaker with top (or the cup with plastic wrap), and shake until blended.
2. Divide unstrained mixture between 2 tall glasses. Add half the remaining chopped peaches to each, then fill glasses with ice. Top each glass with 1/4 cup club soda and garnish with a peach slice.
*Find next to the cocktail mixes at a well-stocked beverage store.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per drink.
* Photo 1. Courtesy of www.Two-Tarts.com, Photo 2: www.spongedesign.com, Photo 3: www.cupcakesandcashmere.com
A typical 750ml bottle of champagne fills three to four glasses. For small glasses, four servings per bottle is a safe estimate. For larger glasses, estimate three servings per bottle. So, if you expect 75 guests and plan to serve each guest one glass of champagne, plan to purchase 19 to 25 bottles. Keep in mind those guests who are under the legal drinking age as that will affect the number of bottles you need.
This is based on 100 guests.
If you have the ability to purchase your own liquor for the bar…that’s great news because you can save lots of money! However, deciding what to buy and how much can be confusing. Here are some general guidelines for a suggested amount of alcohol based upon 100 guests.
Beer - Total 9 Cases
- Domestic 3 cases
- Imported 3 cases
- Lite 3 cases
Wine - Total 5-8 Cases
- Chardonnay 3-4 Cases
- White Zinfandel 1-2 Cases
- Cabernet Sauvignon 1-2 Cases
- Vodka 5 liters
- Gin 3 liters
- Rum 2 liters
- Scotch 2 liters
- Bourbon 2 liters
- Vermouth 750ml
- Kahlua 3 liters
Others to Consider: (l liter of each)
- Bailey’s Irish Cream
- Grand Marnier
If you are responsible for setting up the entire bar, be sure to include the following: