Happy Anniversary to us + Wedding Cocktails
Three years ago, on a mild winter day in Boston (really, it was 45, and the lack of snow meant for faded yellow brown grass everywhere in sight), we tied the knot. It was lovely and magical as any wedding should be, and tears of stress were only shed once on the night of the rehearsal dinner.
We loved everything about planning a wedding. In fact, if we had it our way (and a generous benefactor) we’d throw a wedding every year. We got married at the Boston Park Plaza, a historic hotel right downtown. We got an amazing room rate, so stayed in the hotel for the whole week leading up to the wedding. And after a few hiccups in check in, they bumped us up to the Presidential Suite. Seriously, that was the life.
We consider our wedding the first seedling that led to Roberts and June. We wanted to design our own signature cocktails. After a long round and round and round with our wedding coordinator and the chef over 1) could we design our drinks? (we’d tell the bartenders everything) and 2) what would it cost? we finally got the green light. We put together a fun little menu (something for everyone), sent the bartenders the recipes, ingredients and specific instructions, and told our guests ‘drink up.’ We think the signature cocktails was a great little addition, and we highly recommend it. In fact, we’ll help you design signature cocktails for your wedding; just give us a holler. However, the one little glitch was the despite our endless instructions, the bartenders were completely overwhelmed. It didn’t seem to occur to them to shake a few drinks at once to keep the lines down, nor did they plan appropriately, running out of a few key ingredients partway through the night. We have one friend who ordered the same cocktail three different times throughout the evening,and every time he said it tasted like a different drink. This was the first sign to us that event bartending was ripe for innovation.
Despite the hiccups, we were delighted by our cocktail menu. We’ve kept our blackboard menu as a memento, and designed many other specialty cocktail menus since then. It was a great start to a wonderful marriage, and a great reminder that maybe we have some talent in the direction of parties and cocktails.
What we served
- Contessa: gin, aperol, and sweet vermouth
- The Self Starter: gin, cocchi americano, and apricot brandy, absinthe wash
- Maximilian Affair: tequila, st germain, sweet vermouth, lemon juice
- The Audrey: vodka, dry vermouth, lavender simple syrup, & bitters (this is really just a lavender martini, but at the time I really wanted a name that sounded more interesting. You know, a bride can do what she wants to do)
- The Bastard: scotch, cocchi americano, & sweet vermouth
What was the most popular:
Maximilian Affair was by far the most popular. Bummer given the infamous-not-enough-tequila mishap. The Audrey was(is) my all-time favorite drink; so I loved having it magically brought to me in between rounds of Gangnam style. Brian’s favorite was the self-starter.
What should you serve at your wedding
If you’re thinking of serving signature cocktails at your wedding, here are some tips. Choose somewhere between 2-5 drinks. Two can help cut down on costs and can be a nice his/her (or his/his, or her/her you get the point). More choices allows you to be sure that there will be a drink for everyone. We went with 5 because a) we’re bad at narrowing down and b) we really wanted to have something for everything. We first thought in terms of diversity of base spirits (1 tequila, 1 vodka, 1 whiskey, and 2 gin because, well, we love gin). Then we thought in terms of flavor profiles and level of sweetness. Most of these erred on the slightly sweet side, and on the strong side. If we were to go back again, we might have thrown in one type of highball for those who want to indulge in the cocktail world but are intimidated by the strength.
And now we’ll indulge ourselves with some wedding photos. Enjoy!
And seriously, need help planning signature cocktails for your wedding? Give us a holler.