Belly Up

You’ve got your somethings old, borrowed and blue. Serve up the “new” at the bar at your reception and impress your libation-loving guests with a few unexpected twists on celebratory sips.
Getting creative with the ice cubes is a trend that can excite your on-the-rocks guests. Laura Bellucci, lead bartender at SoBou, suggests freezing garnishes within. “Big, hibiscus tea infused ice cubes are my go-to when I’m trying to make a big impression — they slowly melt to create a color changing punch,” says Bellucci. She also suggests that flower petals and or candy can make a fun visual when suspended in ice. “I think a surprising, personal detail always delights guests. During Mardi Gras, we freeze a King Cake baby in each large cube,” she says. “This would be delightful in a wedding — blue Swedish Fish in the ice for an ocean themed wedding or plastic army men for a military family.”

Potent Punches
A fun choice for a budget-conscious couple is to create a pre-mixed punch. Not only can you incorporate individuality into the serving container choices like large glass canisters or labeled jars, the larger batch can be served easily and can stir the bartender’s creative juices. Abigail Gullo, the head of the bar program at Compère Lapin, is a big fan of this concoction option. “Punches are still classic and easy to serve,” says Gullo who has noticed a trend towards refreshing fruit-forward punches. “Make sure your cocktail is simple and easily batched out for your guests.” Bellucci finds the same to be said of the punch trend at SoBou, which harkens back to the 1600s tradition of the American drinking culture gathering around a punch bowl. “Any budget alcohol can be infused with herbs or fruits or both, and then turned into a very elegant punch for very little money,” she says. “My go-tos for infusions are lavender, mangos, green tea, bergamot, cardamom and hibiscus.”

His and Her Cocktails
Creating a signature cocktail to represent the couple is a common trend, but there is a growing interest in selecting individual choices for the bride and groom. Jason Coleman, Brand Ambassador for Sazerac Company, has noticed a trend towards his and her drinks. “I have seen his and her options in more and more weddings,” said Coleman. “I recently got married and had a classic Sazerac cocktail as ‘my’ drink and my wife chose a Sazerac Royale (a Sazerac topped with champagne) as ‘her drink’”.
There is no better addition to your Uber ride home than a little nip for the road. The newly wedded Coleman did just that for his guests, incorporating not only a booze choice that he and his wife agreed upon — bitters — but also adding a customized logo label that they had created for their Save the Dates. “I love the idea of bitters bottles or small 2-ounce glass bottles for a shot or sip of a cocktail,” he says. “Small glass bottles are quite affordable, and while they take some time to label and fill, they are always well received.”



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