You’ve tied the knot, now it’s time to tie one on. Give your guests plenty of reasons to clink glasses by setting the stage with creative cocktails spaced throughout the festivities. Here, a few on-trend tips that will have partygoers toasting from “kiss the bride” to “last dance.”
Welcome Cocktail Wall
For visual impact, a wine or champagne wall is a way to capture guests’ interest and stoke immediate excitement. Quinn Richard, owner of Cocktail+Creative, suggests taking that concept and giving it a festive twist. “Wine walls are really pretty, but why not have something bright and inviting with a color that pops to get the party going,” said Richard. He recommends a refreshing hibiscus tea vodka punch for the flutes. “The bright red makes a great contrast on the box hedges,” said Richard. “It also helps avoid a mad rush to the bar and makes a smooth progression into the party.”
Cue The Cellos
Another way to create a memorable moment is to surprise your crowd with unexpected and new sip ideas. Richard suggests a play on a classic limoncello. “As a wedding cocktail, I think cellos are a great way to go,” said Richard. “They are so flavorful and make such great spritzers. You can add spices and nuances like thyme, tarragon or rosemary into a cello to make them bright and fresh and give them late season appeal.”
Diamonds Are A Drink’s Best Friend
Getting creative with the ice used in celebratory libations is one way that Matt Ray, the beverage director at Ace Hotel New Orleans, likes to wow guests. “Ice is a really attractive and inexpensive way to impress people,” said Ray, who has even seen punch bowls made entirely of ice. His most notorious foray into creative cubes came from a fun collaborative request from a couple who asked that the ice ‘looks pretty like a jewel.’ Said Ray, “I ended up making a very simple Old Fashioned-style cocktail, but I hand carved dozens and dozens of these ice-diamonds to put in the drinks. It looked beautiful, and honestly I don’t think they even cared what was in the drink. It looked impressive and that counted for a lot!”
An eye-catching mobile bar service makes a charming addition to your wedding cocktail service. Lenaye Doussan, operator of Tap Truck NOLA — a refurbished 1951 Chevy panel truck owned by Central City BBQ — speaks to the seamlessness and speed with which her concept-on-wheels offers. “For me, at a wedding, the last thing I want to do is wait for a drink,” said Doussan, who works the truck alongside her wife, Elizabeth. “I can pull a cocktail in five seconds.” The truck, named Sandy, not only offers eco-friendly benefits by way of environmentally-conscious service, but is an Instagram-friendly way to serve up craft cocktails on the quick. “We can batch fresh local juice cocktails by the gallon for the taps,” says Doussan, who has batched everything from Hurricanes to Russian Mules. “This way you’re guaranteeing the taste of the cocktail is the same from the first drink to the 125th.
This article was original published in the Summer 2019 issue of New Orleans Bride Magazine.