Local Experts Share Cocktail Essentials For Your Wedding

As the buzz of your wedding builds, you’ve been going to bed with visions of cocktails dancing in your head. In a city where the cocktail culture offers seemingly endless pours, you want the sip service at your reception to be a step above the rest. Wondering how to achieve the kind of libation elation that will have your guests smiling from the first cork to the final coupe? Present your partygoers with bespoke sips and whimsical twists. 

Guests will spend more time with a cocktail in their hand than a fork, so you have to elevate that experience to at least the level of what’s being served food-wise,” said Josh Rosenthal, an owner of The Grand Bevy Corporation, who once built a 15-foot champagne tower. “Amazing conversations and touching points happen around a cocktail and you want to add to that experience with something truly unique.”

To help encourage those meaningful moments, The Grand Bevy Corporation has created a cutting-edge concept called SIPMI Live that is sure to have people in TikTok upload mode. In their most popular interactive experience, guests enter into a photo booth or a step-and-repeat backdrop and then, from behind the scenes, a sippable, edible hi-res image will be transposed atop their beverage. 

“Anyone can make a cocktail,” said Rosenthal, whose client roster ranges from the Kardashians to the New Orleans Saints. “This experience gives people that wow factor and adds to the moment in the moment.”

To further engage guests, Emmeline Johnston, concept director for Bonfire Events + Catering, suggests embracing a seasonal aspect of the festivities through a customized or signature drink. 

“Unexpected garnishes add an element of surprise and whimsy to a cocktail,” said Johnston who will often add a sprig of mint to a summer spritz or a torched garnish to an autumnal libation. “The smell of a charred cinnamon stick or rosemary sprig instantly transports the senses and creates visual interest.”

In addition to fragrant herbs, Quinn Richard, owner of Cocktail + Creative, finds that weaving in florals can uplevel a cocktail and provide beautiful texture and color. “Whether they are frozen in ice cubes or placed near the rim, flowers are a simple yet sophisticated add on that make a world of difference visually,” said Richard, who suggests ideas like edible roses and marigolds, or a strawberry and hibiscus spritzer topped with an orchid. “Little thoughtful nuances are the best showstoppers.” 

He also recommends a curated bar station showcasing a big block of ice that a bartender can handchip with a petite ice pick in front of the guests. 

“It’s a very chic, photogenic moment,” said Richard, who notes that this particular scenario can be showcased for just one cocktail station to prioritize budget and promote smooth flow at the bar. “A designated, set apart spot for this can make a big impression. It’s these cool, surprising moments that make the hashtags happen at your wedding.”

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