Your wedding may be the most significant day of your life, but to everyone else, grandma included, it's just a big ol' party with free booze. While you're saying "I do" and exchanging lifelong vows, guests are wondering when it will be their turn to say yes to another round. If you want to create a wedding to remember or, shall we say, not remember, it's essential to serve booze, and plenty of it. Below are DIY recipes and insights from three of Charlotte's finest mixologists. With booze covered, you'll be one step closer to the blissful buzz of your first eve as a wedded couple surrounded by happy guests.
Created by Haunt pop-up bar
"This festive sparkler works perfectly for both daytime and evening events," says Haunt's Kevin Gavagan. "It's lightly sweet and spicy, with a lower proof to please all partygoers. Simple drink construction keeps it easy to make at the bar."
1 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
.25 ounce peach liqueur
.25 ounce fresh lemon juice
dry sparkling wine
In a champagne flute, combine ginger and peach liqueurs and lemon juice; mix lightly. Add small piece of candied ginger (size of a sugar cube) to glass. Top off with sparkling wine and stir gently.
Guns N' Roses, aka Strong Southern Bride
Created by Bob Peters, Pisces Sushi Bar
"It packs plenty of proof for the gentlemen, while providing amazing balance and depth of flavor for ladies," says Peters. Besides, "Everyone loves a strong Southern bride."
1 muddled fresh lemon wedge
1.5 ounces Bulleit Rye
.75 ounce gunpowder mint green tea simple syrup
.5 ounce Drambuie
Shake then strain and garnish with organic rose buds.
Their Big Day Punch
Created by Stefan Huebner, Heist Brewery
"This is a great cocktail for weddings because of its lower alcohol content," Huebner says. "No one wants that drunk person at their wedding. It's full-flavored and balanced and men and women can both drink it equally."
Ingredients/Recipe (yields 12 servings)
12 ounces raspberry vodka (preferably Stoli)
12 ounces Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
18 cranberry juice cocktail
18 ounces ginger beer
4 ounces fresh squeezed lime
Add all ingredients to punch bowl; add three lemons and three limes thinly sliced. Serve in a traditional punch cup or in a champagne glass over crushed ice. Garnish with fresh mint.
Here are some tips for successfully stocking your wedding bar to make sure the libations, and the love, won't run dry.
"When you get into stocking, you really have to know who's coming to an event," says Kevin Gavagan of Haunt pop-up bar. "My friends can out-drink most, so if I'm stocking a bar, it's different than if half of your family is Southern Baptist. So, you have to take these things into account." He suggests using a drink calculator, such as one on Evite.com, which allows planners to select the party duration, guest count, type of drinkers (light, average, heavy) and type of libation served (beer, wine and liquor). "Then you can tweak that average. So, if you know you hang out with a bunch of beer drinkers, you're probably going to use more beer." He also suggests making sure plenty of water is available. "One of the things that people don't realize is that weddings are occasions where people who do not drink a lot, drink a lot... You need to find a way to keep your guests upright for as long as humanly possible."
Putting together this year's neighborhood guide has really made me appreciate how cool this city is.