Wedding Cocktail Hour - Don't Go Broke!

Not too long ago I remember giving sage advice to a mother of the bride about cocktail hour. She was so resolute in scrimping and saving on every last inch of the wedding prep that she actually over-spent. Clearly she didn't listen to a word I said. Well that was a complete and utter waste. My mouth was moving. Sounds were coming out. And what I could have been doing is what I should have been doing: pouring another glass of wine.

Here's how you keep the booze flowing without going broke:

1. Partner with your favorite bar. Let them provide the beer and wine with a limited cocktail menu.

2. Limited doesn't mean cut-off. It means limited variety.

3. Keep your cocktails to three signature drinks.


By keeping your cocktails liquor base the same, you can reduce your booze costs dramatically. Consider doing rum cocktails or vodka cocktails.

The Greyhound Cocktail


Freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice (strained of pulp and seeds)

Flaky sea salt or kosher salt

Agave nectar

Ruby red grapefruit wedges, for garnish


1. Fill a short glass to the top with ice.

2. Pour in grapefruit tarragon infused vodka ⅓ of the way.

3. Fill the remaining ⅔ with freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice.

4. Transfer liquids and ice to a cocktail shaker. Add a small pinch of flaky sea salt, then add agave nectar to taste*.

5. Shake vigorously until well chilled.

6. Pop off the top of your cocktail shaker and pour everything (drink and ice) back into the short glass.

Garnish with a fresh wedge of ruby red grapefruit.

Makes 1 drink.

The White Lady Cocktail



4 parts dry gin such as Martin Miller's or Beefeater (2 ounces)

1 part Cointreau (1/2 ounce)

1 part fresh lemon juice (1/2 ounce)


1. Add the gin, Cointreau and lemon juice to a shaker filled with ice.

2. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Serve.

The Clover Club Cocktail


1 egg white

1/2 oz lemon juice

1 oz grenadine

2 oz Plymouth gin


1. Combine liquids and egg white.

2. Shake vigorously (you want your egg white to get super frothy!)

3. Strain and pour into a coupe.

Garnish with a couple of fresh raspberries.

The Virgin Mojito Mocktail


1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of fine granulated sugar

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

15 mint leaves

1 cup club soda


1. Combine sugar, lime juice, and mint leaves in cocktail shaker.

2. Muddle mint and add about eight ice cubes and shake well.

3. Pour mixture in glasses and top with club soda.

Serves two.

World Traveler Libation Expert 30 Year Event Industry Professional Non-smoker
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