One of my favourite ways to personalize a wedding is to add a unique drink to the bar menu. I really dig this idea because it is relatively inexpensive (depending on the drink you serve), very versatile and the ultimate conversation starter for your guests. Think about! There is a large part of your wedding that revolves around your guests grabbing a drink, mingling with other guests and entertaining themselves. The typical conversation starter is “Whatcha Drinkin?”….but the typical answers to that question don’t often lead to great conversation. Why not give your guests a tasty treat just for them AND give them something to talk about (“Did you try the [insert drink name here]?”, “Did you like it?” Not only is it a conversation starter and a treat for you guests, but it is also a sensory way for your guests to remember the good times they had at your wedding from years to come. Listed below are some definite “Dos” when it comes to choosing your signature drink.
A Signature Drink: Avoid the budget breaking costs and copious amounts of various types of alcohol. You can simply supply a standard red and white wine and popular beer, but make your signature drink the highlight of the night. Your signature drink can be based around your wedding theme, or one that you as a couple fell in love with during a romantic vacation. Quick basics for creating your signature drink:
-Choose your basic alcohol (vodka, rum, whiskey etc). If you are making the drink for people you know well, think about what the majority like to drink and go from there. Remember, your wedding probably has guests that cannot drink alcohol so try to choose a drink you can easily make a virgin version from
-Make sure you think through the accessories: does the reception hall have the glasses you need to serve the drink? Do you need rimmer or garnishes?
-Make sure it is easy to make for a large number of people…you don’t want your bartenders taking several minutes to make each and every drink
-When you do your toasts, make sure you use your signature drink!
Local Wine: Southern Ontario is blessed with a flourishing wine region, but we often settle for the generic, imported wine the reception is providing en masse. No more! Take the local, environmentally friendly approach to wedding planning and buy local wine. The majority of wineries have both reds and whites and many also offer a champagne or sparkling wine option to kick off the celebration. Some of my local fav: Strewn Winery, Coyotes Run Winery, Trius Winery. The pre-wedding wine tasting tour will also be a fabulous, fun way to relax and be a tourist in your own backyard!!
Craft Beer: Just like for the wine, Ontario is the new hot spot for craft brewers. What’s awesome about craft brewers is they are using a ton of local ingredients and create their beer in small batches so the flavour is unique and strong. My suggestions are to try Cameron’s Brewing, NickelBrook Beer or Tapps Brewing for some great local flare. They can all set you up with dark and light beer satisfy a variety of palettes (Nickebrook also makes a pretty awesome beer float with their apple beer and vanilla ice cream if you are looking for a dessert oriented drink!)
A Winter Wedding Treat: With the chilly weather, why not serve some hot drinks on the bar list….gourmet coffee, teas, apple ciders with cinnamon or white/dark hot chocolate may be just what your guests need to take the chill off unwind from a busy week. Add a little Baileys or Kahlua and they will really thank you;)
42 Annual Hamilton-Halton Spring Wedding Show 2011
January 8 & 9, 2011 ~ The Hamilton Convention Centre
14th Annual Niagara Spring Wedding Show
January 15 & 16, 2011 ~ The Quality Parkway Hotel & Convention Centre, St. Catharines