How-to: open bar and alcohol for your wedding

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Signature cocktail

For us, planning the cocktails was easy: DANIEL happens to be a state-licensed bartender as a side hobby. He was originally trained based on ((AMAZON PRODUCT ID: "0600600572" "this book")), but since it is now out of print, you can buy a ((AMAZON PRODUCT ID: "0609608754" "great book on cocktails")) online or at a local library, for example, and go through some of the most popular cocktails there.

Now go through the list of cocktails with your spouse-to-be and each of you pick a popular cocktail that you like the most. Call them your two signature cocktails. If you end up narrowing down on a single "signature" cocktail together, that's be even better for your guests - fewer choices is actually so much easier to deal with behind a bar!

As a matter of preference, I recommend Gin & Tonic - white, transparent liquors are the lightest on the hangover, the drink is appropriate for both genders and with sparking bubbles looks very wedding-appropriate and festive, and the drink is original enough to be served as a signature cocktail at a good wedding.

Next up are the non-signature popular cocktails that people just expect you to have.

The most common wedding cocktails

If you are having an average bar, select about 5 key drinks from the list below, and if you want to have plenty of choice, offer 7-8 options for the "extended", large open bar feeling.

Here are the most common wedding cocktails (they're popular and very easy to pour by the guests themselves at an open bar - no skills required):

  • Bloody Mary
  • Cosmopolitan (mostly favored by girls)
  • Dry Martini (mostly favored by guys)
  • Gin and Tonic
  • Pina Colada
  • Screwdriver
  • Sex on the beach
  • Sour Apple
  • Tequila Sunrise

A special note on the famous Long Island Iced Tea: we've seen too many cases when the hosts end up offering The Tea, and the unsuspecting guests who want the least alcoholic drinks end up picking Long Island among all other options and end up... well, not feeling well. So we recommend you keep it off your list to avoid a bait-and-switch with your guests.

Note that we're specifically avoiding cocktails that are popular but are not appropriate for the weddings (like Mimosa), those that are not immediately trivial to make (like B-52), and those that create too much mess (like anything involving Red Bull and shot glasses).

Once you select top choices for 5-8 drinks, look online or through ((AMAZON PRODUCT ID: "0609608754" "any book")) for ingredients and have them ready. You can get "mixer" portions for your cocktails in pour-in pre-mixed state in any local grocery store.

Next: garnishing the drinks and non-alcoholic options.

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