Cocktail Candy

Trendy cocktails to keep the party on its feet.

Vanille Bourbon
Vanille Bourbon

Midnight Owl

Midnight Owl
Amarula & Eve
Amarula & Eve

The cocktail hour not only sets the tone for your reception, it also gives couples a chance to showcase their unique personalities-and a signature cocktail is the perfect way to do just that! "The latest trend is to make a special punch, sangria, or even a tailgating recipe," explains mixologist Alex Ott. "And a good way to showcase the couple's style is using creative names for the cocktails. I often use personal names that include the bride and grooms favorite spirits, fruit or colors-it's a great way to set off any reception!"
And when it comes to choosing the ingredients, natural is the way to go. "Most mixers contain a lot of artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrups, so beware," says Ott. In fact, Aisha Sharpe of Contemporary Cocktails, Inc. encourages couples to choose local and seasonal ingredients, and don't forget to have fun! "Some brides even match the color of the liquor or fresh fruit purée in a drink with the color of the bridal party dresses," says Sharpe.

Couples should also try to give guests a choice between two and three signature drinks (see below for some inspiration). "Many times I create one specialty cocktail for the bride and one for the groom," says Sharpe. And don't forget to offer up at least one non-alcoholic version of your a special cocktail so all guests can enjoy it!

Vanille Bourbon (created by Aisha Sharpe)
½ oz NAVAN Natural Vanilla Liqueor
1 ½ oz Bourbon
½ oz Tamarind syrup
1 oz Club soda
In a mixing glass add all ingredients except the soda, add ice, shake and strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass, add soda and garnish. Serve on the rocks.
Garnish: 3 brandied cherries on a pick

Amarula & Eve (created by Alex Ott)
1 ½ oz Amarula Cream
2 ½ oz Lychee juice
½ oz Citrus Vodka
¾ oz Ruby red grapefruit juice
Garnish: Fresh rambutan or lychee

Menomonee Falls (created by Alex Ott)
2 oz Don Roberto Reposado Tequila
2 oz Pineapple juice
1 oz Agave nectar
½ oz Fresh lime juice
1 Muddled sprig cilantro
Pinch ground ginger, pinch cayenne pepper
Garnish: cantaloupe heart or star, (cookie cutter)

Midnight Owl (created by Adam Schuman, Fatty Crab NYC)
1.5 oz. Bombay Sapphire infused with dried pear and apples
½ oz. Lucid absinthe
1 oz. local apple cider
½ oz. pear brandy (Adam recommends: Massenez Williams Poire Brandy)
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Fee Brothers Aztec chocolate bitters
Shake all ingredients well. Strain into a highball glass.
Top with gingerbeer.
Garnish: Cinnamon stick and lemon peel.

Martini Moments (created by Diane Kochylas)

100ml/4floz each gin, vermouth and vodka
1 jar Gaea Pitted Olympian, Kalamata and Mixed Marinated Olives
3 lemons
2 tbsp Gaea Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pour gin, vermouth, and vodka into 3 bowls. Add Gaea Olympian Olives to the gin, Kalamata to the vermouth, and Mixed Marinated olives to the vodka. Leave to marinate for one hour, turning over. Peel the skin from lemons, and divide between the three bowls.
Garnish: Skewer a set of olives onto a cocktail stick with the lemon peel twisted in between.

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