Photo: Lilian Hadar
Summer weddings call for one thing — delicious and refreshing cocktails! As steamy July turns to sweltering August, your friends and family will appreciate a cool signature drink during your cocktail hour and reception.
To nail the perfect signature cocktail, think of these important elements when selecting your custom libations: Choose creative cocktails that speak to you and your groom — go with your favorite drink, flavor, or color so your picks feel special. Do you love sweets while your husband-to-be favors sour? Then pick one of each for guests to sample. Also consider the ingredient list. You'll likely have only a few bartenders, and a cocktail with a lengthy recipe will certainly create a line at the bar.
Here are five fun custom drinks for a summer wedding to help inspire your own cocktail menu!
Watermelon Punch (above): Watermelon is practically the unofficial fruit of summer, so use the juicy melon as your base for a crowd-pleasing cocktail. Garnish with fresh fruit or rim each glass with green sugar, seen above, for a festive accent. And since this recipe is best to make in bulk, it's perfect for a large wedding.
Ingredients (makes 12 drinks):
1 oblong seedless watermelon, about 8 pounds
3 cups vodka of your choice
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups club soda
Fresh mint and lime slices for an optional garnish
See the full recipe at Domesticate Me
Photo: Alea Moore Photography
Blood Orange Sangria: What says summer more than bright and bold citrus? This unique take on classic sangria is the perfect make-ahead cocktail, meaning your caterer can mix a big batch and serve guests without any wait. Plus, it's one of the few cocktails that actually gets better over time, so prepping this drink is a breeze.
Ingredients (serves 4-6):
6 blood oranges
2 bottles of pinot grigio
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup brandy
12 ounces of stawberries, sliced
1 pint of raspberries
1 apple, chopped
See the full recipe at How Sweet Eats
Photo: Dave Robbins Photography
Cucumber Margaritas: Fresh and mild cucumber is the perfect flavor for a warm summer night. And really, who doesn't love a margarita? This is one of our favorite picks for a destination wedding, but your guests will love this unexpected yet delicious combo at any reception. Serve on the rocks or blended with ice to keep guests cool all evening long.
Ingredients (makes one pitcher)
3 cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup tequila
2 tablespoons triple sec
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 jalapeño, sliced
See the full recipe at Cozy Kitchen
Photo: Christian Oth Studio
Elderflower White Cosmopolitans: This modern take on the classic cosmopolitan is sure to wow your guests. We love the combo of sweet-and-sour mix of St-Germain and tart white cranberry juice. Also clear cocktails are a win near your white wedding dress, so you can sip freely throughout the reception.
Ingredients (serves 1)
1/4 cup vodka
2 tablespoons St-Germain elderflower liqueur
2 tablespoons white cranberry juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Edible flowers for garnish
See the full recipe at Williams-Sonoma
Photo: Trinity Wheeler Photography
Pomegranate Spritzer: Pomegranate and prosecco come together in a deliciously bubbly mix in this bright spritzer. And since this cocktail isn't overly sweet, it's the perfect pairing for a more sugary cocktail.
Ingredients (makes 2 cocktails)
1/4 cup vodka
2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
A scoop of crushed ice
1/4 cup prosecco
A squeeze of lemon
See the full recipe at Love and Lemons