Cocktail hour might be one of the best parts of a wedding. A rush of excitement mixed with delicious drinks and flavorful bites? We’ll see you there! But even this much-loved wedding moment can benefit from a makeover—and that’s where Pinch Food Design comes in. The New York-based catering company has revamped cocktail hour with the launch of Twist, a full-service craft cocktail division that specializes in mixology like you’ve never seen it before. Sure, there’s booze and fruit and maybe some soda, but instead of throwing it into a shaker, they’re taking inspiration from the hottest coffee shops and serving hugely flavorful and totally avant garde drinks using a pour-over method. TJ Girard, Twist’s creative designer, walks us through it.
“Just as with coffee, the pour-over is an instant infusion where we pour a base cocktail over a glass funnel filled with herbs and flowers, allowing the liquid to absorb the colors and flavors of the aromatics,” she explains. “It infuses immediately, so you can watch the color of the drink change before your eyes.” How’s that for wedding entertainment? Girard is also using market-fresh ingredients to garnish the drinks, and even serving them out of a sleek cart that’s laden down with fresh produce.
Want to stretch your mixology muscles? The team at Twist has shared five super-fresh drinks that will be the star of any summer wedding.
Hibiscus Quencher (above)
With a little bite from the ginger and a millennial-pink hue thanks to the hibiscus, this one has “garden party” written all over it.
- 1 1/2 oz. Espolon Tequila Blanco
- 1/2 oz. Del Maguay Vida
- 3/4 oz. ginger syrup
- 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 dried hibiscus
- Edible pansies, for garnish
Mix the first four ingredients. Place the dried hibiscus in the funnel, then slowly pour the liquid over the flower and into a glass with a single large ice cube. Garnish with an edible pansy.
A total classic, this elegant drink is a great way to dress up festive bubbles, while a berry garnish adds a little color.
- 1 1/2 oz London dry gin
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 2 oz sparkling wine
- Fresh raspberries, lemon wheel, and rosewater for garnish
Shake together the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup, then strain into a large coup. Top with sparkling wine, then garnish with raspberries, a lemon wheel, and a spritz of rosewater.
Not Your Mom's Spicy Margarita
For the bride who likes a little spice, this marg incorporates mescal for some extra smokiness, while bell pepper adds a colorful and savory finish.
- 1 1/2 oz tequila
- 1/2 oz mescal
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 3/4 oz green bell pepper juice
- 3/4 oz ancho reyes verde
- Green pepper and jalapeño slices, for garnish
Shake all of the ingredients together with ice, then strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of green pepper or jalapeño.
Don’t love gin? Don’t worry. Adding St Germain and choosing a citrusy variety (like Brooklyn Gin, which the Twist staff recommends) add an exotic and aromatic note your guests will love.
- 1 1/2 oz kaffir lime infused gin (such as Brooklyn Gin)
- 3/4 oz sake
- 1/4 oz white verjus
- 1/2 oz St Germain
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/4 oz simple syrup
- Kaffir lime leaf, for garnish
Shake all ingredients together with ice, then strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a kaffir lime leaf.
Nothing screams summer more than watermelon, making this the perfect thirst-quencher for a hot outdoor celebration.
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- 1 oz fresh watermelon juice
- 3/4 oz basil syrup (see recipe below)
- 1/2 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
- 3/4 fresh lime
- Watermelon slice, for garnish
Shake all ingredients together with ice, then strain over fresh ice into a rocks or highball glass. Garnish with a watermelon slice.
Heat ½ cup of sugar, ½ cup of water, and ½ cup of loosely packed basil leaves in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves, then remove from heat and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Strain the leaves out of the syrup, and allow to cool before using.