Here’s something important to both of us at our wedding- the drinks. We’re not lushes (shut up! I’m NOT!) but we definitely like to drink when we celebrate- as does the bulk of our friends and family and, oh yeah, the rest of the world.
Several of the venues we’re investigating would require us to provide our own bar. We’d be hiring bartenders and renting glassware and equipment, but we’d be responsible for bringing our own liquor- and I’m actually excited about that! I love trying new cocktails, wines, and beers. Over the last few years, NYC has seen an abundance of old fashioned cocktails come back on to the scene, as well some amazing artisanal cocktails. I love Trophy Bar, Cornelius, Death & Co, and so many other places for their amazing drinks.
Despite its reputation as an extraneous wedding detail, I love the idea of serving signature drinks at our wedding bar. I’d love to highlight a few of our favorites, but I’ll also serve all the standards. So the signature cocktails would be a way to share a part of our lives at our wedding. Michael has a very Brooklyn-centric favorite drink, and I’d love to feature some of my favorite cocktails from around the neighborhood as well.
What I’m trying to figure out, is how many other drinks should I be prepared to serve??
I’ll surely have the standards- all different types of liquor with accompanying sodas, tonics, juices and liqueurs to make ‘standards’- rum&coke, vodka cranberry, martinis, etc.
Even if we don’t end up stocking our own bar, many venues require you to choose a liquor package- generally, a low-budget, no-name brand ‘House’ option, a premium, or Ultra premium. Which leaves you wondering… is Absolut ‘good enough’ for my guests? Do I need to spend the extra $1500 (or up to $3000 in many cases) so that they can opt for Grey Goose? Oy.
For self-catering, many liquor stores will allow you to return unopened bottles if you’re buying in bulk and arrange it with them ahead of time, so I’m not too concerned with overspending. BUT I also don’t want to end up with 20 different liqueurs and bitters that were opened to make a single drink, so I can’t go to town and buy absolutely EVERYTHING. The easy solution is to just have the standards, but this actually is an important detail to me- I want my guests to have lots of options, and to drink things that they like, and that are of a good quality.
I don't think these will be on the menu
I’ve found several resources for stocking a bar online so I know what the minimum I need is, and god knows I’ve done enough independent research ;), but for the hell of it, I’d love it if you would weigh in!
[Keep in mind this will be spring/summer- not the dead of summer, but definitely warm weather.]
● What’s your favorite drink?
● What’s your favorite drink at weddings or parties?
● What have you noticed as being very popular at large events?
● Any random favorite you’d like to give a shout out to? (For instance, I know my cousin loves Stoli Raspberry, and my brother’s been on a Southern Comfort kick.)
● I’m hesitant to have blender drinks because I think they might be too loud- would you be sad if you couldn’t have a frozen daiquiri or margarita?
● Do you think some ‘custom made’ drinks like sangria and/or rum punch would be popular?
● Beer or wine preferences? How large of a selection do you think there should be?
● Would you be likely to try a local beer or wine if it was on offer, or a new cocktail if you liked the ingredients, or would you be more likely to stick with your favorites?
● Non-alcoholic options- on a warm evening, is there anything you’d like to see offered besides soda, water and juice? Sparkling water, lemonade, etc?
● What do you think of ‘beer and wine only’ receptions? (Not our preference but one venue we looked at did have this restriction)
● What do you think of ‘dry’ receptions?
● What do you think of cash bars?
● What do you think of the bar closing for an hour during dinner?
(Neither of the three above are options we are really considering, but they’re hot topics over at the Offbeat Bride Tribe, so I’m just curious what my friends and blog readers think.)
● What do you think is necessary as far as the quality of drinks? Would you be okay with the ‘middle’ range, that includes brands like Absolut, Bacardi, and Jim Beam, or do you think top shelf should be made available to your guests?
If you just want to answer one or two questions, or just tell me what you like to drink, any feedback would be great! I know everyone will have different opinions, and I’d love to hear any and all. (All I ask is that you try to stay positive and be nice, please!) Thanks and happy drinking!