As a happy celebration, there will be plenty of times guests will be raising their glasses to you and your partner, so it’s worth taking the time to think about just what will be in those glasses. To help you decide, we asked some of the UK’s leading drinks specialists about the hottest drinks to serve at a wedding.
Edible flowers have been having a serious moment – and we think they're here to stay. From chefs at Michelin-starred restaurants to authors of popular cook books, everyone is using them. And it's no wonder! They're pretty, they add colour, you might even be surprised to hear that they can be very tasty. And that's why lots of couples are opting to include them in their wedding-day cocktails. Now Pip McCormac, author of The Herb and Flower Cookbook, has teamed up with flower experts, Interflora to create six delicious flower-infused drinks recipes – all of which you can create yourself (or ask your caterers to). We love the Cucumber, cloudy lemonade and fennel flower gin (pictured).
Pip says, "Flowers can definitely be all style and no substance – often they are used as decoration and then discarded, such as on lavish cakes. But I’m more interested by when they can used to enhance the flavour of a dish or a drink – some of the brightest and most beautiful blooms, like marigolds, nasturtiums and even certain varieties of tulip and can be used instead of seasoning.”
They look as good as they taste!
Champagne tiers instead of wedding cakes
As the traditional beverage to toast with, Champagne is a signature at most weddings and celebrations. And who doesn’t love an Instagram shot with a clinking glass of bubbles, complete with matching emoji? So increasingly, more and more couples are choosing to make Champagne a feature of the day.
“For those after true grandeur and perhaps looking to find a substitute to the traditional wedding cake, Moët & Chandon provides Champagne pyramids, tiered with 80 pomponnes, that will have your guests in awe,” says Ethan Boroian, Champagne Ambassador Moet & Chandon.
In terms of what type of Champagne to serve, Ethan recommends matching your choice of bubbles to your wedding theme.
“For the classic bride, Moët & Chandon Imperial will add a subtle touch of sophistication and elegance. While those eclectically boho chic brides, wishing for an understated wedding that emphasizes the natural beauty of nature, should look no further than Moët Rose Imperial. Taking inspiration from radiant sunsets, it brings vibrancy whilst capturing the essence of nature and flowers, ensuring your guests’ palates will be surprised by its intense bouquet of red fruits."
Creating your own wedding day spirits
“As weddings become more bespoke, we are seeing more and more couples moving away from serving the more traditional and expected drinks,” says Hayley Johnson of Portobello Road Gin. “Instead they are tailoring the menu to suit their own tastes and preferences to enhance memories and delight guests.”
While in recently years it's been common place at weddings for couples to create their own special wedding day cocktail, according to Hayley, more and more couples are taking it to the next level and creating their very own spirit to serve on the day.
“Over the past 12 months, we have welcomed a number of brides and grooms to-be to our Ginstitute. Here they are given the opportunity to concoct their very own unique wedding gin, based around their favourite botanicals and inspired by their fondest memories.”
A bespoke wedding day spirit also makes for a fantastic wedding favour – that is if there’s any left!
Modern takes on traditional Champagne cocktails
Can’t decide between greeting your guests with Champagne or cocktails? Why not do both? According to Fabio Spinetti, cocktail expert and Bars & Beverage Manager at Hotel Café Royal, two of their bubbly cocktails are perfect to serve at a wedding.
“For a wedding cocktail, I love the idea of a twist on the classic Bellini and a twist on a classic Champagne cocktail,” says Fabio. “Our Pear & Hibiscus Bellini (pear purée, Campari, hibiscus essence, Prosecco) is refreshing, fruity, with lovely floral notes and a round, fragrant, “almondy” finish thanks to the hibiscus. And then another one that I think would be perfect for a wedding is the Cherry Kiss (white sugar cube, Cherry Heering, chocolate bitters, Champagne) which is more complex, full bodied, and the chocolate and cherry notes complement each other.”
All of your wedding guests will expect to enjoy a glass of wine at dinner, which makes it the perfect time to surprise them with something unexpected that makes for a great talking point.
“There are many old favourites coming back to the fore, Sherry for example, and natural wines are being given more and more prominence on restaurant wine lists,” says Olivia Marsh from Corney and Barrow.
“Previously unknown and rare grape varieties are increasingly easier to find on shelves. In recent months we’ve sourced interesting and exciting wines for those who are willing to experiment a little more and select something with a different type of wine personality.”