Alcohol is one of the biggest expenses at any wedding and can easily bust your budget. Since most reception sites will charge a fee for every opened bottle, cut costs by having a limited bar and serving one or two signature drinks to guests. Alternatively, simply serve beer, wine and a handful of bottles of Champagne for toasts. Find five of our favorite signature wedding cocktails below to cut costs on your big day.
Raspberry Champagne Cocktail
- 1/2 ounce raspberry (or regular) vodka
- 3 ounces Champagne (chilled Brut)
- 3 fresh raspberries (rinsed)
Step 1: Pour ingredients into Champagne glass and stir.
Step 2: Add raspberries to glass to garnish.
- 3/4 cup reposado tequila
- 1/4 cup triple sec
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- Coarse margarita salt
- 2 limes, thinly sliced
Step 1: Margaritas can be made ahead and be ready to be shaken to order as soon as your guests arrive.2
Step 2: In a large pitcher, combine the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and agave. Stir to combine, then chill under ready to serve.
Step 3: Place margarita salt on a flat dish and use a lime slice to moisten the rim of a glass. Dip the rim into the margarita salt. Fill a shaker 3/4 of the way with ice, then top off with margarita mix. Shake well and pour into salt-rimmed glass. Garnish glass with slice of fresh lime.
Alternative: Cadillac Margaritas: Finish each poured margarita glass with a shot of Grand Marnier.
Red Wine Sangria
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 bottle (750 mL) of inexpensive dry red wine (such as burgundy or rioja)
1 orange, cut into thin rounds
1 lemon, cut into thin rounds
1 cup seedless red, purple or black grapes (optional)
Step 1: Mix together juice and sugar in a standard 60-ounce pitcher until sugar dissolves.
Step 2: Stir in remaining ingredients and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24 hours in advance.
Step 3: Serve over ice.
Tip: Freeze the grapes at least an hour in advance of serving, then use them in lieu of ice cubes.
- 2 ounces raspberry-flavored vodka
- 2/3 ounce triple sec
- 1 ounce cranberry juice
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 1 cup of ice
Step 1: Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake well.
Step 2: Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass and serve.
Lemon-Drop Basil Martini
- 2 cups cold, lemon-flavored vodka
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (preferably Meyer lemons)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 18 basil leaves
Step 1: Martinis can be made ahead and be ready to be shaken to order as soon as your guests arrive.
Step 2: In a small saucepot, warm the lemon juice and 6 basil leaves over low heat. Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Chill completely.
Step 3: Remove the basil leaves and, in a large pitcher, combine the vodka and lemon-juice-sugar mixture. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Step 4: Fill your cocktails shaker 3/4 of the way with ice, add 2 basil leaves, and pour in lemon-drop martini. Shake. Serve in a martini glass with 1 fresh basil leaf for garnish.
Alternative: Lemon Ginger Martini: Exchange the basil for 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped ginger. Before adding the lemon-sugar mixture to the pitcher, strain out the ginger with a fine mesh strainer.
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