Why signature drinks?
First, let’s cut right to the chase – why have a signature drink? Aside from saving you lots of green by making and serving drinks in bulk, this also gives you to opportunity to save on hiring a bartender, or having to tackle the dilemma of open or cash bar.
For those who love the idea of having a bartender or open bar, you can still have a signature drink – it’s a great way to put your special mark on one of the most important parts of the day (the drinking). May couples choose to have his and hers signature cocktails. For you, since you’re here, I’m sure that means at least one of you is going to want a whiskey cocktail. All of the pink signature cocktails we chose include whiskey. Whiskey is a challenging spirit to use if you’re going for a particular color (more difficult than vodka or gin), but it’s worth it. It’s gorgeous and timeless and, obviously, your favorite. Why compromise just get the right color, especially when you can have it all with a little bit of creativity!
Strawberry Whiskey Collins
Difficulty level: Easy like Sunday Morning
Pretty much all of these recipes say that non-whiskey drinkers will love them, but I feel like this one is especially drinkable, and so easy to make. The fizz makes it exceptional, and the steps are very easy. It would be the perfect thing to make ahead, then add the sparkling water to each pour as guests are being served.
You will need:
- 3/4 oz strawberry puree
- 1 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- Dash simple syrup
- 2 oz of your favorite bourbon (original recipe suggests Michter’s)
- Sparkling water
Smash up those strawberries – you can use a handful of either frozen or fresh, and puree in a blender or food processor. Then, combine lemon juice, whiskey, a dash of simple syrup, and ice in your shaker and shake until it’s chilly. Next, pour a splash of puree into the bottom of a rocks glass, add your shaker contents, and top off with soda water.
Strawberry Whiskey Lemonade
Difficulty level: kinda easy, but you do need the stove
For a super fresh, simple, and summery cocktail, you get to cook a little! Don’t worry – you can make the strawberry simple syrup ahead and of time, and it’s totally worth it. Fresh strawberries and lemonade with whiskey at your wedding sounds like a dream, right?
You will need:
- 1 cup of sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2/3 cup whiskey
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- fresh strawberries and lemons for garnish
Grab yourself a small saucepan and get cooking. Throw the strawberries, sugar, and water in there over low heat, and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally until strawberries have gotten soft and you can no longer see sugar granules, for about 15 mins. Take off the heat and let cool for about 10-15 mins.
Strain the syrup into a bowl or measuing cup through a fine strainer to grab any strawberry chunks. Save those for jam or smoothies!
To make your drink, in a large shaker, combine syrup, lemon juice, and whiskey. Add some ice and shake to mix.
Pour the whiskey lemonade over ice into engraved WhiskeyMade glasses (wink!) and garnish with fresh strawberries and lemon slices.
The Blood Orange
Difficulty level: Fancy
At a posh marble bar inside Norah of West Hollywood, bar manager Hamish McShane loves coming up with new ways to use the ample California produce coming his way. In the blood orange, he’s created a whiskey cocktail that is extremely drinakable (too drinkable?), even for those who claim not to be fans of whiskey. I know, I don’t get it either.
You will need:
- 1.5 oz Jameson whiskey
- 1/2 oz yellow chartreuse (available at the liquor store)
- 10 blood oranges
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- one stripped vanilla bean
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 3/4 oz egg white
- freshly grated nutmeg for garnish
To make “oleosaccharum” –
Place 1/2 cup granulated sugar into a bowl and zest 10 blood oranges over the sugar. Press zest into sugar with a wooden spoon, you’ll see the oils begin to come out. Leave for at least six hours, then strain and place in an airtight container.
To make sherbet –
Juice the oranges you zested for the oleosaccharum, and combine wtih equal parts sugar in a saucepan, strir, then add oleosaccharum along with one stripped vanilla bean, and heat on low until dissolved. Don’t allow it to boil. Once the sugar has been dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool.
To make your drink –
Add all ingredients to your shaker without ice first, to make sure the egg white is frothy. Then add cubed ice and shake. Fine strain into a class and grate nutmeg lightly on top.
Summer Whiskey Cobbler
Difficulty level: Easy as pie
As much as we all love strawberries, we really wanted to add some non-strawberry options to round out our list. For this one, you’ll need to round up some white whiskey, as well as some Grand Marnier or similar orange flavored liqueur, and some fresh blackberries and blackberry preserves. Sounds like a pie!
You will need:
- 1.5 oz white whiskey
- 1.5 tbsp Grand Marnier
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1.5 tsp blackberry preserves
- 3 fresh blackberries and a lime peel twist for garnish
Combine white whiskey, Grand Marnier, lime juice, and blackberry preserves with ice in a cocktail shaker. Cover and shake until mixed and cold. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice, and garnish with your lime peel twists and fresh blackberries.
Rye and Pomegranate Punch
Difficulty level: Easy (but fancy)
A variation on the other sparkling cocktails that’s a little more elegant, this one relies on pomegranate juice to lend it a pink hue. We also love that this one incorporates bitters, which is our fave (aside from whiskey, of course).
This recipe is great since it makes a punch bowl full of drink, making it the perfect wedding drink.
You will need:
- 2 cups rye whiskey
- 1 cup lemon juice – fresh
- 1 cup of pomegranate juice
- 1/2 cup of honey simple syrup
- 1/2 cup Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur (if unable to find, you may find Amaretto to be a good substitute)
- 1/2 teaspoon of Peychaud’s bitters
- 1 12oz can of club soda
- Fresh ground cloves for garnish
Combine the rye, lemon juice, honey simple syrup, pomegranate juice, liqueur, and bitters in a punch bowl and chill without ice until it’s cold (for about three hours). About half an hour before you’re ready to serve, add an ice ring or ice cubes. Just before serving, pour in club soda and garnish with cloves, then serve over ice.