Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Raise a Glass

There's no way to start this post without thanking Jon's parents, who are very generously contributing all the drinks to our wedding. So: thank you, future in-laws! Now, let's talk about the booze, as I know they'd want us to...

If you scroll through wedding blogs or flip through wedding magazines, you'll know that you're not truly married if you and your groom don't serve signature drinks at your wedding.  Jon and my mother were really good at steering me away from this sort of attitude when it came to most aspects of today's wedding culture - see this post for details -  but Jon and I loved the idea of serving two cocktails that symbolized each of our countries.  (The mothers still don't really understand why this is necessary, but they've seen our resolve and given up the fight!)

Jon's choice was simple: he picked a gin and tonic as his signature.  G&Ts are so classically English and, while enjoyed year-round, are perfect for summer!  I knew better than to ask if Jon wanted to make the recipe more interesting with something like this, but I was surprised that he didn't want to use Hendrick's and cucumber slices.  Nope, Jon declared that his drink was an old-school gin and tonic with Gordon's and lemon!  Easy-peasy.

Identifying my signature cocktail was, unsurprisingly, slightly more circuitous.   My favorite "American" drink, which I got hooked on the summer I lived in Charlottesville, is bourbon and ginger.  Straightforward and delicious, right?  But I was afraid it was too simple - a college bar mixed drink is not pin-worthy, you know.  So I looked around and dove into more complicated recipes and bought random liquors and bitters and tried a handful of other recipes crafted by mixologists rather than bartenders like this one and this one... and ended up with this:


 So it seems that simple does win the day!  Thank you also to my friend Liz, who helped me taste test this final option after coming out on a run with me and Charlie.  And yes - in the end, we will be making our own cute flags on drink straws.  Something has to be blogable, right?

(Because we went back and forth over what else to serve throughout the night and I would have loved to read about what other couples keeping an eye on their budget included in their open-bar weddings, let me share what we decided on. We're going to have these two signature cocktails plus fizz at the post-ceremony reception and then champagne for the speeches.  During dinner we'll serve one red and one white plus a local bitter from Adnams, all of which will continue after dinner plus whatever's left over from the cocktail hour. Of course, we'll also have non-alcoholic options available; we're going to offer elderflower cordial and raspberry lemonade from Belvoir, which we'll also have available before the ceremony for guests who arrive early. I hope this helps anyone planning her own wedding and wondering!)

40 comments:

  1. What a fun idea to pick signature country cocktails! Both sound quite nice as do all your other options, but I'm just trying to think on raspberry lemonade :)

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  2. I actually really wanted to do Pimm's but then America wouldn't be represented! haha :)

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  3. I love the idea of a signature cocktail from each country! It sounds like you worked out a good plan. We also had a budget and we're not huge drinkers, so we decided to do a "winter white bar" and serve just white wines (from local vineyards) and white beers. And sparkling white grape juice for kiddos, and champagne was passed for the toasts and speeches. And I made a pretty sign so people understood the connection between white drinks and our winter wedding :))


    I bet you're getting so excited!!

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  4. oh that's a great idea! and you know how i feel about signage :) in the end, we won't be doing country flag stirrers to identify each drink, so we'll have little cards so everyone knows!

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  5. Super cute idea! When I got married way back when (or 6 years!) the whole concept of signature drinks wasn't a big one, but we did honor both our cultures in the food (I may have told you this?) by doing a bangers and mash station, as well as a southern station (mac and cheese, fried chicken, it was so good!), and then a mutually chosen mediterranean one. We had an open bar with tons of wine, which is my dad's thing, and I honestly had like 2 drinks all night, so I don't know what people drank!

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  6. I really like the idea of a special drink - it's a fun trend that I'm totally behind! Our reception was more casual (we served a big bbq dinner!) and we served our favorite beers (Thomas), ciders (mine), and a variety of natural sugar sodas/lemonades/etc. Every WW post has me more and more excited to see the pictures from your big day! xo

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  7. Georgia ChristakisJune 12, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    whoa. totally thought cordial was alcoholic. mind = blown. I want to try it even more now!


    In case you were ever wondering, tonic water was the first anti-malarial medication, given to British soldiers in colonial India. British soldiers, being British soldiers, felt the need to pep it up a bit with the gin (:

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  8. I've never heard of a bourbon ginger- I know what I'll be trying the next time I'm at a bar! It sounds delicious! (And you associate it with Charlottesville- BONUS)

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  9. I REALLY need to pick up some of the fancy ginger beer that I keep passing up at the grocer. This looks delish and is totally someone that A would go for, too.

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  10. that looks fantastic! I love the idea of a signature drink for the wedding, but I'm not sure if we're going to do that. We will probably be getting married at a winery and they usually only allow beer and wine. Oh well :)

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  11. I love g&ts, but I've never had it served with a lemon wedge before. Always a lime. This is true in the States, France, Madrid, Vienna, and Prague, although the way they make it in France is very strange and tastes too anise-y, like absinthe. My very short trip to England (London) did not include trying a g&t, only beer, and my trip to Norway didn't include any alcohol in restaurants/bars, only wine with my extended family in their homes. Tell Jon I think he's weird! :P

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  12. Getting married at a winery sounds AWESOME.

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  13. Sounds fancy! (In a good way.) Also, "a college bar mixed drink is not pin-worthy"--funny. I like that you are using two different kind of liquor. I'm not a fan of bourbon which is a bit sacrilegious from someone who grew up outside of Louisville! So I like that are options for your guests! Nice job!


    Getting married in the stone age before pinterest means I had never heard of a signature drink, but I think it's fun!

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  14. So cute! Such a great idea. Both drinks sound delish!

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  15. you did tell me but I get hungry every time I read about it! sounds IDEAL.

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  16. love the idea of keeping it casual! it's definitely a route we thought about going down :)

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  17. haha I think you think that from Anne of Green Gables, but Gesci reminds me that they were supposed to drink the cordial but they accidentally got into the currant wine instead :)

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  18. it's so good! I hate ginger ale and don't usually like fizzy drinks but love fancy ginger beer :)

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  19. yeah, I thought it was supposed to have a lime, too... I might have to check this one with Jon... haha

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  20. GASP! but that's okay, you can have a G&T when you come :)

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  21. thank you thank you! I'm not a gin girl but I might have just one sip :)

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  22. Ooh, I love bourbon and ginger and your twist sounds perfect for a summer wedding! I also really like the link for the blackberry and lemon g&t--I do love me some fancy mixed cocktails. I'm about to move into a new apartment and some friends are graciously driving out a box of glassware from my parents' house in VA...can't wait for antique glasses, spiffy cocktails, and summer parties!

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  23. Wow, your drink sounds delish! I want to try it ASAP.

    I guess Nick and I aren't really married-- we had only beer and wine at our wedding, neither of which I drink! =P I kid, I kid.

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  25. Love me some B&G - and picked it up in, surprise, Charlottesville :D

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  27. Georgia ChristakisJune 14, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    silly me! I just read your post wrong. You'll have to excuse me, I've been really stressed out lately (boards studying)

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  28. Apparently the grooms family contributing alcohol is the new "appropriate" thing. Didn't happen for us. Whew. I know my dad wishes it had. Haha. I am still willing to be your other guinea pig for the drink! Oh Charlottesville.. mmm B&G.

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  29. I love your signature cocktail idea! But I am especially loving your B&G. I have had a bottle of Jack's Honey and wondering what I was going to do with it...now I know! How excited are you that your wedding is getting closer and closer?!

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  30. really? I didn't know that! but I'm glad it's working that way for us because I align more with Jon's parents' philosophy towards alcohol than towards my parents' :P

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  31. haha it doesn't count. go back and try again :P

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  32. I love them too! but I get these crazy ingredients and then only use them once and have random things lying around and... hey, we should throw a cocktail party together!

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  33. try it! let me know how it is :) I AM EXCITED!

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  34. Haha, I do the same thing with fancy cocktail ingredients, salad toppings, and omelet fixings...one use and then the leftovers just hide in my fridge. A mixology party with a collection of leftover cocktail ingredients and plenty of basics would be so much fun!

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  35. Hello! In the UK it's most commonly lemon slices all round - although it depends on the gin (Hendrick's = cucumber). And we like to think we're home of the G&T - my city, Manchester, is *obsessed* with gin. We even have cocktail bars which only serve gin-based drinks!

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  36. ... that's the sound of Belle booking a flight to Manchester :P

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